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Thursday, 18 September 2014

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Police chief will be a force to be reckoned with in rivers ride

Cumbria's chief constable will take part in this year’s Jennings Rivers Ride cycling event through West Cumbria.

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READY TO RIDE: The 2012 Jennings River Ride is launched at Jennings Brewery, Cockermouth, from left: Andy Beeforth, of Cumbria Community Foundation, Gary McKeating, of Nuclear Management Partners, Cheryl Frost, of Rather Be Cycling in Keswick, Matthew Wilson, M-Sport Ford rally driver, Lewis Benson, of the Cumberland Building Society, Stuart Hyde, Cumbria’s chief constable, and Gaynor Green, of Jennings

Stuart Hyde will practise for the 85-mile route by cycling up Mount Ventoux in France in August.

The launch of the Jennings Rivers Ride took place on Monday at Jennings Brewery in Cockermouth.

It is hoped that the event will raise thousands of pounds for the Dovenby-based Cumbria Community Foundation.

The inaugural event last year raised £10,000.

It follows routes alongside rivers affected by the 2009 floods and crosses many of the bridges that were damaged.

It will take place on September 16, starting and finishing at Fitz Park in Keswick, and will be split into three routes for cyclists of all abilities.

The first route, costing £16, will be an 11-mile family challenge through the northern Lakes.

The second, at £30, will be a 40-mile middle distance ride towards Cockermouth, crossing Ouse Bridge at Bassenthwaite and returning via Lorton Bridge before a climb over Whinlatter Pass.

The third route, called the Big Day Out and costing £30, will head to the coast at Workington via Cockermouth. The riders will then return to Keswick via Honister, Newlands and Whinlatter Pass, with riders covering more than 85 miles.

All the routes will be sign-posted, marshalled and supported with feeding stations.

M-Sport Ford rally driver Matthew Wilson, a patron of the event and an accomplished cyclist, said: “It is a great honour even though I will miss it again this year because it clashes with my driving.

“It was a massive success last year and it looks like it will be bigger this time.

“It is something the whole family can do and the three routes mean even beginners can do it.

“A lot of local people appreciate what happened when the floods hit in Cockermouth and Workington so the ride has a strong appeal.”

Andy Beeforth, director of Cumbria Community Foundation, said: “We had a fantastic turnout last year and already we are hearing that a lot of those people are going to do it this year.

“On the long route cyclists will get to see some gorgeous views that you would not normally see. It is not a race and people can just have a nice day out, and hopefully it will bring the community together.”

Gary McKeating, of Nuclear Management Partners, raised £2,200 last year and has agreed to ride again this year.

He said: “I want to try to beat my time of nine-and-a-half hours.

“It is for a good cause, raising money for the foundation who will distribute the money to where it is needed and to some deserving causes.”

Entries are limited to 1,500. For more information or to enter the event call 01900 825760.

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