Stevenage Santas prove they’re not stick-in-the-muds when it comes to raising charity cash

PUBLISHED: 08:54 19 December 2017 | UPDATED: 09:30 19 December 2017

A song of 60 Santas. Picture WaltCahill.com

A song of 60 Santas. Picture WaltCahill.com

Santa usually flies across the sky but on Saturday, 60 mountain bikers donned Father Christmas costumes to pedal a 20-mile off-road course for charity.

The Santas regrouping in Mardley Woods. Picture: Santa Cruise 2017 The Santas regrouping in Mardley Woods. Picture: Santa Cruise 2017

Setting off from Contour Cycles in Stevenage – the event organisers – the course made its way through a mud-caked route via Mardley Heath, Harmer Green, Tewin, Bramfield and Datchworth, before finishing at the Roebuck Inn, Stevenage.

The bikers took on the challenge for the second consecutive year, raising money for Angels Support Group in Hitchin - a charitable organisation which supports parents and carers of children with autism or ADHD.

Neil Bartle was one of the cyclists to brave the cold conditions and he told the Comet about the ride.

“It was quite a hard ride,” he said.

One of the Santas freewheeling. Picture: Santa Cruise 2017. One of the Santas freewheeling. Picture: Santa Cruise 2017.

“It was muddy, wet and cold but the weather wasn’t as bad as we thought it was going to be.”

The ride took just over five hours to complete with the mud causing havoc for some riders, with Neil telling the Comet: “We had to keep stopping for some of the less experienced riders.

“The Santa costumes are difficult to ride in, there was a big climb and tires picked up mud across the fields.

“Some riders had to carry their bikes because of the mud but thankfully I wasn’t one of them. It was great fun though.

Arriving for some refreshment at the pub in Tewin. Picture: Santa Cruise 2017.s Arriving for some refreshment at the pub in Tewin. Picture: Santa Cruise 2017.s

“We are still collecting money for the charity with more than £1,500 in donations so far. Money raised from the ride is still being tallied up but it could be around £2,000.”

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