Northampton Saints star James Grayson to start annual Cynthia Spencer Hospice bike ride

James Grayson (left) with Warner's co-founders Tom Warner and Tina Warner-Keogh
James Grayson (left) with Warner's co-founders Tom Warner and Tina Warner-Keogh

Northampton Saints star James Grayson will be firing the starting hooter at the annual charity ride for Cynthia Spencer Hospice next month.

Cycle4Cynthia will see hundreds of riders set off from Holdenby House on five, 25 and 50-mile courses on Sunday, September 22.

The fly-half follows in the footsteps of Jo Whiley, singer-songwriter Curtis Stigers and England cricketer Allan Lamb in acting as celebrity starter at the ride, as well as teammates Bruce Reihana, Sam Dickinson and Harry Mallinder.

“If I’m honest, my experience of pedalling these days is really only on the static bikes in the training room but I have fond memories of cycling around Scotland on family holidays when I was child," he said.

"Of course Cycle4Cynthia is aimed at riders of all ages and abilities, so you don’t need to be a Geraint Jones to take part!

“Indeed, I know from Harry’s involvement last year that it’s all about having fun while raising money for a charity that is truly deserving of our support, so I’d encourage anyone with a bicycle to sign up and join us."

New for 2019 is the Bike4Bedtime initiative - where teams of four aim to raise £444 which, when added to their combined entry fees of £60, equals the £504 needed to pay for one day’s care for a patient at the hospice’s inpatient unit.

Having spent some time at the Hospice earlier this year, James is looking forward to playing his part in the event.

“Back in March I was invited to visit a patient who was a massive Saints fan," he said.

"It was just such a privilege to witness the amazing care and support that she and her family were receiving, so I feel honoured to have been asked to open Cycle4Cynthia.

“I’m also delighted to learn that so many people are signing up to the Bike4Bedtime challenge because every day that a team can fund will make a massive difference to the amazing hospice staff.

"It will enable them to not only nurse more patients but also extend the services they offer through their new wellbeing programme."

Northamptonshire-based gin distillers, Warner’s, is entering three teams in the Bike4Bedtime challenge, including co-founder Tim Warner whose mother died at Cynthia Spencer Hospice in 2014.

“Most of the guys are doing the 25 mile route but when my sales director, Jon, said he was doing the 50 miles, I felt I had to join him," he said.

"But now I’m slightly worried because the last time I had my bike out was to take it for a service last summer.

“But hey, it’s not a race so I reckon I can make it back to Holdenby before it gets dark, even if I do take it gin-gerly!"

Entry is £15 for adults, £7.50 for children or £35 for families, rising after Monday.

For more information, visit www.cycle4cynthia.co.uk, call the hospice on 01604 210941 or email info@cycle4cynthia.co.uk

Alternatively, to pledge your sponsorship in support of Warner’s, visit www.justgiving.com/Warners-Distillery.