Cycling is a sport which is widely participated in by commuters and athletes. This is because it is a fantastic way to keep fit while reducing the pollution caused by your vehicles when travelling to and from work. Also, cycling can be an enjoyable activity for the whole family as it can provide hours of fun planning and exploring your local areas.
But when you are out on a bike ride enjoying the fresh air, have you ever thought to yourself how much more you can get out of this passion? There are a number of cycling events available for you to get involved with and you can raise money for a charity close to your heart too. So why not sign up to a ride near you and make a difference to someone’s life today!? Below we will look into the different charity events you can join in with along with what it takes to participate.
What are Charity Bike Events?
Charity bike events take place regularly and are a way for avid cyclists to receive sponsorships from friends and family in order to raise money for their chosen cause. However, when it comes to choosing a race to take part in, there are many different aspects to think of beforehand such as the length and terrain of the event. Below are just a few types of charity rides you can pick from:
- Road sportives
- Road leisure rides
- Off-road rides
- Cross country events
- Multi-day overseas
Road sportives are large scale races which usually work to a timed target. This terrain is a flat road surface; however a number of routes may have some high inclines. So it is best to check the route map and be up to scratch with the area the race is taking place in before jumping in at the deep end. These events are better suited for confident riders who find great motivation in the competitive aspect of races as the time limit is in place.
Road leisure rides are similar to sportives and work to a time limit, however this is not as pressurised. Leisure rides encourage the participants to take their time and enjoy exploring the environment around them. So not only are you raising money for your chosen charity, you are also exploring a new area at a suitable pace for you. This is what makes these races more appealing for a wider range of cyclists compared to the high paced competitiveness of the sportives.
Off road rides take place on specialised tracks for bikes to ensure that you are kept securely away from traffic. Therefore these types of events have a higher appeal for families or mountain bike users as they can focus on the trail at a leisurely pace.
Cross country and overseas events are for the distance cyclists as these will be performed over a number of days. The cross country ones usually take place within the UK going from coast to coast, however the difference with overseas races are that they will for example start in London and end in Paris. Therefore these types of cycling events are aimed more at the advanced bikers who can manage their time and stamina to a T in order to make it to the end successfully.
How to Get Involved
To get yourself signed up to a race near you there are lots of resources you can use online or by asking around your fellow riders. However, to assist you with this, we have listed some of the next races available within the types of events we have mentioned above:
- 11th May 2019: Dulux London Revolution – Greater London (300KM/160KM/140KM)
- 12th May 2019: Castle Ride 100 – Tonbridge Kent (124M/101M/70M/33M)
- 17th November 2018: Real Ale Wobble – Llanwrtyd Wells to Powys (25M)
- 13th July 2019: Lands’ End to John O’Groats (15 days/1 day)
- 24th July 2019: Tour de France – London to Paris (5 days)
When reviewing the dates of the next events we can see that they are most commonly scheduled for the spring/summer time. Therefore this will give cyclists the autumn and wintertime to train in their local gym to prepare them for the race. Although, depending on the weather over these months, you may still be able to get outdoors and train on your preferred terrain.
Benefits of Taking Part
Cycling in general has a large number of benefits on your health and lifestyle, both physically and mentally. And when preparing and training for a bike event you will find that you are out and about on your bicycle a lot more, which means that you will reap the positive effects of the sport much more. Therefore by taking part in a charity event, you are not just raising money for your selected cause, but you are actually greatly enhancing your fitness in the process while having fun. Below are a few ways in which cycling competitively or leisurely can have a positive effect on your body and mental health:
- Improved mood through adrenaline and endorphins
- Great stress relief
- Aids weight loss
- Builds and tones muscle
- Enhanced lung health
- Believed to reduce heart disease and cancer risks
- Low impact on your body
- More direct form of travelling
- Improved navigational skills
- Better sleep
- Boosts cognitive functions
- Increases spatial awareness
- Strengthens immune system
- Great social activity
Do you Cycle for Charity?
If you are thinking of, or have taken part in a charity cycle, get in touch! We would love to know your experience with the training and competitive aspect of the sport as well as the fantastic difference you have made to a charity through donations. So find us over on our social media pages and send us a message now!
Also, on our online cycle store at Sports Fitness, you can find a number of cycling accessories and clothing to assist you on your journey to enhanced healthy lifestyle.
This article was written exclusively for Sports Fitness by Loren Astbury