Posts Tagged 'RideLondon'

#fundraiserfriday: “It won’t be an easy road for Kev”

blog headerAfter his brother Kevin was diagnosed with bowel cancer, Neil knew it wouldn’t be an easy road. He says;

“He has been prodded and poked in places he won’t want me to mention! He has had surgery to remove part of his bowel, giving him a new nickname of ‘Kev Semi-Colon’. He has a C-Section scar to empathise with the female species. He is currently undergoing 6 months of Chemotherapy to eliminate any traces of the cancer.”

What Neil may not have known at the time is that he and Kevin would end up cycling the 100 mile Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100… dressed as women!

The cause

Neil points out that bowel cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the UK and affects around 1 in 19 women and 1 in 14 men. He adds that when diagnosed early at stage 1, more than nine out of ten (97%) people survive this type of cancer for five years or more. At stage 4, this drops to less than one in ten (7%).

Neil decided to take on his fundraising challenge for Beating Bowel Cancer, a charity which aims to raise awareness as well as campaigning for better screening processes for the disease.

blog body imageThe challenge

To help support his brother, Neil decided to take on the 2016 Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100. To amplify the amount raised for charity as much as possible, Neil decided to set some targets.

If he managed to raise more than £500 he would do the race on a fold up bike, while if he raised over £1000 his brother Kevin would join him. As the total surpassed £5000, Neil and Kevin had to think up something even bigger. So in the end they donned their dresses and took on the mammoth cycle dressed as women (and cycled it on 1970s made fold up bikes with 3 gears!)

Neil tells us that the race was not as bad as they had expected and they completed it in 8 hours and 46 minutes, spurred on by comments such as “you could have shaved your legs” and “you look good from the back, but not so good from the front.”

Help support Neil and Kevin

You can help the brothers raise even more for this fantastic charity by donating to their fundraising page.

RideLondon fundraising hero: Georgia cycling in memory of her father


On Sunday 31st July, Georgia Isaacs will will be one of thousands of cyclists taking to the road for the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100. She’s riding in memory of her dad, Michael Isaacs, who sadly died the day after her 18th birthday in November 2011. Georgia told us her story and we’re delighted to feature her as a guest blogger today.

Why RideLondon?

“I’ve waited a while to do something in memory of my dad because I just wasn’t sure of the right thing to do. Then I went to watch the the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 on Box Hill a few years ago and I knew it was exactly the challenge I wanted to take on. Now I’m here… terrified but incredibly excited!”

Michael Isaacs

“My dad devastatingly lost his battle with cancer after an honourable fight. He worked up until 3 weeks before he died and never ever let us know how much pain he was actually in, which made the news that he only had days to live a complete and utter shock. All of our lives were turned upside-down.

The Princess Alice Hospice

“On my 18th birthday my dad was taken to the Princess Alice Hospice, Esher. The Princess Alice Hospice is a wonderful, calming place that is far from what I expected a hospice to be. They put their heart and soul into making sure dad’s last hours were as comfortable as possible and tried their very best to ease our pain too. With a team of doctors and nurses caring for dad medically it enabled my mum to go back to being his wife and just be at his side.

“You are always welcome back to the hospice to look round the gardens, light candles in memory or just sit in the cafe and remember your loved one. We were, and still are, so grateful for the amazing job the staff do in such an emotionally tough environment.


“Training for this ride has been very physically challenging as well as emotionally. I have not had dad here to help me with the things I had always depended on him to do such as oiling my bike, fixing punctures and helping when my chain comes off. I am so grateful for the people who have been able to help me and subsequently teach me all of these things and more.georgia bike

“I wish so much dad could be here to cycle with me, something I am sure he would have loved to have done. I try my hardest to remember that any pain I endure during the training and on the day is nothing like the pain my dad was in.

“My dad was my absolute world and I would do anything to have him back and for our family to be whole again. I still can’t get my head round the fact he is no longer here.”

How you can help

You can support Georgia’s challenge via her Virgin Money Giving page.

RideLondon fundraising heroes: Ben Paul is cycling for White Lodge

ben paul for blog

On Sunday 31 July, Ben Paul will be one of thousands of cyclists taking to the road for the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100. But Ben isn’t simply taking on an epic cycling challenge, he is doing it to raise money for White Lodge Centre.

The challenge

RideLondon brings together numerous different types of cycling for one big festival; with events from free cycles to fold-out-bike racing with everyone taking part from elite cyclists to families. Ben will be taking part in the RideLondon-Surrey 100 which is the 100 mile race on the Sunday.

Ben and fellow supporters decided RideLondon would be the best challenge to take on in order to fundraise for their chosen charity, White Lodge, to help support their Campaign Team James.

The charity

The White Lodge Centre is a charity which supports disabled children, young adults and adults, their families and carers in Surrey and throughout the surrounding areas. They specialise in care for those with a diverse range of disabilities, including cerebral palsy and other similar conditions. It costs over £2.5 million a year to run the White Lodge Centre which is not fully met by statutory sources, so they rely on voluntary donations to maintain the vital services they provide to numerous children, including Ben’s son James. Ben tells us

“James has just turned 4 and is making fantastic progress towards achieving many important milestones and overcoming challenges – not least because of the fantastic services, support and therapy that he receives from White Lodge Centre, including physiotherapy, occupational therapy, hydrotherapy, and speech and language therapy. Thanks to White Lodge, James will be able to achieve one of my greatest wishes in that he will be able to walk, unaided, into his first day at mainstream school in September.”

The training

Ben and his team have all been training separately until last weekend when they got together as a team and cycled 75 miles of the route including the Surrey Hills! He tells us “We are a mixture of abilities and experience, but will work together as a team to make sure that all of us get around and finish as that one team.

Ben tells us that finishing as one team, knowing that we have raised as much money for an incredible cause, is what will keep him going round that 100 mile course.

How you can help

To help support Ben’s campaign, you can donate directly to his fundraising page or if you’d like to do your own fundraising for Team James, you can open a page under their Campaign.

RideLondon fundraising heroes: Henry cycling for the Alzheimer’s Society

henry v for blog

On Sunday 31 July, Henry Volans will be one of thousands of cyclists taking to the road for the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100. But Henry is doing more than taking on a 100 mile cycle, he is doing it while fundraising for the Alzheimer’s Society.

Why RideLondon?

Henry is taking on this challenge because of a love of cycling which runs in the family. Both he and his father are keen cyclists, with his dad cycling to work every day until retirement and then taking cycling holidays since. They both also share a passion for making cities more cycle-friendly, a topic which is often prevalent in London and is, indeed, part of the wider aim of RideLondon.

RideLondon brings together numerous different types of cycling for one big festival; with events from free cycles to fold-out-bike racing with everyone taking part from elite cyclists to families.

Why the Alzheimer’s Society?

Henry’s dad, Kevin, has been living with dementia for 2-3 years, although the formal diagnosis came just one year ago. It began in roughly his mid-sixties which, as Henry says, is a bit younger than the ages generally associated with the disease. Henry tells us;henry v for blog 2

“My Dad has always been a brilliant fundraiser and great at getting people to join in, he is the reason we’ve managed to raise such a strong total. We’re already at almost £5,000 including gift aid and I know we can reach beyond £5,000 with another push. This fundraising is with him, not just for him.”

The Alzheimer’s Society provide information and support to people living with Alzheimer’s disease, whether that be a to the person themself, to the family and friends of a person living with the disease or to people concerned about a family member or friend.

Henry’s fundraising will keep him motivated during the race, as well as seeing my family and friends 85 miles into the route. He tells us “we live on the route, so it’s a glimpse of home, a chance to high-five my sons and get some food“.

How you can help

You can support Henry’s fundraising and the Alzheimer’s Society by donating to his Virgin Money Giving page.

RideLondon fundraising hero: Martin cycling for Tommy’s

martin and amelia
On Sunday 31 July, Martin Phillips will be one of thousands of cyclists taking to the road for the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100. But Martin isn’t simply hoping to complete the 100 mile challenge, he is doing it for the charity Tommy’s.

Why RideLondon?

Martin decided to take on the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 after moving to the Surrey Hills a few years ago and being inspired by the cyclists whizzing past the end of his road during last year’s race. A truly unique challenge, RideLondon weekend – a festival of cycling – sees amateur cyclists riding alongside professionals round a 100 mile course for the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 as well as a 46 mile version and a family friendly free-cycle, amongst other events.

Why Tommy’s?

The decision to fundraise for the charity Tommy’s was a personal one, after experiencing what Martin describes as the “amazing support and care” he and his family were shown by the charity after an extremely traumatic time. His daughter Amelia was born at 29 weeks, weighing two pounds and six ounces, nine weeks after Amelia’s twin sister was born who, sadly, lost her life. Martin says

“At the time I vowed to do an event to support Tommy’s and ten years on, am taking part in the 100 mile ride for them. Amelia will be in my thoughts for most of the ride and she will be there on the day supporting me, along with my wife and other two children.”

Martin has so far managed to raise more than £6,100 including gift aid, a figure which he expects to rise over the coming weeks. He points out that the hills in the area might be beautiful to look at but are “much less fun, trying to get up them on a bike made for Bradley Wiggins and not a middle aged Headhunter“. However he adds that it will all be worth it once he completes the race and comes home to “a barbecue and a couple of glasses of well deserved wine“.

How you can help

You can support the charity Tommy’s and Martin’s fundraising efforts by donating to his Virgin Money Giving page.

Win £250 Evans Cycles vouchers with Virgin Money Giving

ridelondon for blog

You’ve got your Prudential RideLondon-Surrey place. You’ve got your bike. You’ve started your training. But what about your fundraising?

Win £250 Evans Cycles vouchers

If you’ve not yet set up your fundraising page for the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 or the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 46, there is no time like the present. And until 31 July, we are offering you an added incentive..

Every donation you receive to your Virgin Money Giving fundraising page throughout the month of July will give you one entry into our prize draw to win one of two £250 vouchers to spend at Evans Cycles.

This means that the more donations you receive, the more entries you will get, and the more chances you have of winning!

So get your Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 or Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 46 fundraising page set up today and you could be boosting your bike post race.

Terms and conditions can be found below.

Continue reading ‘Win £250 Evans Cycles vouchers with Virgin Money Giving’

#fundraiserfriday: Two cycling challenges for Asthma UK

jeff for blog

Today’s #fundraiserfriday is the winner of our Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 VIP Experience Prize Draw. Jeff Ashton is taking on the spectacular 100 mile cycle in July this year and is taking it on for Asthma UK as part of an even bigger challenge.

The challenges

Jeff Ashton is taking on two cycling challenges this year. The first of these was the Fred Whitton Sportive which took place on 8 May and is said to be the toughest in the UK. The ‘Fred’ is a 112 mile hill route with over 12,000 feet of climbing and a real test of endurance – no matter what the weather. Jeff tells us that he saw the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 as offering “a different test in the most contrasting surroundings as a closed roads event, something I have never done before.”

The charity

As is often the case, Jeff chose his charity because of a personal reason. In his case, in fact, he chose Asthma UK for two personal reasons. Jeff’s friend’s mother had a double asthma attack and died very young which, he says, was a real shock to all who knew her. Then in 1997, Jeff experienced a drive to the hospital which he says was one of the worst moments of his life. After his then girlfriend, now wife, police officer Alex, had chased a burglar through a stream in Bradford, she complaimed of feeling unwell. Jeff tells us;

“Due to not realising the seriousness of the situation I went out to a prior engagement at the Town Hall. A couple of hours later, two colleagues came and dragged me out of the meal as Alex had been rushed to Bradford Royal Infirmary in a very poorly state.”

When Jeff arrived at the hospital after this awful drive, he was told Alex had had a severe asthma attack and had come very close to not making it through. He says “You can imagine the mixture of emotions running through me, relief, guilt, bewilderment to name but a few.” Alex was told it was likely that she had suffered from Asthma for some time but it had been misdiagnosed as simply not being fit. One year later, Alex was once again rushed into hospital after experiencing another severe attack. After this, Alex’s asthma stabilised and the couple ran the Great North Run for Asthma UK and, despite “abandoning her in her hour of need“, they married in 2004.jeff for blog2

Getting ready for the event

Jeff has been training for his double cycling challenge by doing midweek intervals and long rides at the weekend. His friend, who is an ex-pro racer, has been pushing him to get rac ready and Jeff admits that the intervals, especially the ‘full gas’ ones, are “absolute torture“.

He has put just as much effort into his fundraising, using social media to push his fundraising page to family, friends and work colleagues and as well as “thrusting a sponsor sheet under people’s noses” and taking every opportunity to remind people of ways they can donate. Jeff tells us;

“My latest idea is to let everybody know that if I raise the £700 target or more before the event on 31st July, I will publicly have my legs waxed like a real road cyclist! I think I will be hitting my target as there are a lot of people who want to see me suffer on and off the bike. One kind soul has asked how much would it cost to see me have an all over body wax! Watch this space..”

Jeff says he can’t wait to cross the line to see his daughter and her boyfriend in the Granstand – one of the prizes he won as part of the Virgin Money Giving exclusive updgrade – as well as watching Alex cross the finish line safely, proving that Asthma doesn’t need to stop you doing things you love in some cases. He finishes by saying

“I hope all the entrants get round safely and in one piece. Even training rides can be dangerous, Alex came off last week over a cattle grid and lost some skin and gained some fantastic bruises but thankfully nothing broken.”

How you can help

You can support Jeff by donating to Asthma UK via his Virgin Money Giving page.

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