TV STAR Fern Britton is offering tips to make sure all those entering a cycling event in aid of a hospice charity caring for the seriously ill keep their pedaling power at its peak this weekend.
This Sunday, March 23, hundreds of volunteers will be pedalling for the Chilterns Cycle Challenge in support of Rennie Grove Hospice Care. Celebrity supporter Fern will be one of the keen cyclists taking on the 35 mile route this year, having done the 10k ride in the 2011 inaugural event that raised nearly £40,000.
The annual event is organised by the charity which provides care to patients across the region suffering from terminal illness.
With a choice of three different routes that run through the scenic Chilterns countryside, Fern is dishing out some words of wisdom to her fellow cyclists from previous experience.
Speaking about the 10k family fun ride on the Gemstone cycle ways around Aylesbury, she said: "Get your bike out of the garage in advance and check it over: tyres, brakes, etc. You can manage six miles and it'll take an hour tops so don't worry too much about your fitness. The route is flat and smooth and traffic-free.
"If you're bringing the kids make sure they are confident on their bikes and have good trainers, helmet (essential) and warm layers. Take a small rucksack with waterporoofs, camera, phone, a little money and a small picnic (jam sandwiches, drinks, etc.) It's surprising how enjoyable a little stop half way for a snack is. Good luck"
For the 35 mile route that takes bikers from Kimble to Bledlow Ridge and then back through Hampdens and Butlers, Fern said: "You're a keen cyclist and this should be a very enjoyable challenge. Probably a bit hilly but if you're local you're used to that. Remember your phone, glasses, money, food and drink and I'll see you there."
As for the cyclists doing the mega 75 mile route, she had more awe-struck words: "You're all crazy! But what a fantastic day you'll have. I probably won't see you as you flash past in a blur. Good luck."
Signs have gone up in advance reminding motorists to be aware of cyclists - and to help keep cyclists on the track - and more than 50 volunteers in high-vis vests will be located at marchal points along the routes.
You can join on the day in Kingsbury Square when entry fees will cost £20 for adults and £10 for children under 16. P lease note that cyclists undertaking the 75 mile route need to register and set off between 8 and 9am, for the 35 mile route between 9 and 10am and those wishing to take part in the 10km ride should register after 10am before the official start at 11am.
For more information go to www.renniegrove.org