Heavy rain led to a wet finish for hundreds of cyclists as they completed the 200-mile cross-country Chase The Sun cycling ride in Burnham-On-Sea on Saturday, June 18th.
The popular event sees hundreds of cyclists riding from sunrise to sunset from coast to coast, east to west, across Britain over a distance of more than 200 miles in one day.
The 800 riders left the Isle of Sheppey in Kent at sunrise at 4.39am in bright sunshine, but experienced heavy rainfall and winds as they arrived in Burnham.
Burnham’s Mayor Lesley Millard congratulated the first cyclist over the finish line at 4.30pm and Town Crier Alastair Murray gave a hearty welcome through the evening despite the poor weather.
The first cyclist to compete the ride was Nick Cole, 46, who arrived on the seafront shortly before 4.30pm. He told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “It was a fantastic ride – the first time I have taken part. It was really good weather for most of the day but then the wind and rain came in. I’m so pleased to have come in first!”
Second-placed cyclist Phil Smith from Romsey near Southampton, added: “After a sunny start the weather turned in and made it gruelling.” He quipped: “It’s the first time I’ve done it and the last!”
One of the organisers, Phil Webb, told Burnham-On-Sea.com: “Coast to coast, sunrise to sunset, over 200 miles in a day, we held simultaneously rides across four different routes: UK South, UK North, Italy and, new for 2022, Ireland.”
“Chase The Sun is a simple idea, with a unique philosophy. Originally conceived by Olly Moore in 2008, the concept is unique: this event is a ride, not a race, a collective endeavour shared by a community of cyclists inspired in pursuit of a common goal.”
“Chase The Sun UK South is the original and biggest CTS event, starting at dawn in Minster on the Isle of Sheppey before wending its way west through the Mendips and Cheddar Gorge to finish on the seafront at Burnham-On-Sea.”
He adds: “We are also the subject of a forthcoming film by 2x BAFTA-winning director Michael B.Clifford. ‘Chasing The Sun’ will be a feature-length documentary about how cycling is transforming lives and can help save the planet.”
“Filming will be taking place across the day, tracking the progress of some key participants including pioneering cycling club Kent Velo Girls and our charity partners Bristol-based Life Cycle UK.”