Enjoy going on a bike ride? I’m guessing you do or you wouldn’t be looking at this site. But have you thought about going on a bike ride for charity? And dare I suggest it - taking the family?
Go Bike for Charity
There are literally hundreds of bike rides around the world you can hitch on to if you fancy raising money for a good cause while stretching your legs. If you are stuck for ideas a good place to start is checking out the internet site JustGiving. They list a wealth of different pedalling challenges, and if you want to tackle a cycling journey with your friends, family or colleagues, you can join your individual pages together or share a page to reach a team target. In this post we’ve researched some classic charity cycle rides for all abilities and ages. With and without the kids...
Children in Need? No, children finishing a charity bike ride!
Quick organised rides
If you're looking for a bit of short, sharp fundraising without needing to commit to weeks of training or days of weeks of challenging riding then how about one of these?
Ride London’s Freecycle
This eight mile hop around London is part of Britain’s biggest bike festival. And best of all you get to ride through London on traffic free streets. Yes you heard me right. Traffic free!
Does Mum need a break? Send her off on a 24 mile women only ride on a very family friendly route. Tell her she’s almost doing a marathon, pack her a good lunch and give her your pocket money at the end for her sponsor form.
You can do a charity ride in the city. And on traffic free routes too.
Longer distance British rides…
Fancy something with a little more commitment? Here are some classic rides in and around the UK.
Etape Cymru - a one day challenge
Every September, riders head off for the day into the scenic Welsh countryside for the UK’s longest closed road sport event. You could be one of them. If you can manage 92 miles.
Moonrider - a night of biking
You get to do this one at night so you might as well leave your shades, suncream and hat back on the kitchen table for this 62 mile ride from London to Cambridge or London to Brighton.
A night ride adds a different kind of challenge to a charity bike ride
The Big Green Bike Ride - two days to ride
Friends of the Earth invite you on a blind date to bike city and countryside on The Big Green Bike Ride. And what will your date involve? Eighty five miles of pedalling on the first day and forty miles on the second. The romantic setting is the New Forest National Park but you won’t get it to yourselves. You’ll be joined by a crowd of other dedicated bikers, all raising money for the planet.
Land’s End to John O’Groats - a week or more
This is the big one for many British cyclists. Nearly 1000 miles of glorious English, Scottish and Welsh countryside. As far as you can go on the British Isles. Perhaps as far as you want to on a bike! Many companies organise this and most people take around a week or two to complete the challenge. If you've not ridden much before you'll need to train for this one, but just think how pleased with yourself you'll be when you complete it.
LEJOG is a classic charity challenge ride
Doing it yourselves
Organised bike rides are not always great for kids. There’s only so many miles you want to go with a tag along affecting your wind speed or a teenager grumbling, and the required loo breaks and food stops may put you slightly at a disadvantage. Also, some rides are strictly adults only.
But there’s no reason you can’t organise your own ride, following a classic route. We did Land’s End to John O’ Groats when our kids were toddlers. Most people take a week. We took seven! But then we did have three kids under the age of 7 on board.
Or how about doing the London to Brighton? Or what about London to Paris with the kids? You could tell them you're cycling to Disneyland! Or how about your own version of the 3 cities Bike Challenge - London to Brussels via Amsterdam?
What about a family charity ride to Disneyland? What kid wouldn't pedal to get there?
Make up your own sponsored ride
How about a sponsored ‘play’ tour of the north, calling in at fun factories to raise money for children’s charities. Or an educational tour. We’ve always wanted to bike the length of Hadrian’s Wall dressed as Romans to raise money for a local charity. You could explore the National Trust’s cycle routes, or follow a Sustrans Map. You could also follow one of Visit England’s top 10 scenic cycle routes.
Why not bike a Sustrans route? Or connect a few together with a theme of your own?
Make up your own far flung ultimate adventure sponsored ride
If you’ve the time and the inclination, you could pick an ultimate challenge route and take the family do it yourself style.
We biked the Camino de Santiago In Spain a few years ago. We didn’t do it for charity, just for fun. But on our return we gave a fundraiser in our local church, talking about the trip and raised £500 for a village in Malawi.
Or go further afield on a journey of meaning. What about a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela?
Or how about a Trans Central America ride along the Caribbean coast and into Costa Rica and Panama? The Pan American Highway? Great Wall of China? A ride across Vietnam? The limit is in your imagination as much as in your legs!
Disclosure Note: This post is brought to you thanks to support from JustGiving. However, the ideas, views and opinions expressed remain, as ever, our own.