gill timmis

Long-range cyclists from St Margarets, Twickenham and many parts of Britain head off to Holland next week (20th June) for Double Dutch – their second children’s charity ride through Holland.

The Biking for Children in Care team of more than 50 riders, aged 20 to 70, plus a nine-strong support team, will be making their 12th ride to raise funds for the Who Cares? Trust kids’ charity.

Leading the team of social workers, lawyers and people from many other backgrounds is’ charity cyclist Gill Timmis, from Amyand Park, St Margarets, who was awarded the MBE for her efforts in December’s New Year’s Honours – the only social worker to be so recognised.

Gill said:

“This ‘Double Dutch’ ride will be the second one we’ve made in Holland, and we hope to raise £50,000 this year.

“We were in Holland in 2006 with 40 riders and raised £32,000. This time we hope to beat that comfortably – and enjoyably. We’ll be riding through towns, countryside, forests, along canal banks. It may be the Low Countries, but we’ve even found some hills to make it more challenging. We just hope the weather stays calm without too much head wind!”

The group leaves from St Pancras, meet their back-up team at Rhennen, Holland, get on their bikes and cycle through Tiel, Arnhem and Harderwijk to reach Amsterdam by 23rd June after a 200 mile pedal. But that’s just their latest marathon in a long-running series.

Biking for Children in Care started in 2002 with a 1000-mile ride from Lands End to John O’Groats. Since then some 50 riders have made a 200 mile trip every year to raise nearly £500,000 to date. Last year’s Burgundy ride alone raised a record £58,000.

To make sure they reach their target comfortably, organisers have been to Holland in advance to spot unexpected problems. Gill says: “We found that there aren’t all that many public toilets in Holland – which has meant some pretty careful route planning!”

To support their bid, visit uk.virginmoneygiving.com/GillTimmis