Fifty days to go to epic bike ride

Andy and Jack Johnson
Andy and Jack Johnson

A rallying call has gone out for cyclists to sign up for the second annual Wigan Bike Ride.

Saturday will mark 50 days until the challenge returns thanks to charity Joining Jack, which also organises the popular Wigan 10k and Run Wigan Festival.

Hundreds of people are expected to get on their bikes on Sunday, July 22 for two rides.

Among them will be a team of “legends” including former rugby players Steve Hampson, Ewan Dowes, Wayne Godwin and, of course, Joining Jack founder Andy Johnson.

The main ride will see cyclists cover 50 miles, setting off from Mesnes Park and following a route around Lancashire.

There will also be a five-mile ride suitable for families, which is open to children from the age of five.

Alex Johnson, who set up Joining Jack with husband Andy after their son Jack was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, said: “Joining Jack is involved with the World’s Strongest Boys campaign, the idea being they are the world’s strongest boys because they are fighting Duchenne.

“Our events are a show of strength and stamina and it’s to help boys like Jack who we think are the world’s strongest boys. The more people we can get to take their bikes out of the shed and get on two wheels to challenge themselves, the better.

“They can do the 50-mile main ride along with the legends, including Jack’s dad Andy, or ride alongside Jack’s little brother James in the five-mile family ride, and bring along mums, dads, aunts and uncles to help raise as much money as possible for Joining Jack.

“Also, we had quite a few riders last year who were riding for other charities and causes.”

The inaugural ride saw 670 people get in the saddle, and it is hoped that even more could take part this time.

Medals will be presented to everyone who completes the rides.

There will also be entertainment at Mesnes Park for spectators, including a climbing wall, children’s rides and refreshments.

Registration costs £20 for the main ride, while for the family ride it is £13.50 for anyone over the age of 14 and £11 for cyclists aged five to 13.

People can choose to buy a Joining Jack jersey when they enter.

To sign up or find out more, go to www.wiganbikeride.co.uk