More than 100 cyclists embarked on one of three cycle rides last month – The Devil in the Downs, The Little Devil and The Imp. The routes were painstakingly mapped out in the Sussex countryside and included routes up to 125km in length and climbs totalling 1,500 metres. The routes took the cyclists past picturesque landscapes, including the setting for the TV detective series Jonathan Creek and the Grade II listed Balcombe Viaduct, created from 11 million bricks.
Cyclists from all over the country took part, including some from further afield including Jamie Smith from Paderborn, Germany.
Other riders included Anthony Alston, a member of 34 Nomads Cycling Club, who made a donation to Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice on the day, on behalf of the long-running Southern Counties Cycling Union, as their members were unable to attend.
Representing the hospice was Chris Merryfield-Day, father of Andrew who lost his battle with cancer at Chestnut Tree House in July last year. He was joined by his brother Jon and the two rode the Devil in the Downs route.
Jackie, Andrew’s mum, said: “In the last six months of Andrew’s life, and the year since, Chestnut Tree House has provided an invaluable care service that has supported us and our daughter Katie. This charity is truly worth its weight in gold and it is amazing that it is there for families like us and many more.”
The Merryfield-Day family have taken part in many fund-raising activities for Chestnut Tree House and hope to be able to do more in the future.
Chris said: “My brother and I are by no means athletes by Olympic standards, but we enjoy exercising and challenging ourselves wherever possible. We also feel that by pushing ourselves through various challenges, we are giving something back to Chestnut Tree House for the priceless support and care that they have given to my whole family. We will be ever thankful for that.”
The organiser of the cycle rides, Adrian Palmer, was pleased with the number of cyclists taking part and hoped to raise in excess of £500 for Chestnut Tree House.