Cyclists Nick Powell, Mark Bennett, Richard Oakes, Andy Grubb and Gerry Rowles.

A group of pedalling pals are saddling up to take part in a scenic charity bike ride from Newport to Chester from 4th–6th May. 

The 150-mile cycling weekend is the 10th annual canal-side bike ride, organised by cyclist and fundraiser Andy Grubb, from Newport. It starts and finishes at his local pub the King’s Head.

As well as being a chance to meet up with fellow amateur cyclists, money raised will support children and families who use the vital services of Shropshire’s Hope House children’s hospice.

The annual cycling weekend covers 150 miles over three days and follows the picturesque Shropshire Union Canal path to Chester.

Riders are asked to contribute £100. This covers the cost of two nights’ bed and breakfast and provision of a support van and buffet at the end.

Andy has been organising bike weekends for 28 years. They have all been between 150 and 160 miles and have raised thousands of pounds for different charities.

Andy and fellow cyclists have been out around the county training for the weekend.

Prepared for all weathers

Andy says: “It’s always a lovely weekend where we enjoy getting on our bikes, but also the camaraderie and food and drink along the way. 

“Fingers crossed it’s dry but, if not, we’re prepared for all weathers.”

Andy thanked support team Elaine and Ian Stanton who ensure that the team are comfortable and safe along the route.

He said: “Any bike failures, punctures, change of clothes, spares, and cases of water are all sorted out so we don’t have to carry any extra.”

Friends Gerry Rowles and Richard Oakes were among riders joining Andy for a practice cycle ride ahead of the weekend.

Gerry, who last took part 10 years ago, is very happy to be back on his bike after recovering from a heart attack.

He says: “It’s been a journey to get back to how I was before and this is something I really want to do. I’ve been out and about practising around Shifnal, Newport and Lilleshall, and am really enjoying being back on the saddle and meeting with friends. If I’m honest, I’m a fair weather cyclist, and like to plan routes around nice cafes.”

Richard knows organiser Andy from weekly five-a-side football meets.

Richard says he wasn’t sure what to expect when he first joined, but enjoyed it so much, he is joining for his sixth time.

He says: “The company’s always different and always really good. I’ve made some great memories over the years.

“Andy is the organiser, it simply wouldn’t happen without him. The logistics, hotels, support etc are all down to him.”

Andy chooses a different charity each year. Hope House and Gobaith children’s hospices charity was nominated by cyclist Nick Powell.

Nick said: “I was keen to support a local charity. I know staff who work at Hope House, near Oswestry, and am aware of the amazing work they do supporting children with life-threatening conditions and their families.”

Sponsor Andy and friends

If you're inspired to sign up for a charity cycle ride, then why now sign up for Hope House Cycle Challenge 2024 on 11th August? 

Join the 2024 Cycle Challenge