Islanders Get On Their Bikes For ‘Tour de Scilly’

tour de scilly bike race 2013Cyclists took to the roads of St Mary’s yesterday for the ‘Tour de Scilly’ Cancer Research UK fundraiser.

106 riders, 12 more than last year’s inaugural event, set off from the Strand for circuits of the island just after 10.30am in a chorus of bike bells.

Pete Hicks was the fastest rider in the 100km category and he completed the 13 circuits of the island in just under four hours.

The only woman entrant in that class, Tess Lloyd, finished in around 4 hours 30 minutes and crossed the line together with the islands’ new police officer, Mat Crowe.

Ruth Nichols finished the 10km in in 22 minutes while Steve Watt did 50km in just under two hours.

One entrant, Rob Carrier, started the 100km cycle ride at 7am, because he wanted to get six laps in before he went on to ride another 25 km with his young son, Jamie. Rob then cycled another four circuits to complete his 100km challenge.

Neil Middleton and Dee Williams set out on a tandem and completed the 50km circuit together in 3 hours and 40 minutes.

Although the event was not promoted as a race, Jim Johnson says they may bring in electronic timers as many cyclists are interested in beating their personal bests.

Karen Johnson says they’d also like ideas for improving the event in 2014

Fancy dress played a bigger part this year. Staff from the Council’s Register Office team wore wedding clothes. Alison Gardner said they wanted to do something fun, adding that they’d probably take a ‘refreshment stop’ at the Old Town inn.

‘G’ Torrance bought a bike especially for the event and has been training with rides of up to 40km a couple of times a week.

He says the event has helped him find a new hobby and a new level of fitness, although he was concerned that a recent foot injury would hamper him.

The event was devised by the Johnson family and Karen says her sons and husband Jim were all determined to get the best results.

Karen is delighted by the support and says it’s got potential to grow as cycling is becoming more popular each year, helped by Britain’s success in the Olympics and the growth of ‘Cycle to Work’ schemes.

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