Leading charity Diabetes UK looking for people in Somerset to get on their bike this spring

People from Somerset can use pedal power to raise vital funds for Diabetes UK this spring by taking part in a cycling challenge.

The UK Wide Cycle Ride runs throughout April and is a perfect opportunity to take your fitness up a gear while raising money for diabetes research along the way.

Challengers can pick from one of five virtual distances, ranging from 120 miles for beginners through to 950 miles for more experienced cyclists, and they have the entire month to clock up the mileage. The aim is to challenge yourself – at your own pace – and pedal towards a stronger, healthier you.

Phaedra Perry, Regional Head, Diabetes UK South West said: “Cycling is a fantastic way to help you get fit and healthy, have fun and set yourself a challenge. Spring is on the way and, with the lighter evenings and warmer weather arriving soon, this challenge comes at the perfect time for anyone looking to saddle up and give it a try.

“Demand for our services has reached unprecedented levels across the past year. People with diabetes need us now, and so we need your support to be able to continue fighting. So please sign up and get pedalling – your support can change lives.”

You can cycle the miles however you wish over the 30 days of April, by embracing the outdoors, staying home and using an exercise bike, or a mix of the two.

There are five ‘coast to coast’ distances to choose from:

  • Route 1: 120 miles, the equivalent of Dundee to Fort William
  • Route 2: 180 miles, Swansea to Bangor
  • Route 3: 220 miles, Margate to Weston-Super-Mare
  • Route 4: 500 miles, North Coast route
  • Route 5: 950 miles, Land’s End to John O’Groats

Those taking part will get their own fundraising profile page and can join a Facebook group where event ambassadors and challengers discuss their progress and share tips. There are fundraising incentives, with anyone raising £35 or more receiving a medal. Diabetes UK-branded neck warmers and cycling jerseys will go to anyone raising £250 and £500 respectively.

There are an estimated 4.8 million people living in the UK with diabetes − a condition where there is too much glucose in the blood because the body cannot use it properly. If not managed carefully, both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can lead to devastating complications, including sight loss, amputation, kidney failure and stroke. There is currently no known cure for any type of diabetes.

To register for the UK Wide Cycle Ride, visit cycle.diabetes.org.uk. There is no registration fee and no minimum sponsorship. Please always adhere to the coronavirus restrictions in your area while taking part.