“It was an emotional day and one that neither of us will ever forget.”

Earlier this year two Cumbrian fundraisers joined thousands of cyclists on the start line at the annual Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100, as they raised money in aid of a local charity close to their hearts.

Last year’s was special for Nicola Jackson, 52 from Carlisle, and Helen Cupac, 47 from Wigton, as they raised money in memory of loved ones who have been cared for at Eden Valley Hospice, including Nicola’s Dad Eric Roberts.

Nicola explained,

“We have both had loved ones who have been cared for at the hospice. My Dad spent the last 20 days of his life at the hospice. While he was there, he kept asking my Mum to take the cheque book in so her could pay for his care.

“The week after he passed away there was an article in the local newspaper which said how much a one-night inpatient stay costs in the hospice. We worked out that Dad’s outstanding care would have cost £8,694 and as a family we decided to try to raise at least that amount of money. With the help of amazing friends and work colleagues we have undertaken lots of different running, cycling and swimming challenges and a variety of fundraising during 2019.”

On Sunday 29 July Nicola and Helen completed the 100 mile Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 on closed roads through the capital city and country lanes of Surrey. The route, which was made famous by the London 2012 Olympic Games, starts at the Olympic stadium before finishing on The Mall outside Buckingham Palace.

Nicola continued,

“Neither of us had ever ridden 100 miles before, or anywhere near that distance, so taking part felt like a real personal challenge, whilst taking part in an amazing cycling event and raising money for Eden Valley Hospice.

“To have the opportunity to take part in such an amazing event with 25,000 other cyclists was just amazing. Many of those cycling were raising money for different charities and it was quite emotional listening to people talk about their own personal reasons for taking part in the event. Riding through London on closed roads felt so surreal and finishing on The Mall with Buckingham Palace in front of us was quite an emotional experience.

“Neither of us can believe that we cycled 100 miles in a day. We had so much support from family and friends back home that we were both determined to finish.”

Every cyclist taking part in this year’s Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 had their own reasons and purpose for completing the 100 mile route. Whether they were looking to beat their personal best or raising money in aid of charity they all created memories which will last a lifetime. Nicola and Helen’s fundraising, which included Ride London and other events, helped to raise £2,390 in aid of Eden Valley Hospice.

Nicola continued,

“In the months leading up to the actual event we would spend hours training, which included cycling early in the morning, late into the evening and at the weekend with many long solo rides.
“The toughest part of course were Leith Hill and Box Hill in Surrey, plus an unexpected hill at mile 82 in Wimbledon. It was also quite an experience taking our bikes on the tube and the DLR line to get back to our hotel!

“Ride London 100 is a fantastic event which gives you the opportunity to complete an amazing personal challenge whilst raising money for the hospice. Thank you to Eden Valley Hospice for giving us the opportunity to take part in Ride London 2019, it was an emotional day and one that neither of us will ever forget.”

To date the kindness, generosity and support of Eric Robert’s family and friends has helped to raise over £12,500 in aid of Eden Valley Hospice. The money raised will help the local hospice to provide the highest standards of care, support and activities to local people with life limiting illnesses.

The Carlisle based charity have received two guaranteed charity places for next year’s Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 which will take place on Sunday 16 August. If you would like to join thousands of cyclists completing the 100 mile closed road route around the capital city and Surrey please contact the Fundraising Team on 01228 817656 or click here.

The entry fee for one place is £50 with a suggested minimum sponsorship of £450 for Eden Valley Hospice.