2016 Macmillan Cycletta Bedfordshire Event Report

12th October 2016

A cold and breezy morning greeted our Macmillan Cycletta Bedfordshire riders on Sunday 11th October 2016. More than 500 participants gathered in the event village, preparing themselves to take on one of the three distances on offer: the Novice (20km); Classic (40km); or Challenge (70km). The anticipation was rife and all the ladies seemed up for the undulating test ahead, across the Bedfordshire hills and stunning countryside, surrounding the stately Woburn Abbey event village venue. Recently nominated in the ‘Best Mass Participation Cycling Event’ category for the 2016 Total Women’s Cycling Awards, everyone knew that they were in for a treat with the event day experience that lay ahead.

20161009_083709Per usual at a Macmillan Cycletta event, the day started with a Scootathlon for kids. A group of some of the most enthusiastic 4-8 year olds we’ve ever had, embarked on their three laps of scooting, cycling and running before being rewarded with their well-earned Scootathlon medal. It was a sight to behold as the kids all smashed their way around the course, setting records as they went. As always, we were thrilled to reward some lucky participants (selected at random from a prize draw of all the Scootathlon entrants) with a Micro Scooter donated by Micro Scooter themselves, to encourage young athletes!

Following the kids’ race the 70km Challenge riders were called forward to be the first participants to set off. This was the most popular distance on offer with over 200 people taking it on. Small groups were set off every 30 seconds or so to ensure the field was safely spread out once hitting the roads. Many of our Challenge participants made a quick trip over to the British Bike Hire tent before starting, to use a little last minute bike tuning, which could help to make all the difference in achieving the goals they’d set themselves.

It was as the Challenge riders were called forward for their start briefings (replete with the information that it was deer rutting season; and to watch out for excitable deer crossings!), that the sun began to shine; and the omens seemed good for a fun, sociable, supportive and successful day. The Challenge riders lived up to their name – taming the (at times) hilly course, and showing their training, bike tuning (!) and experience had paid off.

Following the large cohort of Challenge riders out onto the route were our Classic riders, taking on the 40km distance. These were our most energetic and fun-loving group of the day. Vibrant and ready for the task at hand. It was a pleasure to see so many surpass what they believed they could achieve, while (and as always with a Macmillan Cycletta!); we had others in this group who were more up for the social side of cycling; chatting most of the way around; enjoying the views; stopping at the feed station; and even posing for our photographers from Sportcam when they spotted them. Well done ladies!

Finally, it was the turn of our Novice group to take on their own 20km event. For some, this was their first ever cycling event. But the beaming smiles were so wide on the faces of so many of these riders; virtually all the way around the route – that you’d never have known. These ladies supported each other with friendly words as the cycle by one another and came home proudly across the finish line; all overcoming their own personal challenges and most of them fundraising some wonderful amounts for Macmillan Cancer Support and all the amazing work that they do.

There’s always still time to send around your JustGiving fundraising link, now that you’ve completed the event and shown all of your friends and family what you are capable of. Let’s make our sixth year in Bedfordshire a record one for fundraising for Macmillan!

Back in the event village at the magnificent Woburn Abbey after the event, our newest friend Threo were handing out souvenir gift bags; and just as excitingly had their full range of high performance cycling gear for women, on show for our Cycletta ladies to peruse and buy. There was even a 15% discount for anyone fundraising for Macmillan! We love the Threo kit and a few of the Cycletta Team have already been picking out some items for their Christmas lists!

With bespoke medals, gift bags and a good dose of pride at a job well done all having been collected; our Macmillan Cycletta Bedfordshire ladies and our Scootathletes all headed home. The feeling was one of overwhelming unity, fun and glorious achievement.

Well done to everyone and thank you to our Macmillan Cycletta riders who attended the Bedfordshire event (and not forgetting those who we saw in Cheshire too), for coming out to support us. Another great event and another fabulous year.