An Essex-based Alzheimer’s Research UK Champion is urging people to put their pedal power to the test this winter by taking on an inspiring new cycling challenge launched by the charity.
Helen German, from Wickford, wants people to sign up for the charity’s new Cycling Down Dementia initiative.
Cycling Down Dementia challenges participants to ride either 300 (Pioneer) or 1,000 (Epic) miles during the winter and raise £150 to help fund pioneering dementia research.
Helen German was made a Champion of the UK’s leading dementia research charity in 2015 in recognition of her fundraising efforts which included completing a challenge to ride 90km every day for 90 days on a static bike at the gym where she works. She was inspired by her nan Phyllis, who has vascular dementia and celebrated her 90th birthday the day before the start of the challenge.
Helen said: “The 90 days were a bumpy ride for a bike that doesn’t go anywhere, but it was worth every minute of hard work to support Alzheimer’s Research UK.
“Cycling Down Dementia is a great challenge and a great way to raise money for life-changing dementia research. I desperately want to see a breakthrough that will bring treatment to people like my nan.”
All cyclists have to do to take part is sign up at www.cyclingdowndementia.org, choose either the Pioneer or Epic challenge, connect their tracking app such as Strava or MapMyFitness and get on their bikes. Participants can clock up the miles on the road or on an indoor bike.
Cyclists can compare their distances with others interactively through the website for extra motivation and keep track of leaderboards. Participants can also join forces and compete in teams, so groups of friends and work colleagues and members of cycling clubs can compete for the top spot.
Whether it takes three days, three weeks or three months, the aim is to complete the 300 or 1,000-mile distance by the end of January 2018. Anyone who raises more than £250 will receive a free #TeamARUK cycle jersey.
Participants are being encouraged to share their progress on social media using the hashtag #CyclingDownDementia. They can also join the Cycling Down Dementia community on Facebook at www.facebook.com/groups/cyclingdowndementia
The challenge follows in the footsteps of Alzheimer’s Research UK’s award-winning Running Down Dementia initiative, which has raised more than £400,000 for life-changing dementia research since its launch in 2016.
Kenneth Foreman, the Senior Sporting Events Manager for Alzheimer’s Research UK, said: “This is an exciting new initiative for Alzheimer’s Research UK.
“We’re hoping it motivates serious cyclists to maintain their training during the winter as well as encouraging others to get out on their bikes and take on the ultimate personal challenge.
“There are more than 850,000 people in the UK living with dementia and this number is set to rise. That is why it’s so important that we work together to end the fear, harm and heartbreak of dementia. The vital funds raised from Cycling Down Dementia will power world-class dementia research projects helping to shape our understanding of the condition and open the door to new treatments.”
For more information about Cycling Down Dementia go to www.cyclingdowndementia.org
For further information about Alzheimer’s Research UK, or to find out more about fundraising for the charity, call 0300 111 5555 or visit www.alzheimersresearchuk.org