Words by Liz Morrell
Eighteen years ago this week, on October 5th, I lost my mum to breast cancer. I was 26 and as I looked for a way of coping with the grief, I decided to do a series of challenges in aid of various breast cancer charities.
One of these was a four-day bike ride in Amsterdam in aid of Breakthrough Breast Cancer. I talked my best friend Tina into the challenge, managed to blag a bike for the ride and somehow, with pretty much no structured training and no proper knowledge of how to actually ride, we completed the challenge and raised more than £5,000.
Although I did more fundraising events, I barely touched my bike again for the next 15 years or so until last year when I decided to take up road cycling. To give me something to aim for I signed up for the Great Weston Ride in aid of Prostate Cancer UK.
Last weekend I completed my hardest ride to date – a 100-mile ride with nearly 7,000 ft of climbing. Both the distance and climbing were new boundaries for me and as if that wasn’t enough Mother Nature decided to throw all sorts of weather at us – including light drizzle, blazing sun and pouring rain. Nice.
But I had a secret energy reserve in stock. This was another charity ride – this time the Cotswold Autumn Classic in aid of Against Breast Cancer and with more than £300 of sponsorship in the bag and cycling club friends joining me en route, there was no way I wasn’t going to finish and do something to once again honour my mum’s memory.
Below are 7 reasons why you should get on your bike for charity: