Two-wheeled Charity

This article was published in 1998, in Newsletter 17.

All summer long, the Cambridge Evening News is filled with an amazing number of reports on those who’ve taken to their bikes to raise money for good causes. Most of these are small groups of people with very personal causes – but there are also a few much larger rides organised by individual charities.

Over the years I’ve been on about 15 such rides, and I’ve always found them to be very enjoyable. I love the sense of community of joining hundreds or thousands of other riders.If anyone out there is interested in joining a Cambridge Cycling Campaign ‘team’ for this year’s London to Cambridge ride on 26 July, I’d love to hear from you.

On really large rides, such as the London to Brighton (where 27 000 riders are expected this year) pick your starting time carefully – the earlier the better. The year I did that one, I started around 8:30 am, and I had to walk the first couple of miles, as there were too many people crammed into too tight an area – very stressful, though the rest of the ride did make up for it.

Secondly, on the larger rides it’s probably also worth taking your own lunch – as the queues can stretch quite a way at busier times.

This Year’s Sponsored Rides

These are the ones we’ve heard about so far. (If you hear of any other sponsored rides on the Cambridge area, I’d really like to know about them, to put an update in the next newsletter.)

Sunday 3 MayThe Cambridge Wheel, in aid of Action Research. A countryside ride of 25 or 50 miles, starting and finishing in Cambridge. (01603) 414676.

Sunday 31 MayRoundabout East Anglia, in aid of the Anthony Nolan Bone Marrow Trust. Circular routes through the countryside, starting and finishing in Cambridge. (01865) 875758.

Sunday 26 JulyThe London to Cambridge Bike Ride, 60 miles in aid of WWF. Probably Cambridge’s biggest ride. If you’re not riding, it’s worth going to Midsummer Common just to soak up the atmosphere! (01483) 426269.

Sunday 6 SeptemberThe St Ives Fun Bike Ride, 25 miles in aid of the British Heart Foundation. For details, write to British Heart Foundation Bike Rides, 14 Fitzhardinge Street, London, W1H 4DH – quoting ref. 24.

Other ways to help

If you don’t want to ride, but are interested in helping one of the good causes, there are other ways. The organisers of the Cambridge Wheel, in particular, are seeking volunteers to help marshal on the day. If you’re interested, let me know, and I’ll give you more details. I’m sure that applies to the other rides as well.

Finding out more

Bike Events is an organisation in Bath which organises rides throughout the UK and abroad. Their annual brochure provides details of over 100 rides. If you’d like a copy, contact them at: Bike Events Ltd, PO Box 75, Bath. BA1 1BX. (01225) 480130.

Clare Macrae