A Shropshire web hosting firm are getting behind a charity bike ride event, donating hosting services and a free website to help get the event off the ground.

The Midnight Ride event, now in its fourth year, will set off from Oswestry and travel through Welshpool to Lake Vyrnwy and back to Oswestry – totalling 85 miles, leaving at midnight on Saturday 23 June and returning at sunrise on Sunday 24 June.

Event organiser Alan Lewis (41) has been cycling for over 20 years and has competed in many long-distance endurance events around the country away from his civil service job with the Sports Council. He started the Midnight Ride event in 2015 in a bid to offer something unique for riders to experience.

“Participants of Midnight Ride vary from nervous first-timers of all ages through to competitive cyclists. We aim to bring together an active community of people who take part for different reasons ranging from fitness, competition, charity, health, fun or simply to finish,” says Alan.

In previous years the event has been fairly low key with around 50 riders. The 2018 event is shifting up a gear though and thanks to a little help from some new partners and with a new infrastructure in place, Alan hopes to attract around 200-300 riders.

“We’ve managed to get a lot of support this year, especially from Certa Hosting who offered to supply the website and hosting free of charge.”

Certa Hosting provide businesses with flexible options for web and email hosting that grows with them. The Midnight Ride website was built using Certa’s Site Builder, which comes free with any Pro or Unlimited hosting package and allows users to design their own website using a simple drag and drop mechanism.

Anyone can sign up for the ride, although given the 85-mile journey, a very good level of fitness is recommended. Riders will need a roadworthy bike (mountain bikes and hybrids are acceptable) with front and rear lights, must be medically fit and should consult their GP before riding if they have a history of injury or illness. Riders must be over the age of 16, wear a fluro cycling top and a recognised helmet and have a buddy to ride with.

“The concept of leaving at midnight and arriving back to see the sunrise is appealing to many riders,” says Alan. “It’s also very safe, much safer than riding in the day as there is much less traffic to worry about. Powerful bike lights are now available that are as bright as car lights and will light the way.”

The event’s charity partner is Severn Hospice, who Alan has previously raised over £30,000 for and is close to his heart following the care given to his mother and grandfather.

Taking part in Midnight Ride 2018 costs just £40 which includes entry to the event, free parking, a goodie bag and a hearty breakfast on return. There will also be some spot prizes which included a cycling holiday for two to Italy.

If you can’t take part but would still like to be involved, the Midnight Riders are on the lookout for volunteers to help the event run smoothly. Important jobs like bike ride registration, mid-ride food stops, and ride marshals are all up for grabs.

To find out more, visit the website sponsored by Certa Hosting: www.midnightride.co.uk or call 07595 031333 to speak to the event’s organiser Alan Lewis.