Date: Saturday, January 17, 1pm
Location: Achilles Statue, Hyde Park, W1J
One thousand cyclists will take part in an epic ride from Edinburgh to London in August to raise money to support a Gaza children’s charity. This Saturday (January 17) Palestine Solidarity Committee chair Ben Soffa will set the wheels spinning when he launches the project. A similar launch will also take place in Edinburgh.
The Big Ride is the creation of Dermot MacWard, who runs the international cycle holiday company Red Spokes. “My friend Musheir El Farra lost eight members of his family (including five children) in the recent war in Gaza,” he said. “His sister Dr. Mona El-Farra the Vice President of the Red Crescent society for the Gaza Strip and Director of Middle Eastern Children Alliance has asked for help. Mona wants us to help raise awareness of the situation in Palestine and also help the children’s projects she’s involved in The Gaza Strip.”
The massive ride will be from parliament to parliament, setting out on August 1 and ending at the UK parliament in Westminster on August 9. The entire ride stretches to 474 miles with an average of around 50 miles a day. Accommodation and meals en route can be provided.
“But people don’t need to cycle the whole route, they can join for single legs or they can just turn up on the day to encourage the other cyclists,” MacWard said. “It will be one of the largest mass participation cycling events of its kind in Britain. Ever. If you do nothing else this year – dust off your bike, pump up your tyres and oil your chain for a fabulous week of pedalling and helping the people of Palestine.”
It is hoped that at least £100,000 will be raised for MECA, the Middle Eastern Children’s Alliance.
The Big Ride sets off from Scotland’s capital city on Saturday August 1 with a fanfare departure from Arthur’s Seat. The final day of the journey sees a rallying finish to the 474 mile capital-to-capital ride in Parliament Square – from one seat of parliament to another.
The Big Ride has the support of several aid organisations and support groups, including the Palestine Solidarity Committee.