'Big C Big Cycle' Challenge Complete

Mandy finishes and raises funds for Maggie's Centres and Cancer Research


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Chiswick resident Mandy Riches has completed her fundraising challenge and cycled into Maggie's Cancer Centre at Charing Cross hospital in Hammersmith after a gruelling 5 days of cycling

During her trip, Mandy, who has survived cancer three times, found herself climbing up almost 18,000 feet of hills and covering 482 miles from Edinburgh to London (including some of the same route as the UK days of the Tour de France)

Mandy Riches

"The ride was incredibly challenging.  The first two days were very hilly, and in particular day two (Carlisle to Harrogate) was one of the hardest things I have ever done - not only hilly, but also very long at 113 miles (see -  http://youtu.be/hoF1pP6iev8)

"I was so relieved to reach Harrogate and I was almost too tired to speak or eat. The next day I was still tired and hit a bit of a wall at 65 miles, but managed to carry on and actually felt quite strong for the last two days. I was so lucky with the weather and only got rained on once. Overall, it was an absolutely amazing experience."

Her parents enjoyed following Mandy the length of the country. They said: "We are so proud of her, and how she tackled the hills with grit and great determination.  It truly was a gruelling challenge but she made it. Well done."

Two and a half years ago Mandy Riches was diagnosed with breast cancer, caused by radiotherapy given to her for two bouts of Hodgkins Lymphoma in the 1990s.  She was devastated to have to go through cancer for a third time, and this time it hit her much harder emotionally -she decided to venture on her 'scary bike ride' to help others get support from centres like Maggie's.

She said; "Maggie’s provided an opportunity for me to talk to other people who were in a similar situation, and through those shared experiences, helped make sense of some of the emotions I was feeling.  I want to make sure others in a similar situation have the same kind of support, and I wanted to ride for all those whose lives are touched by cancer."

The route Mandy covered over five days

Mandy is overwhelmed by the support she has been receiving.  "Thank you to everyone who has supported me so far, not only with donations, but also with many kind words of encouragement. These were invaluable in keeping my legs moving forward when the going got tough."

Mandy has almost reached a total of £8,000 and would love to achieve £10,000 if at all possible for these charities.  If you would like to donate, please go to http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/bigcbigcycle.  

You can also see more photos and posts from her journey on her public Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/BigCBigCycle.


July 18, 2014

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