Kevin Johns MBE at last year’s bike ride

THE annual Swansea Bike Ride, which has been running for 25 years has been cancelled. Organisers claim that the event is ‘no longer profitable’.

The charity bike ride, which was a popular fixture on the charity cycling scene calendar took in the beautiful Gower Peninsula and was open to cyclists from seasoned pros to casual cyclists.

There were usually three distances involved where participants could cycle 12 miles, 28 miles or 46 mile routes. The entry cost was £15 for an adult and £5 for under 18’s. It was claimed that the entry fee went towards covering the cost of organising the event with the fundraising providing the money for the life saving research.

Llanelli Online contacted the British Heart Foundation (BHF) to ask why they had cancelled the event. A spokesperson for the charity said: ‘’Unfortunately, we have taken the difficult decision to cancel this event for 2018 and the foreseeable future.

‘’The BHF assess each of our events, looking at the costs to deliver a safe event against the money we receive in fundraising, to ensure we are delivering the most cost effective and beneficial events for the organisation. Unfortunately, this event has not seen any major growth in participant numbers or fundraising over the past few years therefore we have decided to cancel the event.

‘’We are very disappointed to see this event leave our portfolio however the event was no longer profitable for us and our decisions must be led by fundraising in order to continue our lifesaving research.

‘’Thank you for your continued support and we hope you understand our reasons for cancelling this event.’’

Cycling has become extremely popular in recent years with Swansea becoming a ‘cycle-friendly city’. Losing an event of this size will inevitably be a big  blow for the community in general as well as the charitable organisation who would have benefited from the monies raised.

The only remaining bike run of it’s kind left in Wales is the Velothon which takes place in Cardiff on July 8th 2018.

We contacted the 7th Swansea Scout Group, a community scouting group for the Swansea and surrounding areas. Group Scout Leader Andrew Shapton said: ‘’As a group, we feel that we can offer much to the community of Swansea and beyond by the efforts of the young people.

‘’We feel strongly that events like the BHF (British Heart Foundation) cycle ride give them the opportunity to learn about the part they play in society.

‘’It’s a great shame that it has been cancelled, as the opportunity is now lost to them, and the BHF.

‘’However, I understand that in these austere times, simple economics needs to take a front seat as a determining factor when considering these major events.’’

Despite the cancellation of this popular event in Swansea, people still have the option of travelling to the Velothon in Cardiff to raise funds for their nominated worthy cause. You can sign up to the cycle, which takes place in the summer, by following this link: https://www.bhf.org.uk/get-involved/events/bike-rides/velothon-wales

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