Starley Sportive gears up for record breaking year

The popular Starley Sportive charity cycle ride is set to return to the Coventry and Warwickshire roads in 2020.

It will give riders a chance to get their fitness wheels turning in the region’s first mass-participation cycling event of the year.

More than £13,000 was raised by participants in the last event and organisers are hoping to take the total funds raised in the event’s history beyond £40,000 next year, by attracting an even bigger turnout.

Around 750 riders are expected to take part next year on Sunday, February 16, again raising money for a range of local and national charities.

The event organised by Coventry Road Club, the Deeley Group, and Coventry City Council aims to promote wellbeing and healthier lifestyles. Whilst enhancing the city’s sporting profile, continuing the legacy of the city’s year as European City of Sport.

Riders will set off from the Deeley Group head office on Herald Avenue and have the choice of tackling three distances this year – a 28.6 mile route, a 63.2 mile long-distance ride, or the epic 86.5 mile challenge – that proved so popular in the last event.

For the next Starley Sportive, Coventry’s Zoe’s Place Children Hospice & Warwickshire’s Young People First are the two main charities being supported by funds raised, with both supporting the event with volunteers.

Participants are also being encouraged to raise money for any causes close to their heart, while Zoe’s Place, Young People First, Myton Hospice and University Hospital Coventry & Warwickshire Charity have been offered a number of free entries to anyone who registers via them for the event.

The sportive celebrates the contributions of inventors James and John Kemp Starley to the world of bicycles.

James Starley is known as the father of the bicycle industry, while his nephew John Kemp Starley is widely regarded as the inventor of the modern bicycle – both worked and lived in Coventry.

Edward Hudson, Business Development Manager at the Deeley Group, said: “We are hoping that the incredible effort that we saw last time around can spur more people on to come along, test themselves, and ultimately raise money for some important causes.

“The support we had for the last event helped us to break the event’s fundraising record and I’m sure we can achieve that once again given the level of positive feedback we received.

“It’s important for us at Deeley to use our place in the Coventry and Warwickshire community to encourage healthier lifestyles, and carry on the legacy of the European City of Sport status.”

Ian Court, Racing Secretary at Coventry Road Club, was named Volunteer of the Year at the Birmingham, Coventry and Warwickshire Sports Awards for his role in the organisation of the Starley Sportive.

Ian added: “We can’t wait to see all the smiles again, it’s brilliant to see people joining in and having fun on their bikes.

“The event is about inclusion and getting people together for a great time. We want people to feel like they can join in and have fun cycling whatever their cycling goals are”

Places for the three distances can be booked online at www.starleysportive.co.uk