The Mix96 Tour de Vale Charity Bike Ride Event attracted 1409 cyclists for WheelPower to help transform the lives of disabled people through sport.
‘Without WheelPower, the world would be strange place’, commented Kris Aves, pictured, the Westminster Bridge attack victim and WheelPower beneficiary at the Mix96 Tour de Vale event, Buckinghamshire’s biggest charity bike ride in aid of the wheelchair sports charity.
1409 people took part in this year’s 17th Mix96 Tour de Vale on 9 June 2019 to enjoy three scenic cycle routes across Buckinghamshire, which all started and ended at Stoke Mandeville Stadium.
The 25km route, mainly aimed at families, took cyclists through the villages of Bishopstone, Ford, and Marsh. The 60km route went through Waddesdon, Quainton, Edgcott, Grendon Underwood, Upper Wichendon and Stone. Finally, the slightly hillier 100km route for cycle enthusiasts took participants through Ludgershall, Boarstall, Stanton St John, Brill, and Stone.
The popular charity event hopes to raise over £50,000 for WheelPower who use the funds raised to transform the lives of disabled people across the nation by providing sporting opportunities and helping them to lead active lives.
Jo Hall, Event Organiser comments on how it all went: ‘It was a fantastic day and we are hugely grateful to everyone who took part. The event would not be possible without their support and that of our incredible volunteers, sponsors and supporters. We hope that everyone enjoyed the bike ride and will continue to support the charity in the future’.
Kris Aves, who kindly attended the event to award medals to those who had completed their cycle routes, commented: ‘Without things like the Mix96 Tour de Vale Charity Bike Ride, WheelPower wouldn’t work. This main event supports the introduction of people into sport, whether it be at the Inter Spinal Unit Games, sports sessions during their hospital rehab, or at sports camps.’
Chief Executive of WheelPower, Martin McElhatton comments ‘The Mix96 Tour de Vale Charity Bike Ride is WheelPower’s biggest fundraising event and we are delighted that it has such appeal to our local community in Buckinghamshire. The vital funds it raises help us to support people like Kris who have had life-changing injuries. By providing access to sport and physical activity WheelPower help people to overcome their injuries and see a positive future. I am hugely proud of everyone involved in staging another wonderful event this year.’
A number of participants took part using handcycles, demonstrating the inclusive nature of this event. Dan Metcalfe, who has experienced 2 traumatic car crashes in 4 years commented: ‘I’ve just finished the 100km (62 miles) in my handcycle, and am so glad that the medal has a handcycle engraved onto it, amazing! Without WheelPower, I’d have never got back into sport after my first accident. It’s what I live for, so thank you so much for this opportunity!’
BBC Arts Editor, Will Gompertz, who kindly set off the riders at the start line, commented: ‘The Mix96 Tour de Vale Charity Bike Ride 2019 is a wonderful celebration of optimism, it lifts the curtain on summer, a quintessentially British event! Thank you to all who are raising funds and sponsorship for WheelPower – a thoroughly worthwhile Charity cause who support a great deal of people, both disabled and non-disabled here at Stoke Mandeville Stadium, they help all, and by all, I mean absolutely everyone in some way.’
Ben Moseby, presenter at Buckinghamshire’s local radio station, Mix96 FM, who were cheering on the participants all day, commented: ‘’What amazes me most about the Mix96 Tour de Vale is that it is always popular – year on year it continues to pull out the stops, it’s such a wonderful family event and very accessible to all.’
One participant on the 25km route commented: ‘We’ve brought the children along to take part. WheelPower is an amazing cause, and the Mix96 Tour de Vale is a wonderful chance to get active and give people who wouldn’t normally get an opportunity to get out like this, the chance to meet others and improve their lives positively. The whole event helps us, and it helps them, so it’s a win-win!’
The next sponsored Mix96 Tour de Vale Charity Bike Ride is set for Sunday 7 June 2020. Entries are open from February next year (2020).