Charity bike ride’s record funds

KNARESBOROUGH resident John Taylorson, the event organiser of the annual 70-mile Great Yorkshire Bike Ride from Wetherby to Filey, is very proud to have achieved the dual success this year of taking the running total of funds raised for charity past the £2m mark and announcing that a record £147,852 has been raised by the event in 2011.

John, who was awarded the MBE in 2000 for charity services, has been involved with the ride since it started in 1984 and has seen the size and success grow every year with the number of cyclists taking part going from 250 to the 2,000 riders who now enter every year.

John said: “This is one of the most popular and successful charity events in Yorkshire and appeals to riders of all ages and abilities. I never imagined that we would see the event reaching £2m for our charities, most of which are local and Yorkshire based.

“Many people will not have heard of the event, but we do not really advertise as the entry of 2,000 riders fills up very quickly every year. We got the first 1,000 entries within nine days of opening this year with the first entry coming in 14 seconds after we went live!”

John Taylorson MBE is Knaresborough born and bred. The former King James’s Grammar School pupil is the grandson of Robert Taylorson who opened and ran the Roxy Cinema in Knaresborough from the 1930s. He still lives in the town and works as a Manufacturing Engineer for Aaztec Associates in Boroughbridge and is also the event coordinator and Show Secretary of the annual CTC York Cycle Show on York Racecourse.

Prizes were awarded to the top fund-raising riders and teams for the Bike Ride and the funds presented to the recipient charities at the recent presentation evening held at Headingley Stadium. The charities supported this year were Martin House Children’s Hospice, Heart Research UK, Epilepsy Research UK, Ryedale MENCAP, Wetherby Lions, Candlelighters Trust, Yorkshire Cancer Research, Hollybank Trust, Jennyruth Workshops and St John Ambulance.

The event is supported by companies including Premier Farnell, Moores Furniture Group, Cyclesense, Chevin Cycles, and Goosemoor Organics.