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Guest Blog: ‘I’m no cyclist…but the hospice needs everyone’s support’

Posted on 13 April 2016

Hospice supporter Ella Brocklebank is a regular guest blogger in between regular fundraising challenges and volunteering at hospice events. Ella lives in Chartham, works as a Business Development Manager and has an 8 year-old daughter, Gracie. Here she writes about why she tackled the Pilgrims Hospices Cycle Challenge in 2016, and why you should get involved on 30 April 2017.

I’m no cyclist! 

For anyone who knows me they know I run, a lot, but my bike usually only makes an appearance for a cycle to the park – a 6 mile round trip. 

Riders of all abilities can take part by registering here.

Early bird registration is £25 if you sign up before 13 March.

So when the annual Pilgrims Hospice Cycle Challenge comes around each year I always have to consider whether it’s a good idea to sign up.

After all, I wouldn’t run a marathon if I wasn’t a ‘runner’ so it’s the same, right? Well no, it’s not.

‘All you need is two wheels and plenty of determination’

Usually my bike only makes an appearance for a cycle to the park.

The Cycle Challenge needs the support of everyone, and not just those clad in lycra (no matter how smart they look!). It really is achievable even if, like me, you’re not a regular cyclist.

All you need is two wheels and plenty of determination. Yes, it will certainly not be easy – after all it is called a ‘challenge’ for good reason – but it’s amazing what you can do if you put your mind to it.

Each year when I wheel my trusty friend – a heavy mountain bike with thick tyres – out from temporary retirement I get the comments ‘you’re cycling on that?’ Yes, I know I won’t be the fastest on the day but it really isn’t a race so I know I can take my time. The Classic 46 mile route is designed to be attainable and dare I say it ‘enjoyable’!

A warm welcome awaits

Glorious Kent countryside, a warm welcome at each hospice and hopefully a little sunshine awaits.

For Ella’s tips on busting your sponsorship target for your Pilgrims event click here.

It really is an honour to be able to take part and raise vital funds for Pilgrims Hospices, a charity close to my heart since caring for my Dad in 2012.

So if you’re reading this and you’ve been tempted to join in the fun but worried you aren’t ‘expert’ enough – stop wondering if you can do it. You can! Grab your friends, get signed up, raise some money and know you are doing something amazing for this deserving local charity that needs your support.

And if you are a regular cyclist there really is no excuse. The 100 miler is for you…I can say safely as I cycle somewhere behind you!

Early bird registration for the challenge is £25 (closing date: 13 March 2017); £30 thereafter until 23 April. Details of training rides and how to register are here or call 01227 812609 for more information and support with your fundraising.

To find out more about the services offered by the hospice you can click here or email

Cycle Challenge 30 April – choose from three routes:

  • The CENTURY – 102 miles: A circular route connecting all three of our hospice service areas and incorporating an undulating approach to Dover for the ultimate challenge.
  • The CHALLENGE – 77 miles: A circular route visiting the Ashford hospice  before turning east through the Elham Valley and onward to the picturesque town of Sandwich. From there, you’ll head through flatter countryside and take in seaside views at Herne Bay before making the final push through the beautiful Thorden Wood.
  • The CLASSIC – 46 miles: A scenic but more undulating circular route between Ashford and Canterbury Hospices

All routes start and finish at the University of Kent near Canterbury.




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