Queen Eleanor cycle for homeless charity zooms to Dunstable!

Last year's cycle.
Last year's cycle.

Charity cyclers will be retracing the journey of one of history’s most powerful women, as they ride through Dunstable to raise money for the homeless.

2018 marks the tenth anniversary of the Queen Eleanor Cycle Ride, as a group of dedicated fundraisers will once again be pedalling hard to help The Connection at St Martin’s, an organisation who support vulnerable people in London.

A surviving Eleanor Cross. Sadly, the one in Dunstable was destroyed.

A surviving Eleanor Cross. Sadly, the one in Dunstable was destroyed.

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

Hundreds of years later, the determined cyclists will be travelling to all 12 locations.

Team backstop, Keith Busfield, said: “It’s friendship, fun, and socialising to raise money for a super cause.

“The history is really quite current if you look at it in terms of what Queen Eleanor achieved and the emancipation of women over the last 100 years; she was very active in terms of royal life and business and would go where the king went – be it crusades or fighting the Welsh! She was ahead of her time.

“The cyclists set off from Harby, outside Lincoln, and at Dunstable the group is fed and watered by generous local volunteers with the night spent sleeping in Dunstable Methodist Church.

“The town used to have a cross but it was destroyed by Oliver Cromwell – perhaps with all the regeneration in Dunstable a new one will be built?”

The cycle takes place from August 24-27, concluding at Charing Cross, and during their stay in Dunstable, the team will also be entertained by Kenworth’s singing star of Britain’s Got Talent, Ronan Busfield - Keith’s nephew!

To take part, call chair of the Friends of the Connection, Charles Woodd, asap on: 07962 213494 or email charleswoodd46@gmail.com.

To donate: mydonate.bt.com/fundraisers/keithbusfield1