Cyclists will be heading out of the gates at the Kent Blaxill Colchester branch early on 1 July on a 120-mile charity tour of Essex and Suffolk, aiming to raise £6,000.

Among them will be a recumbent bicycle, or velomobile, which will be ‘ridden’ in a lying position by long-time Kent Blaxill employee Andy English.

In total, around 60 riders, comprising customers, staff and suppliers, will be taking part in the sportive, organised by Kent Blaxill and sponsored by Crown, which will be raising money for the Rob George Foundation and the East Anglian Air Ambulance.

The route will go via Kent Blaxill Saffron Walden, Bury St Edmunds and Sudbury branches, before riders finish back in Colchester at about 5pm.

Of his recumbent cycle, Mr English said: “It is very aerodynamic and so is capable of averaging speeds of around 20-25 mph, although I am at a disadvantage on the hills. On the continent they are known as ‘rocket bikes’. It is such a magical piece of engineering that riding it brings a smile to my face.”

Cyclists will be wearing shirts specially designed for the event and will be competing either as individuals or as part of teams. Riders can be sponsored at

It is the second charity cycle ride organised by Kent Blaxill, the previous event being held in 2013 to mark the company’s 175th anniversary.

Picture caption: Kent Blaxill staff riders: (l -r) Andrew Tanner, Scott Morrison and managing director Simon Blaxill, with Andy English in his velomobile.