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Plans have been announced for a BIG Bear Ride with a difference!

The Wildheart Animal Sanctuary is hugely excited to announce our next fundraising event, the BIG Bear Ride, which will take place on Sunday 21st July 2024. Neil Laughton and Rolf Woodward from the London Penny Farthing Club will ride across the Isle of Wight wearing bear suits on Penny Farthing bicycles to raise awareness and much needed funding for Balu and Benji’s new habitat!

There will be lots of fun activities on offer for the whole family, and everyone is invited to join us at one of the stops or along the route. Give our team a wave and show them your support – they’ll need it!

Photo Competition

Post your pictures of the bears if you spot them with the hashtags #BigBearRide #ProjectBears #SaveBenjiandBalu and you will be entered into a competition to win a VIP Bear Experience at the Sanctuary, which will take place once Benji and Balu have arrived and settled in. Don’t forget to tag the Wildheart Animal Sanctuary!

BIG Bear Ride Planned Route

The route will take place in 4 Stages:
(Please note, the timings below are approximate)

Stage 1 – Albert Cottage, East Cowes to Isle of Wight Steam Railway – 6 miles (9.00am – 11.00am)

Stage 2Quarr Abbey to The Big Kahuna, Ryde – 4.4 miles (12.30pm – 1.30pm)

Stage 3The Big Kahuna, Ryde to The Old Fort Seaview – 2.1 miles (2pm – 3pm)

Stage 4 – Bembridge Village Centre to the Wildheart Animal Sanctuary – 7.6 miles ( 3.30pm – 4.30pm)

Download the map

BIG Bear Ride Stage 1 – Albert Cottage, East Cowes to Isle of Wight Steam Railway – 6 miles

9am – We’ll be kicking off the day’s events at Albert Cottage in East Cowes, where you can meet the cyclists Neil and Rolf and see their Penny Farthing bikes up close! Join us as we cheer them off for their first 6 miles, which will take them all the way to the Isle of Wight Steam Railway in Havenstreet. They will be taking a well earned break at Tesco in Wootton Bridge, so make sure to say hello if you see them! Once at the Isle of Wight Steam Railway, they will be having a quick photoshoot with William the Station Bear and a train ride to rest their legs before setting off on stage 2 of their epic journey.

Stage 2Quarr Abbey to The Big Kahuna, Ryde – 4.4 miles

Starting at the Quarr Abbey Cafe, Neil and Rolf will ride through to the Big Kahuna Cafe on Ryde seafront. Here they will join in with the build a bear sandcastle competition.

Build a bear Sandcastle Competition

Come down to Appley beach, and join us and build a bear sandcastle, take a photo and enter our competition to win a VIP Bear Experience!! Don’t forget to bring your bucket and spade!
Enter the competition at The Big Kahuna.

Stage 3 – The Big Kahuna, Ryde to The Old Fort Seaview – 2.1 miles

During this stage, Neil and Rolf will be joined by the local school children who will accompany the Penny Farthing crew along the Esplanade (2.1 miles) to the Old Fort restaurant in Seaview.

Stage 4 – Bembridge Village Centre to the Wildheart Animal Sanctuary – 7.6 miles

The final stage of the tour will take Neil and Rolf from Bembridge Village Centre all the way to their final destination at the Wildheart Animal Sanctuary in Yaverland around 4.30pm.

The team will be welcomed by our local Ukulele Band, with tea and cake!!

More details of all of the activities to follow soon. Keep your eyes on our socials too!

This is set to be such an incredible day, with so much to get involved with and enjoy! We hope you will join us!