Pink-a-Phobe Cyclist Raises Over £1k Wearing Pink for Breast Cancer Now

Lesley rode to work on a pink BMX and climbed Ditchling Beacon in a feather boa, all for a good cause

A couple of weeks ago we received a message from Lesley Pinder – a pink-a-phobe cyclist planning to ride in her least favourite colour for an entire day to raise money for Breast Cancer Now

Friends, family and strangers sponsored ‘pinkist’ Lesley and soon she found herself increasing the challenge, eventually resulting in her riding to work on a pink BMX, spending a day in the office in her pink lycra, racing an indoor Rollapaluza competition in pink, and riding 85 miles to Brighton in the same colour, feather boa and all.

She’s shared her story of three days in pink with us… 

I’ve never really worn a great deal of pink. Growing up with two big brothers made me a classic Tom Boy. When I started cycling just over five years ago I was mightily annoyed to find that most bike clothing companies at that time seemed to only have the one default colour option for women: pink. Or sometimes purple. But mainly pink. And so I wore black! Partly a feminist statement, partly because I just don’t suit pink.

Does pink really stink?

Even though times have thankfully changed, and a whole host of clothing and bike companies now offer kit in a joyous range of hues, I’ve still never bought myself a single piece of pink kit. Never am I happier than on the track where it can be pared down to its simplest matchy black, white and red goodness.

Lesley’s normal riding attire

So you get it – my attitude towards pink wasn’t positive. And then I got a job working for a breast cancer charity, Breast Cancer Now. Pink is an every day occurrence in our office – and never more so than for Wear it Pink, our annual fundraising extravaganza.

Over £2m is raised every year by people in offices, schools and at home ‘wearing it pink’ and raising money. The vision at Breast Cancer Now is that by 2050, no one will die of breast cancer.  All the money we raise during ‘Wear it Pink’ will help to make this a reality.

So how else could I combine my work life and my cycling life than by cycling in pink for ‘wear it pink’?

What started as a ride to work in pink kit very quickly escalated. I put the call out on social media, getting donations of pink kit from cycling pals and companies (Sigma Sport, Morvelo and Edwardes of Camberwell), including the chance to have a rummage in the Total Women’s Cycling sample cupboard.

Very quickly I’d reached my initial sponsorship target of £100 to commute to work in pink and stay in the kit all day. Then the £200 mark came and went, for which I’d promised to ride to Brighton in pink kit. Soon a simple ride to work became my very own charity fundraising campaign: #SkippyInPink.

I added in a bonus #SkippyInPink challenge, taking part in the De Laune CC Grand Prix de Peckham Rollapoluza tournament in full pink kit – an indoor roller competition that saw me raise an extra £140 on the night.

Left to right: Riding to work in full pink kit on a pink BMX donated by Edwardes Cycles for the day, competing in the De Laune roller race in pink, reaching the top of Ditchling Beacon

The total amount raised so far is £1068. I already have some ideas already for 2016 (#SkippyInPinkSixDay?) but for now I’m reflecting on a brilliant experience.

Having raised four times more than I expected it was yet another reminder of the generosity and awesomeness of the cycling community and my pals. And having spent nearly six months racing and training, looking at power stats and PBs, and getting psyched up for the next race and the next goal, it was a lovely change to spend three days mucking about on bikes, and focusing on something way more important!

You can still sponsor Lesley! Do so here, or check out this inspirational story of a mum who rode 100km to raise money for cancer charities, through her chemotherapy.


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