Get on your bike for charity event or just enjoy the party atmosphere

Getting set for the Haywards Heath Bike Ride 2017. Pic Steve Robards SR1705264
Getting set for the Haywards Heath Bike Ride 2017. Pic Steve Robards SR1705264

There are just days to go until the arrival of the seventh Greater Haywards Heath Bike Ride.

And there’s still time to get involved - whether you’re checking your tyres ready to ride, or plan on joining the party at the finish line in the Broadway to welcome home the cyclists.

You can still sign up to ride by popping into The Orchards shopping centre on Saturday (April 1) between 10am and 1pm. There you’ll be welcomed not only by the Bike Ride Team but with German beer and ham as well as French cheese and wine, with the compliments of the Twinned Towns of Traunstein and Bondue.

Bike ride organiser Sharon Scott said: “Don’t forget that every rider receives a special commemorative medal for taking part and being quite wonderful!”

The day’s entertainment will be provided by Mid Downs Radio, Big Yellow Taxi, Cylvian Flynn and Tania Rodd.

Organiser Martyn Armitage said: “Tania Rodd is a professional singer and musician who studied musical theatre at Mountview Conservatoire for the Performing Arts in London. She has performed in London, across the UK, Europe and the USA in various concerts and shows and also plays saxophone, clarinet and flute. She has also worked in marketing and events and decided that the time had come to combine the two.

“A very popular and well known local singer with huge talent decked in a giant wig and lots of red spangles later, Cylvian Flynn is simply the best Tina Turner we’ve ever seen!

“Big Yellow Taxi offer a wide variety of music, Jigs and Reels, a bit of Irish, lots of strong rock numbers, ballads, instrumentals combined with a blend of vocal harmonies, we deliver a varied style of acoustic folk-rock.”

The bike ride prides itself on being an event for the whole community. Last year’s event raised more than £14,000 for the Maternity Unit at the Princess Royal Hospital.

This year’s event will be supporting three local charities: Sussex Oakleaf, the local Autism Society and the new Haywards Heath centre being built for Age UK West Sussex.

Bike ride organiser Ruth de Mierre said: “All three look after local people and we’re proud to be helping their incredible work - if only in some small way.

“We have been so incredibly lucky to have such amazing sponsors, some of whom have supported us from the beginning of our mad plans all those years ago. So a very big thank you to The Orchards Shopping Centre, 1st Central, Masters & Son of Lindfield; and the Collinson Group; not only do they support us but they field big teams of riders as well as helpers on the day. They have been joined this year by Fairfax Properties, Manselll McTaggart, Leaders, Mike Oliver Associates and Stuart & Partners.

“However, our Bike Ride just wouldn’t happen without the enormous amount of hard work and commitment by our volunteers and, in particular, Sharon Scott together with Steve Trice and his team at Haywards Heath Town Council, so a very special vote of thanks to all who give up their time and energy to make this such a special annual event for all of us!”

l The Middy is proud to be a media partner got the Greater Haywards Heath Bike Ride 2017.

l Mid Downs Radio will be there from the beginning to keep everyone in good spirits and give out any special announcements as well as welcoming riders from Haywards Heath’s twinned towns of Bondues and Traunstein. The Broadway will be decked in banners of the three national flags.

l The band Big Yellow Taxi play from 11am–12noon to welcome home the first of the ‘fast’ riders., and again at 1-2pm.

l Tania Rodd & Cylvian Flynn sing to entertain the crowds with classics old and new from 12noon – 1pm and again at 2-3pm.