The University of Manchester Cycling Club's year of charity events

This year marked the second successive year homes4u have been a sponsor of the University of Manchester Cycling Club and what another great year it has been. Another huge amount of money has been raised for our mutual charity, Maggie’s Manchester. It was at the beginning of the academic year, with our name splashed across the club’s kit and also their new water bottles, we sat down with some of the committee to discuss how we were going to top the two charity events during the previous academic year. The answer, three charity events!

Here, club Treasurer and now club Captain for 2017-18 Alexandra Kendall-Smith, gives her reflection on this year's busy schedule.

“It’s been a busy year for us all at the University of Manchester Cycling Club with various events taking place; including three charity events to raise money for Maggie’s Centres across the UK. Over the year we have managed to raise an outstanding total of £2135 thanks to our supporters, members and sponsors.

The three events were; 24 hour stationary cycle; Maggie’s Coast to Coast and The Great Manchester 10km Run.

Event one - The stationary cycle

The stationary cycle took place in the middle of a bleak and cold November; with the club setting up outside the University of Manchester Students Union. Throughout the 24 hours we had at least 2 people cycling to ensure the wheels were turning for the whole time, with over 30 of our members taking part from every aspect of the club. The most dedicated and slightly crazy members clocked up 6 hours each, with one individual doing a total of 11 hours!

Event two - Maggies Coast to Coast Ride

Fast forward a few months to April – our Road Captain decided it would be a great idea to cycle from Tynemouth, Newcastle to Birkenhead in one day on April 1st – unfortunately this wasn’t just an April Fools prank. Nine riders travelled up to Newcastle with 2 support vehicles; and 3 drivers on 31st March. The ride began at 11pm, with the riders cycling throughout the night on quiet main and country roads to reach Wetherby just outside Leeds at 7am on 1st April for a well-deserved sit down and a refuel with porridge and bacon sandwiches. From here the riders cycled through Leeds, and over the peaks to Manchester – the weather turned a bit sour over the peaks with grey skies and drizzle of Manchester that we have all come to expect. In Manchester, they had an extended stop at Maggie’s Manchester, where Ruth had cooked up some pasta, and had some excellent sweet treats for everyone. While having a break the weather improved for the last leg with some glorious sunshine, so riders set off again in much better spirits than when they had arrived. From Manchester, the riders made their way west to Liverpool, stopping off quickly at Maggie’s Merseyside to grab a photo, before completing the last 20km to the sea, where they arrived at 7pm. In total the riders cycled 330km in 14 hours; passing by 5 Maggie’s centres, 3 built and 2 planned, raising a fantastic £1,240. It’s safe to say everyone slept well that night!

Event three - The Great Manchester 10km Run

We thought it’d be best to challenge ourselves one last time before the end of the academic year. Knowing most cyclists aren’t great runners, what would be a better idea than to give the Great Manchester 10k a go? Better still, how about we carry a deconstructed bike around the course too! There was a total of 11 club members who turned up to give the run a bash, and they were running alongside other university sports teams, and UoM staff/students in the University’s very own ‘purple’ wave. On the start line the feelings were mixed; some were determined to get PBs whilst others were just worried whether they’d cross the finish line. The atmosphere throughout the run was great- the crowd, both at the start and along the course were supportive, cheering everyone on. Some members crossed the line with some fantastic results – even for runners, let alone cyclists! At the finish line, everyone re-grouped and the bike was promptly built, thankfully into a working state, and the final group picture was taken.

Overall 2016-17 has been an incredible and enjoyable year for UoMCC’s charity fundraising, raising vital funds for Maggie’s Cancer centres up and down the country.”

If you would like to donate to the Maggie's Centres you can do so here.