Over the weekend, thousands of women dressed up in their finest high viz and neon to cycle 100km through the streets of London to raise money for cancer charities.
The Women V Cancer Ride the Night became the biggest female cycling event in the UK this year, attracting over 2,000 women willing to cycle as the sun went down on Saturday May 28. They raised over £1million for Breast Cancer Care, Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust and Ovarian Cancer Action.
Riding from the Royal Windsor Racecourse, into central London and back again, hordes of women in fancy dress were also joined by a few celebrities - Countdown’s leading ladies Rachel Riley and Susie Dent, and This Morning’s Sue Hill.
As well as having the chance to see the Coca Cola London Eye’s lights turn pink to mark the occasion, the women were treated to Sunday morning breakfast back at the racecourse.
Still a young event, Ride the Night celebrated its inaugural year in 2014, but its popularity as a ride has continued to grow.
With recent studies showing that many women are put off cycling events out of a fear of not fitting in, lack of confidence, and worries over malfunctions on the day, a ride such as this is a welcome addition to the calendar of non-threatening challenges creating a supportive atmosphere that's welcoming to all.
Director at Action for Charity, Ann Frampton said before this weekend’s event: “We are absolutely thrilled to hear that Women V Cancer Ride the Night is now the biggest female cycling event in the UK. All of the women who take part have their own unique story and connection to the cause and this is one of the things that makes the event so special.
“On the night thousands of women share their stories, make new friends and ultimately bring us one step closer to ending cancer once and for all."
Next year’s event – on 27 May 2017 – is already open to sign ups, and there’s absolutely no need for any rider to feel nervous about clicking that button. Three time participant Helen McCreadie told us: “I hadn’t touched a bike for ten years when I first signed up so didn’t know what to expect. The atmosphere is fantastic and I have made friends for life from the event. There’s no need to worry if you are signing up alone because you have thousands of women by your side."
Check out the event here, and take a look at some of these guides if you're thinking of trying a sportive...