Taking part in charity bike rides

“Hey mate – have you sponsored my charity bike ride?” Is a phrase many will get tired of saying and many more will get tired of hearing. However, each year millions of pounds are raised for good causes through this simple exchange.

If you are thinking of raising money for charity through a sponsored bike ride what exactly is involved?

Typical rides will involve an entry fee along with a fundraising target. The entry fee covers expenses such as ride support and paying for road closures. The Action London to Paris ride has a £99 entrance fee and you need to commit to raising a minimum of £1,400.

Alternatively, you may choose to organise your own charity bike ride. A good friend of mine Jason, is currently riding from Assisi in Italy all the way to the Hospice of St Francis in Berkhamsted to fundraise for the hospice that cared for his daughter during her battle with cancer. These charity rides present the added challenge of having to organise the event yourself.

Fundraising ideas

A good basis for your fundraising is always to recruit your nearest and dearest to help you raise money. There are different ways they may be able to help.

Handing them a sponsor form or asking them to direct people towards your online giving page is a start.

If you are involved with your local school, nursery or college then they may help by holding a non-uniform day.

Events such as bake sales and pub quizzes can make a big difference to contributions.

Fundraise while you shop

A clever new site called Easy Fundraising donates money to charity each time you spend online through affiliated stores. It’s a good one to keep bookmarked.

Training for a charity ride

Depending on the length of the ride you’ll also want to spend a few months leading up to the ride pushing up your fitness. Whilst charity bike rides are not as gruelling as a marathon can be, some preparation can really help make things easier. This is especially true for rides that last more than a day.

To train for a charity ride, you can use your commute as a good building block. If it’s a short commute of around 5 miles you may want to try taking a longer route in to work. You can also make use of your weekends to get some training miles in and push yourself. This will make the leap to a longer ride much easier.

Many of the organisers these days provide training plans which can be a very useful reference point for the sort of riding you can do in the run up to the big event.

Beyond the training you’ll also want to equip yourself with some basic gear. A pair of padded shorts will certainly make things a lot easier.

If you’ve got any more great fundraising ideas please do share them in the comments below..

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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.

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4 Responses to Taking part in charity bike rides

  1. Barton 21/06/2012 at 4:43 pm #

    I open my secret stash of Scotch Whisky to raise money for my MS rides. Friends (and people I know who like Scotch) and pay for the drink by how old it is. So I get $1 for each year the whisky sat in a barrel ($12 a dram for my Glenlivet, which is only $8 @ the bar; $18 for my GlenDronach, and I double the cost for cask strength).

    A few years ago I bought a ridiculously discounted bottle of 40 year old Scotch (still ridiculously priced) and it turns out I hate it. But I have treated it like a rare commodity at these events and have auctioned off a wee dram of it at the end of the night – @ the last one, the small taste went for $150. Everyone else seems to like it, so a definite win-win. So, one night of sharing my whisky around netted me nearly $1000 towards the ride. Better yet, it wasn’t just my whisky, as people brought their own bottles to share towards the charity event. Better yet, I get rid of the whisky people gave me as gifts that I am not a fan of (heavy peated stuff, for example).

    My neighbor does a “Beer & Brats for Boobs” party each year to raise money for her breast cancer charity walk/ride. She charges $5 for a plastic cup and all the beer is free (donated by local distributors — who are really helpful if you get to the early and are willing to give them a small plug), and each bratwurst was also $5 a piece. She typically raises $10k in just one event (only a couple hundred the first year, but it has gained such a following that people she doesn’t know come). Granted, she does put out donation jars and has full donation forms available for those who want to give by credit card, as well as matching gift forms, as many employers will match an employees contribution to charity if over a certain amount.

  2. Asad Muzammal 21/06/2012 at 11:05 pm #

    Tip: Encourage people to ‘Like’ your charity Facebook page as early as you can, so that when your fundraising ride comes around, you’ll have an easy way to share details of your fundraising ride with everyone who you may not be in regular contact with, but who have been receiving updates of your charitable cause.

    Now if I can shamelessly ask you to ‘Like’ our newly set up Facebook page, I’d be very grateful!


  3. BRIAN VOAKES 22/06/2012 at 10:59 am #

    I always send my company wide email that explains my ride, training, charity and that directs to my online giving page ON PAYDAY. I usually start on the payday at the beginning of training with another at the payday closest to the event.

  4. Dave 08/07/2012 at 11:28 pm #

    I completed the London to Brighton last week and raised my support from my workmates. Doing the London to Southend next weekend I tried something different and went to the local pub, asked the owner if I could approach her customers.

    She agreed and ten minutes later I left the pub with more than the target sponsor amount! OK, not everyone agreed but most were quite willing and supportive

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