Cyclists take on royal route through Dunstable that was fit for a queen

The Dunstable cross no longer exists and others are in need of repair!
The Dunstable cross no longer exists and others are in need of repair!

A cycle challenge which took riders back in time pedalled through Dunstable to raise a staggering £20,000 to help the homeless.

During the August bank holiday weekend a group of intrepid cyclists took part in the 10th Queen Eleanor Cycle Ride raising money for London homeless charity, The Connection at St Martin’s.

The determined cyclists - who battled punctures, pain, wind and rain, were following the route of the twelve Eleanor Cross sites - one of which is in Dunstable - and didn’t let the weather dampen their spirits as they travelled from Harby to Queen Eleanor’s tomb in Westminster Abbey.

Team backstop, Keith Busfield, said: “The cyclists arrived in Dunstable very wet, very tired and very late.

“However, the ladies and gentlemen at the Methodist Hall looked after them - although not before the team had gone to Houghton Regis Leisure Centre for showers!

“They then came back to the Methodist hall to sing for their supper and for some evening entertainment.”

Charles Woodd, Chair of the Friends of the Connection, said: “The number of people sleeping rough in central London every night has doubled in five years. The Connection at St Martin’s provides a range of vital services to help homeless and vulnerable people take steps to get back into society.”

The quirky cycle route is inspired by King Edward I’s love for his wife, Queen Eleanor of Castile. When she died in 1290, the monarch arranged for his wife’s body to be carried in state to London along with 12 crosses bearing statues – the statues to be erected at places where the procession stopped overnight.

Keith would like to thank the charity’s co-ordinating group, their hosts, sponsors and the cyclists.