The Only Way is Up! charity sportive was the obvious next step following the publication of Matt Collas’ Cycling Climbs book at the end of last year. The book celebrates 26 of Guernsey’s hills with stunning pictures from Nick Déspres alongside the statistics and profile for each climb.
The Only Way is UP! will take place on Sunday 3 October with the option of two routes. The full course is 55 miles and takes in 25 hills with approximately 6,000ft of climbing and the alternative route of 44 miles will take in 14 of the hills and climb approximately 4,500ft.
‘The ride is in aid of Only Fools and Donkeys which raises money for local charities working with children, young people and adults with learning difficulties and physical disabilities.’ said Matt Collas. ‘I came across the charity when I took part in their Mule Loire charity bike ride in 2018 and all the proceeds from the book – which stands at just over £9,000 – has been donated to them.
‘I still ride with the Mules each Sunday morning and as I was working on the book we were already talking about putting all the climbs together into one, admittedly pretty challenging, ride. We have such a strong cycling community in Guernsey and the response has been fantastic with over 80 riders already registered.’
The Skipton Community Fund is supporting the ride. Aaron Walden, Commercial Manager, Skipton said, ‘The purpose of our Community Fund is to help community events such as these, so as much money as possible can be raised for the charity. We are aware of the great work Only Fools and Donkeys does in the Bailiwick and are excited to see the book come to life.’
The two routes can be downloaded from cyclingclimbs.org.gg where you can also register for the event. The cost for taking part is £20 and includes a feed station out on the course and a well-deserved burger and pint at the finish and £10 from each registration will go to OF&D.
Matt added, ‘I’m very grateful to the Only Fools and Donkeys team for their help in organising the ride, to Skipton’s Community Fund for their support, and to Rocq Capital for sponsoring the limited edition water bottles for each rider.’