Reasons to Ride for Charity
Taking part in Prudential RideLondon and fundraising for charity has become a hugely popular way to raise money for charity since the event began.
There are two ways that you can ride and fundraise:
With a Charity Entry
Secure a guaranteed charity entry and pledge to fundraise. If you’re a cyclist who’s looking to get a place in the 2017 event via a guaranteed charity entry, visit our charity listings page to find out more.
With a Ballot Entry
If you are successful in the ballot and want to raise money for charity, all you need to do is search our charity listings page, choose a charity to fundraise for and get in touch with them – they’ll be delighted that you want to ride for them and you’ll find that cycling for charity is fantastic fun and really rewarding.
Many charities also offer amazing rider-support packages to ensure you enjoy every mile of your Prudential RideLondon experience. These packages include all sorts of benefits like a cycling jersey to train and ride in, to training advice, cheering points at the event and a post-event party with free sports massage for when you’ve done all the hard work.
Here are a few more reasons why you might want to use your ballot place to raise money for a great cause:
Purpose and motivation
Raising money for charity can give purpose to taking part in Prudential RideLondon and serve as a goal to work towards. If you’re taking part just for the sake of it, you may start to doubt yourself and feel tempted to give up when the going gets tough. You’ll be more inclined to get up and go training in the cold, wet winter months when you know you’re supporting a good cause.
Keep it personal
Remember, when you cycle for charity you’re helping real people and changing lives. Why not ride for a cause that’s close to your heart? Maybe there’s a charity that’s helped you, or a loved one, through difficult times?
You can make a difference
Every year charities buy places in Prudential RideLondon then give them to riders who agree to raise a minimum amount of money – these are called charity entry places and you can find out more about them here. By using your ballot place to ride for charity, the charity gets all of the money you raise and won’t have to spend anything on your place. However much you raise, your contribution will make a massive difference to your charity and the people it helps.
As well as raising money, cycling for charity can help raise awareness. You’ll be seen by hundreds of people wearing your charity’s logo on Ride Day, and everyone who sponsors you will learn more about the charity and the great work they do. Charities rely on this kind of public exposure to build a good reputation and encourage people to donate.
If you’d be interested in using your place in Prudential RideLondon to raise money for charity, please check out the official fundraising website for the race, Virgin Money Giving.
Get the Gift Aid
When friends and family sponsor you, extra money can be added to their donations as Gift Aid if they’re UK tax payers. This won’t cost them any more because Gift Aid is reclaimed from the Government, but your charity will certainly appreciate the difference. For more information please check out Virgin Money Giving, the official sponsorship website for Prudential RideLondon.
You've got their support
Charities will usually offer lots of support and guidance to their riders – before, during and after the event. This can be anything from a training plan to a massage at the Finish Line.
Your chosen charity will do the utmost to look after you from the outset with a complete package to support you throughout both your fundraising and training.
A typical package could include any of the following:
- A fundraising pack with tips and advice to help you raise more money.
- A training plan compiled by a cycling expert, detailing the type and intensity of exercise you should be aiming for each day. Even if you’re completely new to cycling there will be a training plan to suit you.
- A training pack with tips and advice on a range of topics like your cycling kit, injuries, bike maintenance and nutrition.
- Regular newsletters and charity updates. These will usually relate to the time of year and how far you are from Ride Day – for example, it’s helpful to get some motivational tips and words of encouragement in winter when you may not feel like training in the cold and wet weather.
- Some charities will provide email support, so if you’ve got any queries you can get in touch with their cycling expert. This is great for getting advice which is more personal to you – for example if you’ve suffered an injury.
- A jersey to wear on Ride Day.
- A rider’s goody bag.
- Support from a charity representative in your local area.
- Information about online fundraising.
- A forum to chat with other riders online.
- A carbohydrate party so you can build up your energy stores before the ride.
- A reception after the ride, often including a free sports massage.
Please note these packages will vary from charity to charity, and some will have more ballot place riders than others. But one thing is guaranteed – whichever charity you choose to support, they’ll be really pleased to hear from you.
What will happen on Ride Day
Here’s an example of the kind of extra support you might receive on Ride Day if you decide to cycle for charity.
Please remember, different charities will offer different things to their riders, and that will vary depending on the size of the charity you’re cycling for.
Before the ride
Most charities will give you a jersey with their logo on to wear for the ride, and if it’s wet or cold, some charities will provide protective clothing for their riders while they’re waiting around – like waterproofs, caps or ponchos.
Make sure you’ve got your own clothing with you too though – you’ll be able to leave your kitbag at the baggage trucks before the sportive starts and pick it up at the Finish Line.
During the sportive
Most charities will have cheering points around the Prudential RideLondon route, where supporters of the charity will offer encouragement from the sidelines. This will give you a huge boost and keep you motivated as the going gets tough.
Some charities will also offer help to friends and family who come to watch you on the day. They can give tips like where’s the best place to watch the sportive from, and provide them with clothing, flags, balloons – anything that helps promote the charity and spurs on their riders.
After the ride
Although you’ll be buzzing when you cross the Finish Line, there are also some practical things you’ll need to consider too, like meeting up with friends and relatives and collecting your kitbag. Many charities will provide a reception area not far from the finish to help guide you through this part of the day.
Some charities will also provide a post-event package to help you unwind. You could look forward to a massage, shower, hot food or even just a chat with your charity’s other ballot place riders.
Be part of a team
When you ride for a charity, you’re surrounded by like-minded people riding for the same reason. There’s always a great sense of camaraderie among the charity riders, and you receive plenty of support from the sidelines too.
To give you a true idea of what it’s like to take part in Prudential RideLondon for charity, we’ve put together some quotes from past ballot place riders:
“In the freak bad weather conditions of 2014, I felt riding in someone’s memory gave me a real advantage. You certainly go through all the emotions and acquire extra determination when you are riding for someone.”
Parminder Bansal, £1050 raised for Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY)
“When it came to ride day, the support from the public was great; the crowds really got behind us which helped to push me on. Being able to raise money for such a good cause made it even more worthwhile.”
Helen Harris, £1143 raised for Whizz-Kidz
“Not completing was never an option. No one had made their donation conditional, but the thought of earning the sponsorship money was one thing that kept me going – as did the banter with the few hardy spectators in rural villages!”
Simon Cox, £2455 raised for Guide Dogs