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Fresh cycling and walking routes as Ride for Life moves to new base after 22 years

PUBLISHED: 10:57 15 May 2015 | UPDATED: 10:57 15 May 2015

The EACH Ride For Life at Santon Downham 2014.
Riders from Brandon and Mildenhall

The EACH Ride For Life at Santon Downham 2014. Riders from Brandon and Mildenhall

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2013

A pedal-powered fundraising event that has been raising money for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) for more than 20 years is hoping its new home will make it better than ever.

The Ride for Life has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds in its 22-year history, with cyclists returning to its Santon Downham home year on year to take part.

But the event waves goodbye to the forest site this year, moving a few miles down the road to Mayday Field on the B1106 near Elveden for the event on June 14.

And organisers say the new site will offer fresh cycle and walk routes, an easily accessible location, and avoid traffic and disruption to local residents.

Dedicated volunteer David Baker, from Hethersett, has been involved with Ride for Life for more than 20 years and said the new site should make a big difference.

“The village of Santon Downham has served the event well for the past 20 years, but the event took over both of the village greens to saturation point and there was no room for expansion.

“With this year being the launch of the nook appeal, we wanted to celebrate with a new location and new routes for everyone to enjoy.

“Mayday Field hosts the mountain bike race series successfully, so after a consultation between the EACH fundraising team and the event committee, a site meeting and recce was arranged which proved to be favourable.

“The Forestry Commission were approached and raised no objections, so we got on with planning the event,” he said.

Mr Baker said planning the new routes and facilities had been a challenge, but the event’s “fantastic” volunteers had made it happen.

Participants can take part in a three, six or 12-mile forest walk, five, 10 or 25-mile off-road cycle rides and 16 or 38-mile on-road cycle rides.

The five-mile off-road cycle ride and the 12-mile walk will raise funds for the nook appeal, while funds raised from other routes will support the charity’s Quidenham hospice and current services in Norfolk.

As well as the cycling and walking routes, there will be a Norwich Puppet Theatre workshop, a face painter, balloon modeller, DJ and tombola and refreshments.

Anna Goode, EACH nook appeal coordinator, said: “The event will raise funds for the nook appeal to build a new children’s hospice and will also raise funds to support our current services in Norfolk and this is a vital message we need to get across to our supporters that we need to keep our current services going as well as raising funds for our exciting new project.

“Whether you’re a dedicated cyclist or rambler, or want to try something new, please sign up for a great day out with a charitable cause at its heart.”

To sign up to Ride for Life on Sunday, June 14, visit www.each.org.uk or call the Norfolk fundraising office on 01953 666767.

In the weeks and months ahead, the EDP and the Norwich Evening News will be running weekly features and regular supplements as part of our Summer of Cycling series.The idea behind the project is to celebrate East Anglia’s growing cycling culture.

If you have a cycling story, let us know by emailing kate.scotter@archant.co.uk

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