A charity is offering an innovative way to blow off the lockdown cobwebs, get fit this summer and support vulnerable families.

The Alice Charity has teamed up with fitness platform Strava and is challenging everyone to ride a virtual Tour de France.

Just like “le tour”, the Tour de Alice takes place from 29th August to 20th September 2020. You can choose to follow the whole gruelling 2156 mile tour or ride just 1 mile – there’s a challenge for every ability.

It is the biggest event ever staged by the Alice Charity and Chief Executive Steph Talbot is calling on all cyclists to take the challenge – whether from the comfort of their own homes or while riding the roads.

Steph said: “Le tour is the ultimate cycling challenge and we’re giving everyone the opportunity to take part. It doesn’t matter how you cycle, we are looking for participants whether they be mums or dads with their children, club cyclists competing looking for a competition, or Olympians, such as Sir Chris Hoy or Laura Kenny. We need your support to help children living in poverty in Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle-under-Lyme.”

Alice Charity has already signed up local Lyme Racing Club, from Newcastle-under-Lyme, but the Tour de Alice is hoping to attract cyclists from across the UK.

“It is easy to get involved and it doesn’t matter whether you have an indoor fitness bike, a bike with a basket that you go to the shops on, or whether you’re a serious racer, we need you,” added Steph. “It’s also a great opportunity to blow away the cobwebs and get fit following lockdown.”

It is easy to join Tour de Alice. Go online to https://tourdealice.alicecharity.com/ and click get started. It will show you how to download the Strava or MapMyRide apps, how to link them to Alice and how to choose your cycling distance.

The system gives you the opportunity to sign up as a team and challenge yourself against others.

“We know there’s lots of keen club cyclists and we’re appealing to them to sign up – there’s a leader board for those with a competitive edge,” said Steph. “Friends can also compete against each other through our “find a friend” tab.

While the Tour de Alice will provide fun and competition this summer, there’s a real need to raise funds following lockdown.

Emily Petts, Family Support Director at Alice, explained: “Most charities have experienced major challenges due to Covid-19 and Alice is no exception. We’ve had to cancel face-to-face fundraising and events, such as our popular It’s A Knockout competition, while simultaneously seeing a spike in demand for our services. The pandemic has hit vulnerable families the hardest and led to an increased need in services such as our People’s Pantry food bank in Newcastle, emotional support and practical help with home essentials. The closure of schools for most children has placed additional strain on those families relying on the financial and social support that they provide with social distancing and lockdown making it difficult for families managing on a low income.”

Main image Josie Humphreys Grants and Fundraising Manager at Alice Charity.

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