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On Yer Bike – Visiter Column – Article 79 – Bens Ride

A slice of ‘On Yer Bike’ to savour – Bens Ride

By Ian Bailey

After a week of fascinating cycling action at the Olympics congratulations go the GB team who has won an incredible 10 medals in the games. This week we are turning our attention to a week last


Southport riders preparing to head off.

Sunday and the Ben Gautrey Foundation’s challenging cycle ride.

Starting out from Meols Hall in Churchtown two idyllic routes of 30km or 50km distance had been planned by David Williams from Kuota Cycles; 20 miles and 35 miles in old money for those that are unfamiliar with our European measurements. Both routes followed Ben’s training routes that meander across the flat lands of West Lancashire via Crossens and Banks. They cross over the busy A565 at a safe point near Mere Brow then the routes continue on along route 91 Green La and into Bretherton. Further on the route split allow a shorter return for the 30km riders whereas the 50 km riders are to experience the infamous Stoney Lane climb before they made their return to Churchtown.

I arrived at Meols Hall just before 8am and had the opportunity to speak to one or two of the riders that were about to embark on the ride:

Carl Burns was riding the event for the first time having only started cycling 3 years ago and was riding the 50km ride and getting up Stoney Lane was his only worry in completing the ride!


Southport youth yiders trying the motorcycles for size.

Alan Abram and Justin Waddington felt confident in completing the 50km route although Justin had to badger Alan to do it both seemed confident and were looking forward to trying the great route. If all goes well they were thinking of using the route for training as they got fitter.

Kevin Downey had entered the 50km for the first time this year. He normally rides solo but was looking forward to riding with a group on the day.

Alison & Claudio Equizi had rushed back from completing the end to end challenge raising money for the Line Twin Network a part of the Project Endeavour to take part in this ‘BGF’ ride. They

settled for the 30km route as they hadn’t recovered after their 900 miles in 12 days as yet! Phew!

Good friends Kevin McCormack, David Blundell and Keith Naylor decided a 30km ride would be just the ticket to help with raising funds for the foundation and enjoying the day.

Ride buddies Jimmy Hayes and Josh Davenport were hoping to complete the 50km ride in good time with Josh riding a vintage Keith Coppell cycle against a more modern cycle that belonged to


Ken Beck and Peter Scott leading the riders out.


Before long all the riders had all left the beautiful surroundings of Meols Hall, all 225 of them (25 being Ben’s number). It wasn’t long before they started to return but in that half hour or so before they returned I had chance to reflect. I would have loved to have ridden but for my long time trial the day before and my need to recover I thought it wise not to. Next year I will though and I hope you will come along and ride this great route in support of the Ben Gautrey Foundation especially as it helps to ensure that young riders are supported and have opportunities to become great sporting successes like Ben. Although Ben isn’t with us now his legacy lives on through his foundation that helps young local sporting talent achieve so that they may one day in the future emulate last week’s Olympic successes.

If you would like to pledge or to find out more about the foundation then please visit the website:

Or if you wish to donate then:

Heads Up

Coming up this weekend is the Ride of the Roses charity ride that starts in Banks. You can choose from a 50 or 75 or 100 miler that takes in some beautiful lanes towards the Trough of Boland and beyond. For more details and how to register use the link below:

The Sefton & District Classic Bicycle Group will be meeting on 24th August 2016 11am at the Hightown Pub in Hightown for a retro cycling attire photo shoot, a 10 or 20 mile ride and refreshments. All Welcome

Email Melvyn Blake on if more details are needed


Keep peddlin’

If you have any further comments or stories then please drop me Ian a line at