The Starley Sportive returns for 11th year

Cyclists of all ages and abilities are gearing up for a major charity bike ride that will start and finish in Coventry.

The Starley Sportive, now in its 11th year, will take place on Sunday, September 22, and will once again raise funds for Zoe’s Place, University Hospital Coventry and Warwickshire and Warwickshire and Solihull Blood Bikes.

Thousands of cyclists have taken part in the Sportive over the years; helping to raise in excess of £67,000 for various charities. Organisers hope that sum will pass the £70,000 mark at this year’s event, which is set to attract around 300 riders from across the region.

Participants will be able to pick from one of three different routes – measuring 29, 63 and 87 miles – at the event which encourages people to be fit and active for good causes.

The longest ‘epic’ circuit will take in Dover’s Hill in Gloucestershire which has featured six times in the British Hill Climb Championship.

Each of the rides will start and finish at George House in Canley, headquarters of the Deeley Group which organises the event alongside Coventry Road Club.

Edward Hudson, Business Development Manager at Deeley Group, said: “The Starley Sportive has grown into one of the most popular dates on the cycling calendar in Coventry and Warwickshire.

“We hope hundreds of people will turn out once again to support the event; staying fit and healthy and supporting some incredibly worthy causes at the same time.

“Riders of all abilities will be able to choose from different routes that celebrate some of the stunning scenery that we have on our doorstep. We look forward to seeing everyone on the start line.”

Once they have crossed the finish line, riders will be able to relax and unwind to the sounds of local musicians who will perform from a stage at George House.

Ian Court, General Secretary of Coventry Road Club, said: “It’s about getting people active and out and about for some really good causes.

“It’s also a really nice way of celebrating Coventry and Warwickshire’s amazing history and taking in some scenery too. It’s not just a ride, it’s a social event for cyclists across the Midlands.

“One of the most important things is that riders and everybody involved enjoys the day. I’m sure the live music and party atmosphere at George House will help them do just that.”

The money Zoe’s Place received from last year’s event helped the charity run its Coventry hospice for a full day.

Through direct funding the Ash Green hospice receives only 15 per cent of the money it needs to run each year, leaving it with a £1.2 million shortfall that events like Starley Sportive help the charity to plug.

Leigh Collins, from Zoe’s Place’s fundraising team, said: “We are thrilled to have Starley Sportive’s continued support for Zoe’s Place this year.

“Events like these are crucial for us to provide invaluable services to the families and children we support. A massive ‘thank you’ for making a difference!”

The event takes its name from Coventry pioneers John Kemp Starley and James Starley, whose creations paved the way for huge developments in the cycling industry.

To book a spot and find out more about this year’s Starley Sportive, visit: www.starleysportive.co.uk