A major charity bike sportive will return to Coventry and Warwickshire roads this September – with a lifesaving two-wheeled innovation set to play a leading role.
The Starley Sportive will take its fundraising up a gear when it returns on Sunday, September 24 after partnering with Warwickshire and Solihull Blood Bikes for the 2023 edition.
Blood Bikes will showcase their bikes, which are used by volunteers to transport blood, tissue, and organs to NHS hospitals across Warwickshire, at the start of the race, which begins at Deeley’s George House HQ at 8.30am.
This year’s event features three different routes, with riders choosing from scenic routes of 29 miles, 63 miles and 87 miles through Gloucestershire, Warwickshire, and the Cotswolds.
The 87-mile ‘Epic’ route gives cyclists the chance to test themselves up Gloucestershire’s Dover’s Hill, a climb that has featured six times in the British Hill Climb Championship.
The Starley Sportive is a long-running charity cycle ride established by Coventry Cycling Road Club and Deeley Group to get more people active in the great outdoors and put their cycling skills to the test while supporting major charities in the region.
Alongside Blood Bikes, the 2023 event is also supporting Zoë’s Place Baby Hospice and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire, with all money raised by riders going directly to charity.
Participants and their supporters will also witness a piece of cycling history as they set off, with a Rover Safety Cycle from the 1880s set to be showcased at the start line for the first time.
The innovative safety features of the Rover Safety Cycle helped to fuel cycling’s growing popularity in the 19th century. Its inventor, John Kemp Starley, is considered to be the father of the modern bicycle.
Edward Hudson, Business Development Manager at Deeley Group, said: “We are delighted to once again be supporting the Starley Sportive, which has been celebrating and helping people get active while raising money for a number of years now.
“This year’s event has some great routes for riders to choose from and we are especially excited to welcome a crucial piece of Coventry’s cycling history to celebrate this year’s race. We are looking forward to seeing everyone on the start line.”
Ian Court, General Secretary of Coventry Road Club said: “Coventry has such a rich cycling history so it is wonderful to be able to share a piece of the past with local people, riders and spectators through the Rover Safety Cycle display – as well as supporting such a crucial initiative in Warwickshire Blood Bikes and our other incredible charities.
“This year’s series of routes offers varied flat and hilly terrain, designed for people to experience the joys of pedal power outdoors, and we are looking forward to seeing everyone cycling through the streets.”
To book a spot and find out more about this year’s Starling Sportive, visit: www.starleysportive.co.uk
Photo caption: Riders at the start line of 2022 Starley Sportive