The British Heart Foundation’s flagship fund-raising event is welcoming electric bike riders to the starting line this year.
Hundreds of thousands of cyclists from all over the UK have taken part in the London to Brighton bike ride, pedalling over 41 million miles and helping raise nearly £70m for the BHF’s life saving research into heart disease.
BHF said: “The British Heart Foundation is the biggest funder of cardiovascular research in the UK. Coronary heart disease is the single biggest killer in the UK and by investing £100 million a year into research we’re leading the fight against it. By taking part in the London to Brighton Bike Ride you will help power ground-breaking research, to bring new hope to the 7 million people living with cardiovascular disease in the UK.”
Last year’s race excluded electrically assisted pedal cycles from the event, with Cycling Made Easy petitioning BHF to rethink the policy after one of their customers was turned away from taking part due to ‘non-powered cycle only’ rules at the time.
2017’s event comes with a change of heart from BHF, who told Pedelecs: “Following a detailed review of the London to Brighton Bike Ride by the BHF, the use of specific electric cycles will now be allowed. This decision will encourage more riders of all cycling abilities to get in the saddle and take on our fundraising events, whose fundraising efforts will help to accelerate our fight against heart disease. In order for an electric bike to be permitted, the cycle must be fitted with pedals that are capable of propelling it, the electric motor must not exceed 250 Watts and the electrical assistance must cut-off when the cycle reaches 15.5mph.
Cycling Made Easy this week said the decision to include pedelecs “marks a turning-point in the perception of e-bikes in the UK.” The retailer took BHF’s stance on e-bikes last year as an opportunity to dispel any lingering myths about electric bikes.
Ray Wookey of Cycling Made Easy said: “The decision brings the BHF’s policy in line with UK and EU law, which recognises e-bikes in the same legal category as bicycles. Cycling Made Easy’s campaign centred around the idea of inclusivity in cycling. We welcome the BHF’s change in policy as it promotes an inclusive cycling culture.”
BHF summed up the event as one for all the family: “It’s a ride unlike any other. We’re in our 42nd year now and it’s a fantastic day out for all the family, whether they’re taking part or amongst the crowd who cheer participants along all the way and at the finish line. Some people use this event as a race to the finish; others enjoy it as a leisurely day out, stopping off at many of the beautiful villages on the route, or taking in the views of some of the South East’s most scenic countryside.
“The BHF can provide all the support you need to get you in the saddle, with free training guides and advice available for all registered cyclists in the run up to the big day. It’s a ride for the fast and the fall behinds, the solo riders and the team players. It’s for the experienced and the newbies, the confident and the cautious.”
Adult entry is £40, with a minimum of £200 sponsorship required to take part.