Pedalling for pounds

Big-hearted teams from LLWR proved the wheel deal in the local community when they raised a sweat for charity – with the help of neighbours from Drigg & Carleton Parish Council. Some 34 riders rode out under LLWR colours, including Managing Director Dennis Thompson and local Parish Councillors John Jennings, Andy Pratt, Rob Little and Gary Creaser. 

They joined well over 1,000 fellow cyclists on the Jennings Rivers Ride, a charity bike event to raise funds for Cumbria Community Foundation. Dennis, who led the LLWR teams participating in the 38-mile Community Circuit said: “It was a challenging event but so rewarding, and I also managed to take in some of the beautiful Cumbrian countryside along the route. “It was a privilege to have our neighbours join us and know that our combined effort will increase the level of funding for this worthy cause.”

Riders chose to tackle one of four distances, from 10 to 75 miles, with an LLWR team entry in each of the categories.  Billy Tubman, maintenance team manager at the LLWR site, opted for the Foundation Flier, a 55-mile trek. Billy, who trained for a couple of months ahead of the event, was happy to raise funds for local causes. He also believes the Ride proved good for team spirit, the gruelling event ending with a well-deserved communal meal.“Everyone had their LLWR shirts on and looked quite smart,” Billy said. “We all looked like cyclists, even if we weren’t.”

The cycle marathon, starting and finishing in Keswick, passed through some of the most picturesque scenery the Lake District has to offer. And while the sum raised from sponsorship has not yet been finalised, local charities are set to receive a major boost thanks in part to the spirit of LLWR volunteers. “It was a good day and seemed to be enjoyed by everybody,” said John Jennings, Chairman of Drigg & Carleton Parish Council who cycled the Community Circuit. “It was a challenge but we got around. “I think if it had been flat we could have done another 38 miles, but the hills were a killer. “If I got some training in and did it again, it would be nice not to be slumped over the handlebars thinking I was going to die.”

LLWR’s Parent Body Organisation contributed over £1,000 in entry fees and LLWR has pledged to make an additional donation, reflecting the huge effort of staff. The fund-raiser is called the Rivers Ride because sections of each route follow the affected river courses and criss-cross many of the bridges that were either destroyed and replaced, or badly damaged, during catastrophic floods in 2009.