Mammoth bike challenge kicks off Northampton pub company's charitable celebrations for 50th anniversary

The owners of 17 pubs in Northampton have pledged to raise £50,000 for charity in its 50th year of business.

Thursday, 9th January 2020, 8:15 pm
Updated Friday, 10th January 2020, 9:37 am
Day one of McManus Pub Company's bike challenge at Virgin Active Riverside. Photo: McManus Pub Company
Day one of McManus Pub Company's bike challenge at Virgin Active Riverside. Photo: McManus Pub Company

McManus Pub Company started in March 1970 with the Thomas 'A' Becket in St James before investing in more pubs across the town and beyond.

To mark their gold anniversary, staff and customers will take part in a series of fundraising events in 2020 for Mighty Magnus, BacZac and Cynthia Spencer, starting with a 50km bike ride.

Gary McManus, who took over the McManus family business in 1989, said: "Celebrating 50 years in business is huge for us, so we wanted to do something special to mark this momentous occasion.

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Day one of McManus Pub Company's bike challenge at Virgin Active Riverside. Photo: McManus Pub Company

"It seemed quite fitting to try to raise £50,000 in our 50th year to support these dedicated and wonderful charities that do some fantastic work in our town."

The bike challenge started at Virgin Active Riverside, which is kindly donating the equipment, yesterday (Wednesday, January 8).

Each pair of riders, with five pairs for each pub, consisting of staff and customers alongside charity and Northampton Saints representatives, will cover the gruelling 50km between them on static bikes in each venue.

The bikes will be moved around 16 McManus pubs over 16 days, finishing at the Northampton Saints ground prior to the London Irish match on Friday, January 24.

Day one of McManus Pub Company's bike challenge at Virgin Active Riverside. Photo: McManus Pub Company

In addition to the bike challenge, McManus Pub Company will also be holding a charity ball in July at Franklins Gardens, a charitable golf day at Northamptonshire County Golf Club in September and other fundraising events across their sites throughout the year.

The grand total of fundraising will be unveiled at a glittering ceremony next January, where supporters, customers and staff will be invited along to celebrate their efforts.

Gary said: "I'm immensely proud of everything we've achieved as a family within the pub trade.

"We're very fortunate to have staff who truly care about what they do, and I think this is obvious by the first-class service and dedication they provide across our venues."

Day one of McManus Pub Company's bike challenge at Virgin Active Riverside. Photo: McManus Pub Company

"Our first event is likely to be punishing for those taking part, but I'm thankful that we will have a lot of support along the way."

For a full running order of the charity bike ride and to donate, visit www.mcmanuspub.co.uk/charitybikechallenge