Gallery: Cycle to the Ball

A group of cyclists from the cruise industry cycled for miles in the pouring rain for charity this week.

The group either cycled a 50 mile or a 90-mile route to the De Vere Cotswold Water Park in Gloucestershire where the annual Clia Cruise Forum and Winter Ball event is being held.

Funds raised from the Cycle to the Ball ride will be donated to the Family Holiday Association (FHA) which provides British seaside breaks and days trips to hard-up families.

Nearly £4,500 has been raised so far but Giles Hawke, Avalon Waterways’ UK chief executive and Cycle to the Ball organiser, hopes to top last year’s total which surpassed £7,000.

Hawke said: “It is up to people how much people want to give – but it is a fantastic cause.”

“It seems crazy that people may never have been to the seaside or have never been away as a family.

“When you’re doing the ride and you think ‘this is cold and wet’ you have to remember [the FHA].”

Hawke also encouraged more people to join the Cycle to the Ball ride next year.

“We will welcome more people,” he said. “We might look at slightly shorter distances so that we can make it more accessible for people.”

Reflecting on this year’s ride, Hawke said: “I think that everyone enjoyed it. We were expecting a rainy day. The rain started around 11am and we had two hours of solid rain.”

Hawke said temperatures were colder than last year when nine riders completed an 80 mile-route.

However, Hawke added: “Everyone who did it this year said that they wanted to do it again. It’s a good sporting achievement. Everyone had a fantastic ride.”

To donate, visit the group’s fundraising page here

GalleryCycle to the Ball

More: Family Holiday Association gets first caravan sponsor

Cruise industry urged to join Clia charity cycle