PICTURES: 31 ‘superhuman’ cyclists set off for Belgium to take on challenging bike ride for Hope Centre

The money raised by this annual event has been described as “life-changing”

A group of cyclists, described as “superhuman” by the Hope Centre, have set off for Belgium to take on a challenging bike ride in aid of the charity.

This year’s Ride for Hope, from September 22 to 25, will allow those taking part to see the sights of France and Belgium while raising money for a deserving cause.

This is the twelfth year of the fundraiser, which typically raises around £25,000 each year and is one of the charity’s biggest events.

Last year saw 30 riders take on an epic cycle around Holland over the same time period, raising more than £20,000.

Tanya Haji-Miller, community and events fundraiser at the Hope Centre, said: “That sort of money is absolutely life-changing to what we’re doing and who we’re helping.

“It helps the homeless and those on the streets, those living in hardship by giving them access to courses and classes, and puts food on the table for people struggling to feed themselves.”

Tanya added that the Hope Centre team is “in awe” of those taking part, who typically complete between 70 and 90 miles on each of the three days.

“They are superhuman individuals for what they are doing for us,” she said.

This year, both new and familiar faces are taking on the challenge – and the Hope Centre team had a message they wanted to share.

“Stay hydrated and good luck,” said Tanya. “Enjoy the ride in the beautiful surroundings. We know it is going to be hard but we wish you the best of luck. We can’t wait to hear all the tales when you come back.”

No matter if the riders have fundraised for the Hope Centre before or simply liked the look of this cycling challenge, Tanya believes the charity means a lot to each and every one of them.

Having met at the Northampton Town Centre Hotel on Thursday afternoon (September 21), the 31 riders left for Belgium on the coach.

Mayor Stephen Hibbert and Mayoress Liz Cox were there to see the riders off, to celebrate what they are doing for such a worthy cause.

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