Cyclists urged to join charity country to coast bike ride – with free food and return bus trip

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Cyclists have been urged to sign up to a unique opportunity to pedal from the heart of England in Derby all the way to Skegness in aid of two much-loved children’s charities – with the option of a cool hydrogen bus ride back!

Nearly 80 cyclists have so far signed up for this year’s SkegVegas100, a charity bike ride from Derby to Skegness, which will take place on May 18.

Now organisers would love to hear from more cyclists, including teams from local businesses, who would like to take part.

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Unusually for a charity ride, the organising team at Cosy Foundation have arranged for a hydrogen-powered bus from Toyota to ferry weary cyclists back from Skegness at the end of their 100-mile bike ride, should they wish.

Children enjoying bikes at Derby Kids CampChildren enjoying bikes at Derby Kids Camp
Children enjoying bikes at Derby Kids Camp

Breakfast, snacks and lunch are also all being provided to help power cyclists pedal their way to the coast, and a rolling mechanic service is being provided to help with any issues such as punctures en-route.

The ride will be setting off from Derby Arena, with free tea, coffee and parking provided to help riders be waved off in comfort.

Daniel Burton, of Derby Arena, said: "Derby Arena and Derby City Council are proud to support the Skegvegas bike ride for great local charities, please sign up and join in what has proven to be a great challenge for an even better cause!"

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This year is the 11th year of the epic SkegVegas100 bike ride which is aiming to raise thousands of pounds for two highly valued children’s charities: Derby Kids’ Camp and the Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre.

Laila and Ben Riggott training for SkegVegas100Laila and Ben Riggott training for SkegVegas100
Laila and Ben Riggott training for SkegVegas100

Both charities provide holidays for children who may not otherwise get a break, whether that is because of financial disadvantage, or other reasons such as caring for relatives.

Money raised through the event’s modest entry fee and any sponsorship is being split equally between the charities, and riders will be able to look round the Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre in Skegness when they arrive at the Lincolnshire coastal resort, to gain a valuable insight into what the charity offers children who need a break.

Teams of riders who have so far signed up to take part have come from local businesses including Cosy Direct, Pennine Healthcare and Rolls-Royce, and they will be joining record-breaking cyclist Leigh Timmis who has agreed to take part in the ride, as well as The Earl of Burlington, William Cavendish.

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Two riders who have signed up to take part this year are Ben Riggott, trust development lead at Embark Federation, and his wife Laila, head of people and culture at Cosy Direct.

Laila said: “I haven’t cycled in any serious way for years but I decided to give this year’s SkegVegas100 a go. Ben and I have been out on some great training rides, including a blustery but beautiful pedal down the Tissington Trail!

“I would really urge people to sign up and take part in the SkegVegas100. Getting stuck into the training has been very enjoyable and we are so lucky to live in beautiful Derbyshire where there are some amazing cycling trails to enjoy.

“As volunteers at Derby Kids’ Camp we know how important these holidays are for the children who come to us in the summer. This bike ride promises to be a brilliant day but more importantly, it will raise lots of money to help put smiles on the faces of Derbyshire children. It would be brilliant to see more riders join us on May 18 to make this a great ride-out for these two charities.

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“The event is not a race – it’s an event. Please join us and make this year’s SkegVegas100 the best yet!”

Between them, Derby Kids’ Camp and The Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre have been giving free holidays to Derbyshire children in need of a break for nearly 175 years. Derby Kids’ Camp celebrated its 50th birthday in 2023 and has over the years welcomed around 15,000 children to enjoy a week’s camping including craft activities, climbing, swimming, before snuggling down for the night in tents with comfortable camp beds. Many of the children who go are living in poverty, have suffered a close bereavement or are finding social interaction difficult.

The Derbyshire Children’s Holiday Centre has been going since 1891 and provides five-day stays in Skegness which include days out, a fully-equipped games room, meals out, and, of course, a good old run around on the beach. Children are nominated to go through their school if it is felt that, due to financial hardship or other reasons, they may not otherwise get a break.

Anyone who would like to join this year’s SkegVegas 100, taking on the whole distance or as a relay with colleagues and friends, is asked to sign up to enter at