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Cyclists hit the road for Reg Harris
THE legacy of a world champion racing cyclist was celebrated by more than 200 people who turned out for a charity ride in his memory.
Marilyn Hughes, the daughter of Bury-born Reg Harris who died in 1992, honoured her father with the Reg Harris Cyclosportive – a non-competitive ride which saw 217 cyclists participate.
A family affair, the event was organised by Mrs Hughes and her husband David, son Richard and daughter Amanda Taylor with support from Tottington and Bury West Rotary Club.
Mrs Hughes, of Gisburn Road, Lowercroft said: “If my dad was looking down I think he would have been very proud and would have approved.
“We have had fabulous feedback and have been blown away by the response — it looks like we are going to have to do this all over again! We have some improvements in mind and one or two surprises to be unveiled next year.”
Riders, including six tandems from Bury Tandem Club for the Visually Impaired, took to one of two routes Reg would have ridden — a challenging 50-mile and easier 26-mile circuit.
Sponsorship figures for the charity event are still being totted up with proceeds set to go to Bury Tandem Club for the Visually Impaired, Bury Cancer Support Centre and Bury Hospice.
Mrs Hughes said the “unbelievable” cycle had completely exceeded expectations and was successful because of its home-grown appeal, adding: “The Cyclosportive had a lovely community feel.
“Normally it is big companies which run events like this and make a profit but everyone banded together. I have been to other Cyclosportives but this one felt different and that was what we wanted — you could tell riders were so excited and so happy.” She thanked Manchester guest chef Philip Deaville for preparing a meal for attendees as well as friends, family, neighbours and rotary club members and their wives who made homemade sweet treats for a cake table.
She also praised Bury Cancer Support Centre volunteers who offered massage to cyclists, independent volunteer Jean Hamilton, from Oldham, who gave sports massage on behalf of the tandem club and the Sillett family for their generous donation.
Mrs Hughes added: “Riders praised the super organisation, excellent marshals, fabulous route and buffet table ‘to die for’! People said it was definitely one to add to the calendar and the best sportive they have ever attended.”
Reg triumphed as a world champion five times between 1947 and 1954, also breaking numerous world records and winning two silver medals at the London Olympics in 1948.
A statue and memorial to his achievements can be found at the Manchester Veoldrome.
For more information go to regharrissportive.co.uk, follow @RegSportive on Twitter or search Reg Harris Cyclosportive on Facebook.
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