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Historic LCL Bike Ride ready to wow virtually in its 27th consecutive year

3 years ago


By The Guide Liverpool

The Liverpool-Chester-Liverpool bike ride is back for 2020 in virtual form and The Guide Liverpool will bring you all of the action as the region raises more, much needed money for Claire House.

Keen cyclists – as well as Liverpool’s business community – have already shown support to the virtual version of the deeply rooted and much-loved community bike ride, which usually attracts thousands of riders from the region annually.

The iconic event is in its 27th consecutive year running (and usually takes place every first Sunday of July), with this year set to be even more special by celebrating an incredible 10-year partnership with Claire House Hospice; with already over a whopping £300,000 much needed funds raised to support their families.

Initially, the physical event was postponed to Sunday 27Th September, in the hope that the pandemic would have past and live events able to take place. Given the current guidelines and restrictions, the organisers felt it to be irresponsible for a mass participation event such as the Liverpool-Chester-Liverpool Bike Ride to take place in the middle of Liverpool city centre, despite the major uptake in cycling- which would have potentially given the community event a much-needed boost.

Alissa Koopal, Chief Executive Officer at Pennine Events Ltd says:

“We have been working hard behind the scenes – from kitchen tables, bedroom set-ups, through to the occasional garden shed due to homeworking- to make sure we did not miss out on such an important year for our beloved annual event and most importantly to ensure we would bring a happy occasion to our city and community during these difficult and for some- very lonely times.

Despite not being able to run a ‘physical’ event – the adapted 2020 version is set to be incredible; we are ready to celebrate an incredible 10 years with Claire House Hospice accompanied with over £300,000 raised, and to introduce a brand-new partnership with GRAHAM and The Guide Liverpool- whom have been so supportive and so keen to bring a happy occasion to the city and their hard working teams.

Don’t let the word ‘virtual’ put you off and think it will be very complicated and you would need all-kind of technical set ups- you just need a phone , a bicycle (and a helmet), find a great spot to do your ride and go for it! It may not be your ‘usual’ way of participating in a cycling event, but maybe, in some ways even more special given the circumstances.

By running this in a virtually manner, we are safeguarding our teams, suppliers, and participants whilst still being able to give everyone an incredibly engaging community experience. If anything; is underpins our mission of this being an all-inclusive, all abilities, and all ages bike ride as it can be at your own pace and leisure- it is always a fantastic day out for families.

Getting involved is so simple, all you need to do is register for your chosen distance challenge, strap on your helmet, and get on that bike to Pedal for Purpose on Sunday 27th September.”

Simon O’Brien, LCR’s Cycling and Walking commissioner, and LCL ride champion says:

“The LCL Bike ride is part of the fabric of the region and such as key event for the community every single year. Liverpool City Region is truly jumping into action to get active travel right to the top of the agenda. We have developed the pop-up lanes, which are a response to the terrible pandemic, and beyond that there is a full network being built through the LCR Metro Mayor and Liverpool Mayor of permanent bike lanes to connect all parts of the city.”

Simon O’Brien is a keen cyclist, and a major champion of the LCL Bike ride since inception. He has committed to take on the original 50M Power Challenge and has shared that he will be riding in the Wirral, with its stunning mix of coastal and rural scenery.

Simon O’Brien

The organisers shared a heartfelt open letter with its community in August to let them know about the changes and offered registered participants the option to defer to the 2021 date (Sunday 4th July 2021) or to opt in for the virtual ride and receive a partial refund.

Dave Brown, Highways Director, GRAHAM says:

“GRAHAM is proud to be an event partner of the iconic Liverpool Chester Liverpool Bike Ride. Although this year’s event is an entirely different format, the virtual version promises to be just as rewarding for participants, the local community and the very many charities who are raising much needed funds on the day.

“Currently, we are completing a range of key infrastructure schemes throughout Liverpool city centre and the surrounding areas to enhance access and connectivity. Our Strand project, for example, involves redeveloping a city gateway to make it more user friendly for pedestrians and cyclists.

“It is a privilege for us to play a central role in the creation of cycle friendly infrastructure in the city to meet its growing popularity as a sustainable mode of transport and form of recreation. This experience means that we were keen to offer our support to the annual bike ride, which has become recognised as one of the annual sporting highlights for local bicycle enthusiasts.”

The non-competitive and all-inclusive Liverpool-Chester-Liverpool Bike Ride event will now take place virtually on Sunday 27th September through the organisers newly launched dedicated platform ‘My Virtual Challenges’.

The event will host 5 different distance challenges (5M Family Fun challenge, 25M Pedal for Purpose Challenge, Historic 50M LCL Power challenge, 75M Champions challenge, 100M LCL Sportive).

Participants will receive the original 2020 Claire House Cycling top, a medal, the official training guide, an official certificate of achievement and a well-earned place on the leadership board as well as the opportunity to join in to the official event watch party which will take place at the end of the day (details to be published).

Jay Hynd, Director, The Guide Liverpool said:

“The LCL Bike Ride is one of the most iconic annual events in the North West and The Guide Liverpool is delighted to be a partner.

We’ve been impressed with the strides the Organisers have made in adapting the event in light of the pandemic and are excited to see how the LCL Bike Ride comes together as a virtual online event.

LCL Bike Ride has had an incredible 10 year partnership with a charity close to our heart, Claire House Children’s Hospice, and we hope that plenty more money is raised this time around.

We wish all participants the very best of luck.”

How it works:

  1. Visit the LCL Bike ride or go direct through to the MVC website (and add the app on your home screen for easy access- simply click the button on the website to do so, no download required)  www.virtualchallenges.com / www.liverpoolchesterliverpool.com
  2. Choose your distance challenge & Register
  3. You will now be logged into your personal MVC dashboard for all updates and you can download the training guide
  4. You will receive your rider pack (Incl. T-shirt & Medal) by post
  5. Choose a fantastic route to do your ride, may this be in your direct environment, or maybe ride somewhere like Delamere Forest, or try the new pop up cycle lanes across Liverpool?
  6. Put on your T-shirt and conquer your miles – if possible, track your ride distance and time (and take lots of photos and selfies that can be uploaded through your dashboard, or shared at the watch party on the event day on the 27th Sept.
  7. When finished- upload your distance and time through ‘submit your evidence’ (alongside any photo’s and stories you may want to share with us!)
  8. Receive your official LCL certificate of achievement (downloadable from your MVC dashboard)
  9. Wear your medal with pride!
  10. Join us on Sunday 27th September watch party to share your images, videos and stories with the whole LCL Bike ride community – further details to follow- keep your eyes out on social media!

The event industry (which contributes over an estimated £70* Billion to the UK economy annually) has taken a major hit due to the ongoing pandemic and over 500,000 jobs are still at risk #RedAlert

*Figure estimated by NOEA- National Outdoor Events Association


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