Pedal for The J’s is returning to Chelmsford for the tenth year on Sunday 5th May. This popular ride has been bringing hundreds of cyclists to Admirals Park in the city since 2010. It is an important fundraising event for The J’s Hospice – whose office is in Newland Street in Witham – which supports young adults with life-limiting conditions and their families across Essex, in the comfort of their own homes and in the community.
Back in 2015, Helen Greaves-Park and Wendy Welham met while they were standing in the queue to register. Both were keen to take part but were having second thoughts.
Wendy, aged 59 from Hatfield Peverel explained,
“It was pouring with rain and we were there on our own as we’d both been let down by our friends. I think we would have given up and gone home if we hadn’t started chatting. We’d both planned to do the 15-mile route but, by the time we’d got to the registration desk, we’d decided to cycle 35 miles together.”
Helen, aged 54 from Stebbing added,
“It was my first organised cycle ride and so I was pleased to have someone to talk to along the route. I’d bought a cheap new bike which made a worrying clonking noise but I did make it to the finish and I really enjoyed myself.”
Since then, cycling has become a regular past-time for Wendy, Helen and their friends and they have been on many more organised rides – but Pedal for The J’s is still one of their favourites.
“I’ve been back every year and Helen’s only missed one. It’s the first ride of the season and, except for the first year, the weather has always been good. It has a relaxed, family-friendly atmosphere and the scenery is lovely. The marshals are very helpful too and it’s really well signposted so we’ve never got lost.”
“I look forward to Pedal for The J’s every year. The J’s Hospice is a great charity to support so we always make a donation as it’s important that young people get the care they need. Last year we cycled 50 miles and we’ll be back to do it again this year.
”We always recommend Pedal for The J’s because it’s a great ride through some beautiful countryside, you get a medal at the end and you meet some lovely people!”
In 2018, 770 cyclists signed up and raised around £30,000 which helped to pay for a range of services including tailored nursing and emotional care, advice and social activities.
This year, organisers at The J’s are hoping to see 1,000 bicycles at the start line to celebrate the event’s 10th year. Cyclists have a choice of three circular routes of 15, 35 and 50 miles through the beautiful Essex countryside, all starting and finishing at Admirals Park, Chelmsford. Online registration is open now [https://www.havenshospices.org.uk/pedal].
There will also be cycling fun for all the family from 10am to 2pm with The Bike Club balance bike course, Eddie Spokes and vintage bicycles, glitter and tattoos with Luxurious Glitter, the Virgin Active Static bike challenge, a bar, food and music. Little Wheelers Ltd professional cycling coach will be there too, offering cycling tips and advice from 10am to 12 noon.
Pedal for The J’s is sponsored by Beaulieu – the new district in Chelmsford by Countryside and L&Q – which has kindly agreed to be the headline sponsor for the fifth time.