Local Cyclists to Pedal 200 Miles to Support the Homeless
AUGUST BANK HOLIDAY WEEKEND
Queen Eleanor Cycle Ride
200 miles – August Bank Holiday weekend 27-30 August
As the wind gets up this week, a group of cyclists are gearing up for an epic bike ride this
summer. Last year’s fundraiser was hampered by a number of challenges presented by
COVID – social distancing, tiers, not being able to stay away overnight and some people
sadly being hit by the virus. And yet over £22,000 was raised to help the long-term homeless
into safe accommodation and a more settled and secure life.
Join the 2021 Queen Eleanor Cycle Ride and raise funds to support the work of The
Connection at St Martin-in-the-Fields with homeless and vulnerable people in central
London. The Friends of the Connection at St Martin’s urgently needs funds to help more
people make a fresh start away from the streets. The Connection is based a few yards from
the site of one of the original Queen Eleanor crosses in Trafalgar Square.
The weather’s not great at the moment for cycling, and even worse for those people
sleeping rough. The Connection’s outreach team is currently out on the streets every day,
inviting people into the day centre and referring them to emergency accommodation. The
capacity of their day centre has been increased to make sure even more people can get in
the warm, shower, do their laundry and receive a hot meal – all in a COVID-secure manner.
Spare beds at The Bridge, their hotel accommodation project, are also available for those
currently rough sleeping.
There’s a choice of options designed to reflect your cycling ability and also reflect the
COVID guidelines that may be in place at the time.
THE TRADITIONAL ROUTE 200 miles cycling from Harby near Lincoln, where Queen Eleanor
died in 1290, and following the route of the Queen Eleanor Crosses to Charing Cross in
London. The ride starts on Friday morning and ends at Westminster Abbey on Monday,
followed by a celebration. Overnight stops are in Grantham, Geddington and Dunstable. Day
cyclists are also welcome.
All meals and lots of cake provided, plus transport for luggage and back up, with
accommodation in church and village halls. 30 places are available. Regular cyclists aged 18
or over are welcome; younger cyclists can take part if accompanied by a responsible adult.
You will cycle in small groups chosen according to speed, led by a cyclist who is familiar with
the route. These arrangements may be reviewed in the light of the latest COVID situation.
CYCLE 200 MILES CLOSE TO HOME The challenges of 2020 meant that last year people
stayed at home but still committed to cycling 200 miles in aid of those on the street. This
option is again available this year. Even if you can’t join the Group Ride, you can still take
part and help support the Connection’s work.
At home you can set your own cycling goal Last year one fundraiser did 200 miles in a day,
whilst two young boys, aged 6 and 8, completed 200 miles in their summer holidays.
Lisa Wilkinson from Geddington has welcomed the cyclists each year as they visited the
Queen Eleanor Cross in the village. She says: “The lockdown has been difficult for so many
of us. The bike ride brings people together at a time when we’ve all experienced the
isolation and loneliness of the past year. In raising money for the homeless, it helps those
most in need – people who don’t have a home that’s warm and safe for the night, let alone
a lock on the door.”
Ian Hooper is joining the ride for the first time this year. “I’ve painted the cross in
Geddington more times than I can remember. I’m really looking forward to learning about
each of the 12 Queen Eleanor crosses. What’s more, cycling 200 miles will give me a real
challenge as well as helping to support those people sleeping rough in Central London.”
Leah Perry from Northampton joined the ride for a day last year with her son Alec: “I have a
bed for the night. I have a roof over my head. A lock on the door. A hot shower after a hard
day’s cycling. Then there’s food on the table each day. I feel so lucky!! That’s why I’m raising
money to assist the homeless.”
FUNDRAISING We do not set a minimum sponsorship target, but over £20,000 was raised
last year with an average of more than £500 per cyclist.
REGISTRATION FEE The entry fee for the full ride is £80 before 30 June, and £95 thereafter.
The fee for taking part locally is £20. Day fee options for the Group ride are also available.
To register, go to: www.friendsoftheconnection.org.uk/events or contact Charles Woodd at
firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07962 213494. For more information, visit
www.queeneleanorcycleride.org or find us on Facebook.