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Merlin says ‘NO TO LYCRA’ in Big Seaside Pootle

Press release   •   Jul 22, 2013 17:21 BST

  • Merlin launches the ‘Big Seaside Pootle’ a different take on the London to Brighton charity bike ride

Merlin is ditching the Lycra in a more casual approach to the London to Brighton charity cycle ride this September. The charity is looking for participants for the ‘Big Seaside Pootle’, where cyclists will enjoy a more relaxed saunter to the coast, with scheduled stops at local pubs serving traditional ale and ice cream instead of the usual Lycra infested race.

Open to cyclists of any level, entrants of the ‘Big Seaside Pootle’ on Sunday 8th September will be treated to a jaunt to the seaside, with plenty of stops along the way to take in cooling libations. Merlin is banning Mamils (Middle aged men in Lycra) and is encouraging instead a more sedate pace of life.

However, the bike ride isn’t just about a nice day out. Participants of the ‘Big seaside pootle’ will also be raising vital funds for Merlin, who provides medical assistance in humanitarian disasters in some of the toughest places in the world.

Jackie Ord, who is leading on the Big Seaside Pootle, said: “Here at Merlin, we say 'no!' to Lycra and 'yes!' to style. We want you to say 'No!' to energy drinks in the saddle and 'yes!' to delicious ales in country pubs. We want to say 'no!' to doing the cycle in a sweaty three hours and 'YES!' to taking our time and having fun while we do it. To join us on the ‘Big Seaside Pootle’ is easy; simply pay an initial £35 to secure your place and then raise £100 for the cause.”

The saunter to Brighton at the relaxed Merlin pace, will take between four and six hours. The outing through the beautiful countryside of the south east will start in South London and will travel through Mitcham, Carshalton, Chipstead, Banstead, Haywards Heath and finally finish in Brighton having completed 54 miles.

The London to Brighton cycle ride is a great way to raise money for a charity that saves lives in some of the world’s toughest places. Every penny raised through the Big Seaside Pootle will help Merlin continue to provide its expert medical help to those who need it most.

To find out more about the London to Brighton ‘Big Seaside Pootle’, or to register to take part, visit

Stay in touch with Merlin at or on twitter @MerlinUK

Merlin is an international health charity, saving lives in the world’s toughest places. Merlin responds with healthcare when people are overwhelmed by natural disaster, conflict or disease and are in need of immediate help.

Merlin will stay on after a crisis to assist recovery. Using medical expertise, Merlin supports health workers to strengthen existing health services and build the resilience of communities by helping those at risk of future disasters to be better prepared. For further information please go to:

For all media enquiries contact Kim Atkins on 02070141703 or Anna MacSwan on 02070141735

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