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Cycling Ride London for The Brain Tumour Charity – Lizzy’s story

“I cannot express enough how well organised and fun Ride London is. To be able to cycle for that long without a single car on the road is absolutely incredible – you feel so safe the whole way round.”

Lizzy and her husband Luca on the Ride London cycling route

Cycling for a Cure

Lizzy completed Ride London last year in memory of her Mum, Wendy, who died in June 2022 after a 14-month battle with a brain tumour.  Signing up for the challenge alongside husband Luca, and taking cycling seriously, proved to be a valuable distraction for Lizzy at a difficult time:

“The week after my mum died I ordered my road bike. I needed something to focus on and cycling seemed like a good distraction. Within a few rides I was hooked and can honestly say it has been life-changing for me through my grief process.

“Research into brain tumours is so important. It’s only after someone so close to you is diagnosed and you’re frantically googling “survival rates” that you realise how little information there is available. After losing someone so close to you, so prematurely, having a charity event to focus on fundraising and to train for really gives you back a purpose.

“My husband and I had taken part in the free family route through London on normal push bikes in 2021 – we joked on the day that we should try for the 100 mile next year. I needed a new challenge after my mum passed away, so without ever having even ridden a road bike I signed us both up for the event the following year.”

Choosing Ride London

The Ride London route is impressively traffic-free.  Cyclists set off from the centre of the capital and enjoy 60 miles of rolling roads through Essex’s beautiful countryside before the finish amid cheers and applause at iconic Tower Bridge.  Taking on 100 miles is a significant challenge. Lizzy built up her training gradually and felt well-prepared on the day. And Ride London more than met her expectations.

“I am not going to pretend that the training through the winter months isn’t gruelling, but it is definitely worth it and needed. Although the Essex roads are pretty flat, don’t underestimate how long 100 miles is! Try and build up the distance on your bike slowly through the winter (the earlier the better) so you get comfortable in the saddle. We carried on exercising as normal at the gym during the working week and just did one big ride every weekend, slowly building up the miles every week.

“I cannot express enough how well organised and fun this event is. To be able to cycle for that long without a single car on the road is absolutely incredible – you feel so safe the whole way round. There is also so much support from the villages through Essex, with numerous loo and rest stops.”

Lizzy stands holding a glass of water with her Ride London medal around her neck
Lizzy and her husband Luca stand with their bikes

Lizzy’s Fundraising Tips

Driven by the desire to help other families affected by brain tumours, Lizzy raised over £8,000 in sponsorship for the race. What are her best fundraising tips?

“Always send out your fundraising requests the day after pay day. Whether this is an email at work or a post on social media, people are more likely to donate (and give more) if they have a fresh pay check in their bank account! Also, it’s important not to be ashamed to ask for money from people. Brain tumours (and cancer in general) is one of the most devastating things to happen to families – people will only give what they can afford and the worst they can say is no!”

Want to join our team?

If you’re inspired by Lizzy’s story and would like to be part of our Ride London Team this May, click the link below to find out more about the event: