The Wish Pedlars Ride has been running for over 10 years and has been supported every year by members of the West Surrey DA of the CTC. Over £200,000 has been raised for the cause and DA members have contributed generously, year after year. Indeed the DA has provided far more riders than any other team or organisation since the inception of the ride.
The current route was originally suggested by Marguerite Statham who rode the first Camberley to Portsmouth event which had to negotiate heavy traffic in Portsmouth at peak time near the finish. Two circular routes were ridden for two years but the traffic levels and countryside were far from enjoyable.
The present route, particularly the second half, includes some of the best Hampshire scenery yet minimises the number of difficult hills.
The final descent after the Buriton climb is superb. The route then passes through the outskirts of Havant to join the interesting old Hayling Billy steam railway track. Part of this track has been surfaced thanks to the Cycling Officer, Tracy Ford and the Local MP, David Willetts, himself a cyclist.
The Hayling Ferry then transports the riders across Langstone Harbour, another unique feature, thence along the seafront to Castle Fields at Southsea, where the 68th Portsmouth Scouts have their annual event and where refreshments from fish and chips to beer and tea are available.
There are and have been several notable cyclists taking part including Tony Doyle MBE, who has been World Pursuit Professional Champion twice and a CTC member, Mark Silver and his wife Jo on their specially adapted tandem, and Ted Sedman, complete with eight foot handlebar moustache and original nineteenth century Penny Farthing accompanied by his wife on her 1930 loop frame single speed ladies roadster.
The latest event, 2004, raised nearly £30,000 from over 400 riders.
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Web page by Bill Thompson and Chris Jeggo. Last revised: 24 December 2005. . . W. Surrey DA History . . W. Surrey DA History & Archives home page .