John Perks, who is 88 years old and lives in Sutton Coldfield is a former World Championship cyclist, Falcon professional and National Junior Road Coach, and is urging cyclists of all abilities to sign up to the seventh CC GIRO Midland Monster Cycling Sportive in aid of the County Air Ambulance Trust’s HELP Appeal – the only charity in the country that funds hospital helipads.
The sportive will take place on Sunday 13th May 2018 and start at Rosliston Forestry Centre, near Swadlincote, Derbyshire and will venture into the Peak District National Park for longer routes.
For the first time ever, there will be a family ride with a five-mile route around the Forestry Centre. John and his team of event organisers have already raised £17,500 for the HELP Appeal through the sportive and aim to reach over £20,000 this year.
John, who is the HELP Appeal’s oldest fundraiser first took up cycling after being evacuated to Wales during the war. He said:
“My parents managed to visit me and brought my first bike to me. I took to cycling like a duck to water, riding through and over the Welsh valleys and mountains.”
John’s racing career started in the 1950’s and it grew from strength to strength after winning numerous races ultimately representing Great Britain in World Road Championships and other international events. Following retirement from racing, John was elected as British Cycling National Junior Road Coach in the mid 1980’s until 1990.
Despite being nearly 90 years old, John aims to cycle 150 miles a week this year and will continue to promote cycling events.
“You never know when you or a loved one might become so ill, that lifesaving hospital treatment is needed. If an air ambulance can save time by landing on a helipad beside the emergency department, the patient can then get treated quickly, which could save their life. Hopefully we can attract over 400 cyclists in 2018 and smash our fundraising total from last year and raise vital funds for the HELP Appeal.”
The C C Midland Monster Sportive has four cycling routes, all of which have been designed by John who said:
“I take a lot of pride in seeing hundreds of riders setting off on the multiple challenges that I’ve created on this sportive. They are the Midland Monster ,104 miles; Mezzo Monster, 75 miles and Mini Monster, 44 miles. The family ride is one or two laps of a five-mile circuit around the Centre.”
Entry for the Midland, Mezzo and Mini sportives cost £25 per person. The Family ride (for four) costs £20 or individuals can pay £10 each, where participants can cycle one lap of five miles of two laps of ten.
For further information about the event, please contact Samantha Ireland on email@example.com or call 07864 681199.
To guarantee your place pre-enter on the British Cycling web site: www.britishcycling.org.uk and search in events for “CC Giro Midland Monster Sportive”, “Sunday 13 May 2018” and “Rosliston.”