Catching up with Cat and Fiddle riders
In the lead up to Rourkie’s Cat and Fiddle Cycle Challenge, we spoke to returning riders to find out what keeps them coming back for more, year after year.
Rourkie’s Cat and Fiddle cycle challenge, taking place on 15th September this year, is a 55 mile cycle ride with breath-taking views in the Peak District, a previous training route for ex professional cyclist Brian Rourke.Sign up for Roukie’s Cat and Fiddle Cycle Challenge
The route runs from Rourke Cycles in Stoke on Trent on a circular route through Staffordshire, Cheshire, Derbyshire and the beautiful Peak District National Park, including the infamous 7-mile Cat and Fiddle climb. This sportive is not a race, with average times of 4 to 8 hours and most enjoying a cafe stop nearby to the now closed Cat & Fiddle pub.
An event for everyone
Our supporters and dedicated riders shared their tips and experiences with us about the popular cycling event. David has taken part in the Cat and Fiddle ride since 2004 along with some familiar faces including Nicole Cooke, Sean Kelly and Guy Martin to name a few. This well organised and family friendly event draws a wonderfully diverse crowd every year.
David (pictured above) spoke about his experience of the event over the years: “all types of individuals take part – from the keen cyclo sportive rider to the complete novice, some as young as ten years of age and others almost 80 years of age, in all types of weather from rain, snow, strong winds to the warm and sunny days.”
We are proud to be the charity partner this year and will be excited to see some of our supporters taking on this picturesque cycle challenge. David, who will be joining us on the day, encouraged people to take part, he said: “it really is a fabulous event – no chip timing, no medals, nothing but a truly great ride – plus every penny raised goes to charity’.
Cycling, community and cake
The event has a supportive and community spirit and on a practical level David assured us that Rourke cycles supply the support vehicle and the shop is open just in case you forget something. David and his family make a day of it, as he invites his wife, daughter and grand-daughter to greet him at the finish to celebrate with refreshments, he noted ‘the organisers headed by Mrs Martine Grainger always assure really first class pre and post ride food’.
Fellow rider Eamonn, having taken part on 10 occasions, also celebrates the community feel of the event, he said ‘It’s a very well organised event from start to finish line, with free tea and of course cakes to greet you at the finish. There’s a good community atmosphere with several tea stops, mechanical support and a well arrowed route (so you don’t get lost!). I’ve always found it a challenging but rewarding experience, I’d strongly recommend this ride!”Sign up for Roukie’s Cat and Fiddle Cycle Challenge