KEEN cyclist John Wheat is encouraging riders to get on their bikes to help support Newport-based St David's Hospice Care at the most challenging period is its 40-plus year existence.

The Newport Social Cycling co-ordinator, a staunch supporter of the hospice, is taking part in the Sand to City Tenby to Newport cycle ride and is urging others to follow suit.

Sand to City, sponsored by Newport-based Parker & Co Accountants and Business Advisors, is a 158-mile sponsored cycle ride to be staged in the month of April.

The popular, free-to-enter event, usually staged over two days with an overnight stop in Swansea, has had to be made 'virtual' this year due to the pandemic.

Mr Wheat said: "The ride will be a lot different this year but that doesn't mean it can't be as much fun for those taking part virtually. The Sand to City routes are always such a great challenge and provide some spectacular scenery along the way.

South Wales Argus: John Wheat

John Wheat

South Wales Argus: Part of Sand to City route

Part of Sand to City route

"It’s left to the riders to think about raising the funds for a great cause, St David's Hospice Care, who carry out the most phenomenal work in our community.


"I have and always will be a great believer in the work that they provide to those patients most in need, facing very difficult times in their lives. I’ve heard and witnessed the difference they make and would encourage everyone to consider getting involved in the Sand to City virtual challenge this year."

South Wales Argus: Sand to City day one route

Sand to City day one route

South Wales Argus: Sand to City day two route

Sand to City day two route

Global adventurer Gary Parker, of sponsors Parker & Co, is preparing to take part in the event again this year.

Mr Parker said: "Sand to City is a testing, challenging and ultimately a very rewarding cycling event.

"Sure, it'll be different this year due to restrictions due to the pandemic but the challenge of the fantastic route, from Tenby to Newport, remains the same.

"The virtual Sand to City will be staged from April 1 to 30. Entrants will be able to ride the course at any time during the month. Staging the event virtually means riders can cover the 158-mile Sand to City, Tenby to Newport, 'course' at any location using a road bike, static or E-Bike.

South Wales Argus: Previous Sand to City with Gary Parker of this year's sponsors on the left

Previous Sand to City with Gary Parker of this year's sponsors on the left

"To make things more competitive we will be using Challenge Hound which will have a leader board and track everyone’s progress over the course of April. For those who use Strava or Garmin you will have to link these to Challenge Hound via their website.

"After we get the results at the end of the month we will be able to make awards to various category winners."

Event organiser, Tania Ansell, of St David's Hospice Care, said: "Gary has been a huge supporter of the hospice over very many the years not only as a sponsor, a supporter and by taking part in a variety of our events. We're delighted he's stepped forward to sponsor Sand to City and now hope many others will get on their bikes to take part in this fabulous event and make it a huge success.

South Wales Argus: Sand to City

Participants in Sand to City

South Wales Argus: Sand to City

Participants in Sand to City

"Although we will miss seeing all riders this year, we hope the virtual ride will encourage more people than ever to saddle up and help raise some sponsorship to support the hospice.

"The virtual ride is free to enter and if you raise more than £25 in sponsorship you will receive an exclusive snood and Sand to City medal in the post in May.

"We implore you to get involved and help to raise vital funds for us to continue providing care throughout our community in these very difficult times."

For more details call 01633 851051 or email or visit