Spark and ride charity bike ride for Age UK

17 August 2015
Cycle image
A group of Bupa employees are going to be embarking on a 365 mile bike ride around the UK to raise money for our charity partner, Age UK.

The team will be taking part in a multi-stage cycling event over four days. The first leg of the bike ride will kick off from our Salford Quays office and will finish at our Brighton office. 

Day one 
Salford Quays to Leeds (55 miles)
Leeds to Wakefield (15 miles)

Day two 
Wakefield to Coventry (115 miles)

Day three 
Coventry to Staines (105 miles)

Day four 
Staines to London (25 miles)
London to Brighton (50 miles)

To celebrate the charity bike ride, we’re sharing our top tips for anyone considering doing their own marathon bike ride. 

Why cycling?
We all know regular exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Cycling is a great way to help you lose weight, reduce stress and improve your fitness.  Not only does it save you money, but it’s also environmentally-friendly.

 Cycling can also reduce risk of illnesses such as:

• heart disease 
• type 2 diabetes 
• stroke 

It’s a great sport to start off slowly and build up to more difficult rides. It’s easier on your joints than running and can help you to keep your weight under control.  With so many benefits, it’s no surprise that cycling is the third most popular recreational activity in the UK.  

Things to consider 
There are things you’ll need to consider before taking on a long-distance bike ride. A combination of the right equipment, training and eating energy boosting foods will help you to get ready for the big trip. 

Pushing yourself too hard during a long-distance cycle can be dangerous. To avoid doing this, it’s important that you have plenty of practice and training. 

Here are some tips for when you’re training. 

• Try doing interval training to begin with, to help build up your endurance
• Build up your leg muscles by doing squats and lunges in between practicing on your bike
• Do lots of stretching before, after and in between training
• Make sure you get lots of rest around training and before your bike ride  

Take a look over Do It For Charity’s cycling training guide for more useful tips, including their 10 and 20 week training guides. 

Before and during the ride, you’ll need to make sure you’re eating well. You’ll need to fuel your body during the ride; eating the wrong things can leave you feeling sluggish and lethargic. Carbohydrate energy gels, cereal bars and bananas are all popular foods to refuel on during a long cycling trip.  It’s also essential that you stay hydrated throughout the journey.

It’s important you don’t only eat when you get hungry during a long bike ride. You should try to have carbohydrate snacks little and often to give yourself a constant energy supply.  

Make sure you have the right equipment; it’ll make or break whether you’re both safe and comfortable during the ride. Most important of all is your helmet, as it’ll protect your head if you fall.  
It’ll need to be a snug fit and sit on your head so it stops just above your eyebrows. You’ll need to have all the correct lights on your bike if you’ll be riding after dark such as, a white front light, a red rear light and reflectors on the pedals and rear. 

Other useful equipment to consider includes:

• gloves
• cycling jersey
• padded shorts
• thermal clothing
• a puncture repair kit
• spare inner tubes

Following the spark and ride charity bike ride we’ll be catching up with the cyclists to find out what equipment they couldn’t have coped without. 

Find out more about how to sponsor our cyclists, visit the Just Giving donations page. 

About Bupa

Bupa's purpose is helping people live longer, healthier, happier lives.

At Bupa, we have no shareholders. Our priority is looking after you... through our care homes, health insurance, health centres and dental centres. Bupa. Our focus is your health.

We have 15.7 million health insurance customers, provide healthcare to around 14.5 million people in our clinics and hospitals, and look after over 23,000 aged care residents.

We directly employ around 80,000 people, principally in the UK, Australia, Spain, Poland, Chile, New Zealand, Hong Kong, the USA, Brazil, the Middle East and Ireland, and many more through our associate businesses in Saudi Arabia and India.

Health insurance is around 73% of our business. In a number of countries, we also run clinics, dental centres, hospitals, and care homes and villages.

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