The trip will follow the route of the 12 Queen Eleanor crosses erected by King Edward I to commemorate his Queen when she died in 1290.
Riders will visit Lincoln Cathedral, Grantham, Stamford, Fotheringhay, Geddington, Northampton, Stony Stratford, Woburn, Dunstable, St Albans, Waltham Abbey, Cheapside and Charing Cross, with a final visit to Queen Eleanor’s tomb in Westminster Abbey. When Queen Eleanor died, aged 48, in Harby near Lincoln, the King ordered that a cross be created at every overnight stop during the ceremonial procession bringing her body back to London. Three of the original crosses remain, over half of the total twelve being destroyed by Parliament after the English Civil War.
Keith Busfield who is one of the team of organisers this year, said: “It is a really nice ride and, although it sounds like a long way, each day is quite gentle – there’s a fast, medium and slow group. You cycle through some great countryside and try to keep off the main roads. Last year, the best day was cycling into London and going into Westminster Abbey with all our cycling gear. We then popped along to No 10 Downing Street for a team photo!”
This year’s Queen Eleanor Cycle Ride will run from Thursday, August 23, to Sunday, August 26.
Money is raised through sponsorship, with funds supporting the work of The Connection at St Martin’s in Trafalgar Square, London, which helps homeless people in Central London. Cyclists also pay a small registration which covers all accommodation and food with a discounted fee for early bookings.
Last year’s event raised almost £15,000.
Mr Busfield said: “I can’t think of anything better in terms of a charity cycle ride. Wonderful countryside, an insight in to our history, a really friendly group of cyclists and a great cause.”
There are 30 places on the ride, with 10 having been taken so far.
Anybody who would like to take part can register by visiting www.queeneleanorcycleride.org.uk
or visit our new Facebook page.
Or email queeneleanorcycle@gmail.com