Sodbury Sportive succeeds despite the weather
ORGANISERS of this year's Sodbury Sportive say it was a stunning success, despite weather which disrupted much of the country.
The cycle race raises money for charity All Chipping In and attracts hundreds of riders every year.
Charity head Bill Bennett said the poor weather on the weekend of August 10-11 threatened to derail the event.
He said: “It was a very close-run thing.
“We have to erect a number of marquees and temporary structures on the Chipping Sodbury Ridings to accommodate the hundreds of riders and their families, the food, the entertainment, and the many visiting organisations but on Saturday the winds defeated us and we had to take down everything we’d already put up – it would have all blown away.”
But an army of volunteers worked through the early hours of the Sunday morning, under artificial light, to get the event ready in time.
Bill said: “As soon as the wind dropped sufficiently, we were working under lights to prepare and dawn was a very welcome sight. The last details came together just before 7am, when the first competitors started to arrive.”
Just an hour later hundreds of riders set off along the brand-new routes taking them through some of the region's most beautiful countryside.
It takes an army of volunteers to pull the Sportive together and Bill said their help was vital in making sure this year’s Sportive ran so well.
He said: “With literally hundreds of miles of routes to mark out and so many entrants to look after and feed, the teams that make it all happen are very important to me. That’s what All Chipping In is about”.
Bill said the help provided by Chipping Sodbury Rotary Club and the Inner Wheel, as well as many other volunteers and helpers, had been invaluable.
He said: “Every detail has to be good, from the car parking to the pasty cooking, and I’m so proud of the people who give their time and effort to support our good causes”.
Every penny raised by the Sportive goes to charity and even the spare food is donated to the local foodbank, and this year's event is expected to have raised thousands of pounds once everything has been counted up.
Bill said: “I know some riders got wet this year but the event went ahead and was one of the best ever – just not quite as good as what we’ve already started to plan for 2020!"
For more details on the Sportive visit the website.
Picture of riders at the start of the Sodbury Sportive courtesy of Rich McD Photography