Shifting gears on cancer: Arik’s 100-mile cycling challenge

Date: 12 October 2020

Arik Abrahams, a cycling enthusiast from Malton, North Yorkshire, has recently completed a 100-mile ride in support of Yorkshire Cancer Research.

Given the devastating impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on cancer patients in Yorkshire and across the country, Arik was keen to do something to help – which is when he decided to sign up to the Virtual Three Swans Sportive.

More than 1,000 riders took part in the Selby Three Swans Sportive in 2019, helping to raise over £36,453 for projects across Yorkshire. With the live event unable to take place safely this year, the very first Virtual Three Swans Sportive was launched.

Arik said: “I had ridden the Selby Three Swans Sportive back in 2015 and thought it was a very well-organised event in aid of an important local charity. When I saw a post a few weeks ago about an opportunity to ride a virtual sportive and raise money for the charity, I was really interested.”

This virtual event challenges people of all ages to cycle 30, 60 or 100 miles in October. Participants have the option of cycling their chosen distance in one go or spreading the miles out over the full month. 

It is completely free to get involved, but people are encouraged to set up a fundraiser through Facebook or JustGiving. Everyone who raises £75 or more will be sent a free Yorkshire Cancer Research cycling jersey.

Arik hadn’t previously fundraised through Facebook but was amazed by how simple it was to set up.

“With two clicks, I had created a fundraiser with all the details already filled in – I just had to add my own description and it was ready within five minutes.”

“Raising money on Facebook was easier and more successful than the old method of physically going from person to person with a donation form and allowed me to engage with a larger audience.”

Since setting up his fundraiser, Arik has more than tripled his original donation target of £75 and has now raised over £230, all of which will help to fund life-saving research in Yorkshire.

Arik completed the full 100-miles on 6 October 2020, a day earlier than he originally planned.

Commenting on this, he said: “Riding a route I made myself on a date of my choosing had the added benefit of letting me control all the variables that can make a normal sportive event less enjoyable, the main one being the weather.”

“Although cycling an organised route with hundreds of other cyclists is not something that can be replaced, in these uncertain times Yorkshire Cancer Research has done a truly great job in creating an original alternative."

"Hopefully many more cyclists will take them up on the challenge this October and help support a brilliant charity in a tough time!”

You can find out more and sign up to the Virtual Three Swans Sportive here.

We would love to see what you get up to while taking part. Please share your photos on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using the hashtag #ShiftGearsOnCancer.

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