The world’s oldest bike business – Pearson Cycles – is getting in board with the rapidly increasing trend towards gravel riding with a series of four ride events launched this year.
The 1860 founded bike shop run by fifth generation Pearson brothers Will and Guy has unveiled its Inside Out series, aimed at highlighting the mental health benefits of cycling.
Each of the four rides will take in the countryside around London and Surrey, and Pearson Cycles has teamed up with Action for Happiness (AFH) and The Mental Health Foundation (MHF) to raise money via the events. Tickets cost £20 with 100% of sales going to the charities.
The spring ride will take place on March 21, covering a 52 kilometre route, starting and finishing at Pearson’s Sheen store, where there will be “finish line refreshments” from Signal Brewery. Spotive Breaks will help with logistics, and Wahoo is offering up GPS units.
The summer ride will be on May 23, with autumn’s event on September 12 and the winter ride on November 12.
Commenting on the upcoming series, Will Pearson said: “The route promises to introduce even the most experienced navigators to a ride which spans lesser-known paths and tracks across south west London.
“Gravel riding allows cyclists to immerse themselves in the natural environment and provides great headspace as well as a wealth of comradery between fellow riders.
“Cycling really can boost people’s mental health which is why we have chosen to support Action for Happiness and the Mental Health Foundation – we are looking forward to raising money and awareness for their work over the next decade.”
Dr Mark Williamson, CEO of Action for Happiness, added: “Getting active, spending time in nature, connecting with others, trying new things and having a sense of purpose are all proven ways to be happier. Gravel riding offers all of these potential benefits and more.”
Speaking on behalf of the Mental Health Foundation, Chief Executive Mark Rowland, Chief Executive said: “I know physical activity is hugely important for my mental health and we know that it’s vital whether we’re keeping ourselves mentally fit or helping build recovery from mental health problems.
Cycling Weekly's Tech Editor Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper before spending a few years at Evans Cycles, then combining the two with a career in cycling journalism.
When not typing or testing, Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.
Favourite bikes include a custom carbon Werking road bike as well as the Specialized Tarmac SL6.
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