Our spectacular Women V Cancer flagship challenge, Ride the Night London, brings together thousands of amazing ladies in support of three crucial cancer charities, Breast Cancer Now, Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust and Ovarian Cancer Action. In 2022, over 1,550 women cycled through London at night and raised over £820,000 for these charities at a time when they needed it most.
One of these amazing women was Naomi, who blew us all away with her fundraising. Intending at first just to make a personal donation towards the challenge, she decided to step outside her comfort zone and managed to fundraise over £5,700 in just three weeks! Here, she shares her story.
What do the Women V Cancer charities mean to you?
The charities mean a lot to me and to almost everyone, I'm sure, because we have either been directly affected or know someone who has been a beneficiary of the work of those charities.
What inspired you to join a Women V Cancer challenge?
Having recently completed my treatment, I was very aware that my health progress was built on the work of research and services that the Women V Cancer charities support. I felt I should attempt, even if only in a small way, to give something back, so that others may also benefit from their work.
Did you join solo or as a team?
Solo - I have no issue with doing things on my own, but if anyone is reluctant about that, Ride the Night is a very sociable event and you'll find people if you choose to.
How was Ride the Night for you?
It was enormous fun. I only attempted the 50km challenge and it was remarkably achievable. The route is so flat, it's really accessible to anyone who does not normally exercise! It's a well chosen route and actually pretty democratic, because anyone can participate to whatever degree they wish, from those who live very sedentary lives to those who want to push themselves to either go further or faster.
How did you train for the challenge?
For the 50km ride, very little preparation was needed. It is not timed, so quite literally, just enjoy the ride!
What were the highlights of Ride the Night London?
The fulfilment at the end for having completed the ride and the fundraising.
And what was the hardest element of the challenge for you?
I'm not usually someone who fundraises, as it's a little outside of my comfort zone to approach people for money.
How did you fundraise?
I hadn't intended to fundraise and was simply going to make a personal contribution. However, I received a newsletter explaining the effort it takes to organise the event and the need of those charities to receive maximum funds, particularly after the pandemic when fundraising events were not possible.
I was extremely reticent about fundraising, because I felt that people tended to donate to charities they want to support in a private way and that they did not need someone to prompt them to do so.
However, I was really overawed by people wanting to support, especially if you have been through cancer challenges. Friends and family tend to want to do something for you when you are going through a health crisis, but in reality, there is little they can do to help you. Something like this is an opportunity for people who care about you to make a meaningful contribution.
Do you have any tips for others thinking about taking on Ride the Night London 2023?
Be brave and enjoy it.
Women V Cancer Ride the Night is a fantastic opportunity for women from all cycles of life to raise vital funds for three very important charities, at a time when they need our support more than ever.
The challenge is spectacular in itself, but the most special and important aspect is our cause and the huge impact your participation can make in the battle against cancer. Everyone knows someone affected by this horrible disease and Ride the Night is a chance to show strength against it.
Over the last six years, our Ride the Night participants have raised over £6 million for our Women V Cancer charities. Through the combined work of Breast Cancer Now, Jo's Cervical Cancer Trust and Ovarian Cancer Action, Women V Cancer is committed to supporting the thousands of people across the UK who are sadly affected by women’s cancers and researching into developing effective treatments and cures for ovarian, breast and cervical cancers.
In 2023, Ride the Night London is back and we hope to make an even bigger impact in a cause that grows ever more critical. Thank you so much to Naomi and to all the ladies who joined us for Ride the Night London 2022! It's always an amazing, inspiring and incredibly emotional night and our 2023 event will be spectacular!
If Naomi has inspired you to experience the challenge for yourself, we would love to have you at Ride the Night London 2023! Start waves are filling incredibly quickly, so book as soon as you can to secure your favourite start time.Learn more and register for Ride the Night London 2023