Organisers of the British Heart Foundation London to Brighton Bike Ride have announced the event will be returning on Sunday, June 19, 2022, after being cancelled for the last two years due to the pandemic.
The event will see around 16,000 cyclists of all abilities take on the 54-mile ride, starting in Clapham and ending on Brighton’s seafront. The heart research charity hopes the event will raise more than £2.8 million for its life saving research into heart and circulatory diseases. Last year, the charity saw its income cut in half, after nearly all BHF fundraising events were cancelled and its shops were forced to close for months on end.
The BHF is expecting record interest in the event after the three-year break and has launched a ballot system to give everyone a fair chance of making it to the start line. The charity is encouraging cyclists of all abilities to enter the ballot now at www.bhf.org.uk/l2bKrystyna Grant, head of innovation and products at the BHF, said: “It’s incredible to announce the return of our iconic London to Brighton Bike Ride. The event is the highlight in our calendar and we’ve really missed cheering on the cyclists as they heroically pedal the 54 miles from London to Brighton to raise funds for our life saving research.
“Covid-19 has had a huge impact on the events and charity sector, so it feels good to be back. Next year’s London to Brighton Bike Ride will be the biggest closed road cycle event in the UK. To avoid missing out on the chance to be part of this, we’re encouraging all cyclists to register their interest now.”
The BHF has announced gym operator chain PureGym as the official sponsor of the London to Brighton Bike Ride.
Signing up for the bike ride made me feel like I could be me again after heart failure diagnosis
Mel Bucknell, 34, was one of the thousands of cyclists due to take part in the London to Brighton Bike Ride in 2020. However, after the event was cancelled due to the pandemic, she took on the event virtually in her kitchen on a static bike raising £1,300 for the BHF.
Mel plans to take part in next year’s event and her reason for supporting the BHF is a very personal one. At 29 years old, and after giving birth to her second child in 2017, she was diagnosed with peripartum cardiomyopathy and heart failure. The condition damages the heart muscle, leaving it unable to pump effectively. She manages her condition with medication but she may need a pacemaker in the future.
Mel said: “I am thrilled that the physical London to Brighton Bike Ride is back! I was devastated when it had to be cancelled in 2020 because I had put so much mental and physical energy into preparing for it. I ended up doing it virtually and whilst I was really proud of myself for completing it, it was nothing compared to what the physical event in 2022 will be!
“Before signing up to London to Brighton, I hadn’t done a lot of endurance exercise but I wanted to do something in the wake of my heart condition that showed me that I was still capable. Signing up made me feel like I could be me again. I’m so excited that it is back for real and that I can finally take part in the iconic event I’ve waited almost two years to do.”
Ballot entrants will be notified in December on whether they have been successful.
London to Brighton Bike Ride facts:
*The London to Brighton Bike Ride is the British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) flagship event
*Since its inception, elite and novice riders alike have pedalled over 41 million miles between them to help the charity and beat heartbreak forever
*Around 15,000 cyclists take part in the event each year. Celebrity cyclists that have taken part in the event for the BHF include Pippa Middleton (2015) and David Seaman (2018)
*The 54-mile challenge starts at Clapham Common and finishes on the Brighton seafront. The route takes participants through the south of the Capital, down into the beautiful countryside of Surrey and Sussex and up to the challenging Burgess Hill summit
*2019 was the last time the London to Brighton Bike Ride happened. It was the 44th event and cyclists raised £2 million for the BHF