Cyclists are encouraged to get on their bikes and support north-east charities that have gone above and beyond for those in need during the pandemic.
After a two-year break, Ride the North (RtN) will make a return in summer giving people the chance to enjoy the region’s best scenery while raising vital funds for a good cause.
However, founder Neil Innes has seen a “a bit of a disappointing” decrease in charity uptake and is appealing to riders to join in support of an organisation of their choice.
While this year’s event is expected to be the biggest in Ride the North’s 11-year history, he admitted sales of charity tickets have dropped by more than 50% compared to previous years.
Mr Innes said: “I’m really pleased that we’ve made it through the pandemic and I know a lot of people are looking forward to it, but in terms of charity places it is a little disappointing at the minute.
“The event has generated a lot of charity good will and support over the years – and I do have faith that will come back – but it’s not quite back yet.
“Sales among the general public are pretty healthy, but uptake from charity is probably the slowest I’ve ever seen.
“I can’t be the only event that has the same issue and I can see that loads of the charities that I work with must be struggling.”
Ride the North 2022 to be the best event held so far
Ride the North started in 2011 as a small cycling event around the north-east with 37 riders which has now grown to attract up to 1,000 annually.
Since its launch, it has raised more than £1.6million for local charities.
And this year, Mr Innes is hoping the event will grow better and bigger with more than 1,200 people already signed up to jump on their bikes – the first time to surpass 1,000 riders.
He added: “When the pandemic started I said to myself ‘Take it on the chin and try come back stronger in 2021’. I couldn’t do that then, but the 2022 one will be the biggest event I’ve run in terms of amount of people.
“The charities I work with are dealing with illnesses that can affect us all, they are all working on the ground offering support to people suffering from incredible support every day and they still need your help.”
RTN 2022 will be held on August 27. It will start and finish in Elgin with two routes of 100 miles and 57 miles.
People can register for the day event on Ride the North website, where they can find information and contact details for the charities involved.