Riv’s Riders 2016 Penzance to Warrington Cycle Challenge

There are times when something happens in our lives and we take a different outlook on our life.
Sometimes it could be losing a loved one, a best friend, family member or even a beloved animal.

This can make us want to be proactive for a campaign or many reasons.

For myself, I support a few charities close to home, this includes cancer, disabilities and supporting particular things like research for Fibro or M.e/CFS.

I also like to help out with anything close to home, being from Stockport originally, Warrington is in close range so this is something I felt I had to share with you all.

Also being a huge lover of music, this challenge helps support local artists and performers in Warrington.
We all know, when doing something we love, especially in the music industry it can be hard to be seen and heard, also very expensive.
There isn’t a lot of support out there, so this is an amazing cause, even just to show support!

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On February 13th this year River Reeves, 19, together with his three band mates from Viola Beach; Kris Leonard, 20, Tomas Lowe, 27 and Jack Dakin, 19 and their manager, Craig Tarry, 32 were killed in a car accident in Sweden. They were travelling home from their first international gig.

Riv’s Riders is a team of family and friends of River, who have set out to cycle from Penzance in Cornwall to Warrington in Cheshire, to raise money for the River Reeves Foundation.

River lived with his mum and siblings in Penzance, Cornwall, before he moved to Warrington in 2007 to live with his dad and step mum, and where he went on to join Viola Beach, hence the journey being replicated by the team.

They will depart on the 19th September at 9am from Penzance’s Jubilee Pool and aim to arrive at the phone boxes on Warrington’s Bridge Street at around 3pm on Saturday 24th September.

The core team of 11 riders includes River’s sister, two brothers and dad, cousins and friends of the family. On each leg of the journey additional riders are joining them to support for one or two legs of the route. The River Reeves Foundation touring press office (a rainbow-coloured caravan!) will follow them all the way and there is a support car relay to help, should the riders run into any problems.

Planning for the ride started back in April, and has been pretty complicated. The ride is completely self-funded by the team, and the routes, accommodation, support team, kit, sponsorship marketing plus a lot more has had to be organised.

It has certainly been worth it though – the current sponsorship balance is over £7,000 and the team have raised the target twice already. They now aim to raise a minimum of £10,000 and are dreaming big.

Funds raised by the ride will go to the River Reeves Foundation, which has been set up by the family to help talented young artists and performers overcome some of the financial challenges that can prevent them from achieving their dreams. River’s dad Ben said; “Essentially we want to build a sustainable financial legacy in River’s name so that we can secure bursaries for talented youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds, to help them follow their dreams within the visual and performing arts. We are also actively involved in raising money for the Viola Beach and Craig Tarry Memorial Fund.”

River’s eldest sister Stella Judson had the idea not long after returning from Warrington in March following her brother’s funeral and the sell-out Viola Beach memorial concert at Warrington’s Parr Hall. She said “After these incredibly overwhelming events, where we had all been together to celebrate River and his friends, we had to disperse again as a family and it was terrible. I wanted to do something – a fundraising activity I could channel energy into and raise awareness and support for the boys but also, importantly, I wanted to launch a team-based challenge that would bring us together behind a common goal despite our different locations”.

The cycle challenge will take 5.5 days, averaging 75 miles per day, and the route has the following stop points:

Monday 19th September:            Camelford

Tuesday 20th September:           Bickleigh (Tiverton)

Wednesday 21st September:      Clevedon (Bristol)

Thursday 22nd September:        Tewkesbury (Worcester)

Friday 23rd September:               Stone/Alsager

As the team approach Warrington they have planned several stops closer to the final destination, including Priestley College, where River studied performing arts. They hope to be joined by a crowd of students to cycle the final mile with them into the phone boxes. These additional supporters will be the ‘Riv’s Rainbow Riders’ and colourful attire is a must! Local cycle groups have also been invited to join the team for part of their final leg, so the Riv’s Riders should be leading quite a crowd into town on Saturday afternoon!

The Riv’s Riders Challenge is one of a number of fundraising activities planned to support the River Reeves Foundation, including ‘RivFest’, an annual music festival which took place for the first time in July this year.

You can donate to support Riv’s Riders here:

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/RivsRiders2016CycleChallenge

Follow Riv’s Riders on Twitter: www.twitter.com/RivsRiders

And facebook: https://www.facebook.com/RivsRiders2016/

Go and help support a good cause, even if it’s just a tweet of support, a retweet, good luck on Facebook or donate some pennies.
We all know what it’s like to lose a loved one, so giving to a good cause to help others is something we can do in their memory, I know what is what I do.

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