Bikes rule the road for Rock to Rocque

Dad Edward Mason-Smith with children Poppy, Delilah, both 5, and Leo, 4. (Picture by Helen Bowditch, 29604378)
Dad Edward Mason-Smith with children Poppy, Delilah, both 5, and Leo, 4. (Picture by Helen Bowditch, 29604378)

For once in Guernsey it seemed like there were more bicycles on the road than cars, with lots of people riding their hearts out to complete the full 23.6-mile circuit.

The event was also the final ride for the 30/30 cycle challenge participants, and included everything from sleek road bikes to rugged mountain models.

Edward Mason-Smith had three young passengers on his cargo bike, and they were planning to complete the whole route.

‘We do have a little bit of electric assistance, otherwise it might be quite heavy, but we’ll probably be tired by the end.

‘We’re going to meet a couple of people and stop for an ice-cream on the way.’

Jonathan Wallhead, 11, had been doing the 7/7 challenge at school and had eaten extra cereal that morning to keep his stamina up so that he could ride the whole route.

‘I’ve been practising by cycling all around Beechwood and it’s really hard because it’s grass and I’ve got a mountain bike.

‘We’re raising money for Les Bourgs because they help people who are sick.

‘It’s a charity that doesn’t get any money from anywhere else.’

Mum Lindsay O’Mahoney was getting ready to circumvent the island, propelled only by leg and lung power.

‘I’ve never cycled this far before. I’m a bit nervous, my son inspired me to come along because he’s been practising at school all week’

Another mum, Charlotte Dunsterville, summed up the appeal of the event.

‘It’s a really nice fun day out for the kids and it’s raising money for a good cause, so all in all it’s brilliant, and it looks like we’ve got good weather for it as well.’

Trish De Carteret, chair of the Friends of the Hospice, was also chief marshaller at the starting line at the top of Les Val des Terres.

She thanked the Skipton Community Fund and all the cyclists for their support.

‘We’re delighted, the weather has finally turned in our favour after 30 days of doing the 30/30 in the rain, wind and cold.

‘And we’ve got a fabulous turnout. We had over 100 register online and I think we probably have another 300 here, and some will start at Rocquaine and some will start at Grandes Rocques as well.

‘This event is so important, the hospice is 30 this year, last year was a nightmare for every charity, not just for us, and over £1.2m. is needed every year to keep the hospice running, so today will make a huge difference.’

Guernsey Press