The much-praised Great Weston Ride, which is taking place on Sunday July 20, continues to go from strength to strength as it experiences further significant growth and the fifth edition of this popular west country challenge event looks like setting a number of new records.
First and foremost, the ride is once again on course to sell out well in advance with around 1000 people expected to take part - a record number of entries for the event. And as well as an increase in total entries, the organisers have already seen a record number of previous participants returning for another go and are also expecting to see record numbers of women taking part this year.
Ride organiser, Darren McKimm, explained: "The number of people who've entered this year and have previously taken part is already way up on what we've seen before - almost half the riders who've entered to date have done it before and I guess that speaks volumes in terms of what people think about the ride. We probably couldn't ask for a better recommendation although, of course, it also means that we've got a lot to live up to.
"We're also well on track to see a record number of women rising to the challenge and giving the Great Weston Ride a go - around 220 women took part in 2013 and this year we're hoping to attract 250-300, which would be fantastic."
The Great Weston Ride offers riders a spectacular route that starts on the outskirts of Bristol and then takes them on a fabulous journey through the Mendips and across the Somerset Levels before finishing 56 miles later on the seafront in Weston-super-Mare.
The event itself has plenty to offer experienced cyclists, not least some spectacular views and scenery, but it also attracts lots of new or inexperienced riders and once again a large number of the 2014 Ride participants will be undertaking their first major long-distance cycling challenge.
This has always been a feature of the Great Weston Ride and, as previous participants testify, riders are comprehensively supported and looked-after from start to finish, regardless of their cycling experience or ability.
The ride also has a major partnership with Prostate Cancer UK, the leading male-oriented cancer charity in the UK and records are set to tumble here too.
To date riders have raised well over £70,000 for PCUK (and over £120,000 for charitable causes as a whole) and as support continues to grow, lots of participants are once again expected to don Prostate Cancer UK's colours as they raise awareness and money to combat a disease that kills as many men as breast cancer kills women.
So it looks like being a record-breaking year for the Great Weston Ride on a number of fronts as the event really starts to come of age and, judging by the comments from previous riders, participants can certainly look forward to a fantastic West Country day out both on and off the bike.
Further information, and details on how to enter, can be found at www.greatwestonride.com.