BHF cancels summer London to Brighton bike ride amid fears of last-minute abandonment

The charity says the uncertainty about large-scale events and the high financial risk of cancellation at short notice left it with no choice

The British Heart Foundation has cancelled this summer’s London to Brighton Bike Ride, which usually takes place in June and raises millions of pounds for the charity, because of the risk of having to call it off at the last minute due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

About 15,000 riders usually take part in the 54-mile event, which raised £2m for the BHF the last time it took place in 2019 and had been worth a record £3.1m to the charity the year before. 

This year’s ride would have been the 45th edition of the event. 

The BHF is calling on people to support the charity by instead taking on its virtual cycling challenge, called MyCycle, or taking part in the London to Brighton Off-Road Bike Ride, a 75-mile route over a variety of terrain that is due to be held on 4 September. 

Liam O’Reilly, head of events at the BHF, said: “It’s heartbreaking to have to cancel our London to Brighton Bike Ride for a second year and we know that many people will be disappointed by the decision. 

“The uncertainty surrounding continued Covid-19 restrictions for large-scale events, coupled with a high financial risk of cancellation at short notice, left us with no choice. But we’re determined to return with a bigger and better event in 2022.  

The charity said riders had pedalled more than 41 million miles between them to help raise tens of millions of pounds for the charity since the first London to Brighton event in 1976.

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