In 2003 Northamptonshire businessman John Pinkham encouraged a group of friends to take part in a cycle ride around the county's rolling countryside to raise money for the Friends of Cynthia Spencer Hospice. Such was its success, Cycle 4 Cynthia was born.
In 2004, when the Hospice launched a £1.5 million appeal, John decided to extend the event beyond simply inviting his friends for a casual bike ride and encouraged families, businesses and cycle enthusiasts to both sponsor and take part in Cycle 4 Cynthia to help raise funds for the Hospice.
Cyclists had a choice of three routes, 5 miles, 25 miles and 50 miles encompassing some of the county's most attractive stately homes including Althorp House, Kelmarsh Hall, Cottesbrooke Hall and Holdenby House. The result was phenomenal; over 460 people took part, raising a staggering £35,000.
In 2005 it was decided that the money raised would be split between the Friends of Cynthia Spencer Hospice and Macmillan Cancer Support in the county while the subsequent major change to the event has been its venue; it moved from Nationwide, via Franklin's Gardens (the home of the Northampton Saints) to Althorp (by kind permission of The Earl Spencer, who is President of the Hospice), then on to Lamport Hall in 2014 (when 10% of the monies raised went to Kidsaid, the Northampton-based charity which supports children who have suffered abuse, bereavement, bullying or family issues). In 2015 the ride returned to Althorp, when the Hospice became the sole beneficiary, while the following year it moved to Holdenby House and in 2017, it was held at Lamport Hall.
In 2018 Saints, England and world champion rugby player Harry Mallinder fired the starting hooter at Althorp and despite the dismal weather, there was fantastic turnout of resilient pedallers and the amount they raised will be revealed at the 2019 launch event taking place at Franklin’s Gardens on Tuesday 2nd April. Incredibly, from relatively humble beginnings, the total figure raised in the previous fourteen years of the ride has already exceeded half a million pounds. The committee therefore wishes to thank all those riders, marshals, volunteers, businesses and sponsors who have helped to make the event such a success and hopes that a record number will again be out in force to support Cycle4Cynthia 2019 on Sunday 22nd September (with details of the venue again being announced at the launch).
Saints, England and world champion rugby player Harry Mallinder speaking at the end of the 2018 ride:
“I visited the Hospice last week and after meeting the staff and volunteers, was really humbled by the care and compassion they show to patients and their families and found the whole experience incredibly uplifting.
“So being here today to help support the team is a real privilege and on behalf of all those at the charity, I just want to say well and done and thank you to all those riders who braved the soggy conditions to leap into their saddles as every penny raised makes a massive difference to such an amazing place!”