Putting our region's cancer needs first

Lancaster Cyclist Helps Raise £35,000 for Life-saving Cancer Research

Cycle of Hope

A peloton of cyclists has pedalled a combined total of 4,200 miles over four days to raise £35,000 for North West Cancer Research.

The cyclists took part in the inaugural Cycle of Hope fundraiser for the charity which funds life-saving research at Lancaster University and across the north west, as part of its 70th anniversary celebrations.

Alex Henderson from Lancaster was just one of the 14 cyclists who took part.

Alex (40) recently moved back to the UK after living and working abroad for around 17 years. She signed up for the Cycle of Hope after taking part in a 125-mile coast to coast ride, which inspired her to take up long distance cycling.

She completed the North Coast 500 around the far north of Scotland in preparation for the Cycle of Hope challenge, which saw her raising an additional £1,000 on top of sponsorship.

Alex said: “Until October last year, I had never cycled more than 45 miles in one day - and that was only the once! Since then I have progressively done more road cycling.

“I have always wanted to get into solo bike touring and the North Coast 500 was a dream for me, so I set off to do it as training. It took me two weeks and I did the tour in a very rare heatwave!”

Alex previously worked as a freelance private chef on sail yachts around the world. Since returning to the Lakes she now works as a climbing instructor at Lakeland Climbing Centre and is also a freelance outdoor instructor.

She added: “I am very outdoorsy and enjoy climbing, sailing and snowboarding as well as cycling on a regular basis. The length of my bike rides has increased dramatically since doing the Cycle of Hope and I regularly go on long rides now.

“There’s so much gorgeous scenery to enjoy in this corner of the world it would be rude not to!As well as raising money for such a worthwhile charity, I've found that by constantly challenging yourself and getting out of your 'comfort zone' you grow as a person and your world and mindset becomes wider.”

All money raised during Cycle of Hope will be donated to North West Cancer Research and will support life-saving cancer research at University of Lancaster and across the north west. Since 2018, the charity has funded £39,000,000 worth of cancer research in the region as part of its pledge to tackle rising cancer rates in the region.


The inaugural Cycle of Hope event kicked off on 11 July and took four days to complete. The course took cyclists on a tour of the locations where North West Cancer Research has supported innovative research, including Liverpool and Bangor, before crossing the finish line in Ireland’s historic capital city, Dublin on 14 July.

Marking the charity’s 70th birthday, the event was sponsored by Rutherford Cancer Centres who operate a national network of cancer centres, and international manufacturing firm PSL which provides innovative process solutions to the pharmaceutical industry. PSL also sponsored cyclist Alex Henderson.

Alastair Richards, CEO at North West Cancer Research, said: “Each and every one of the cyclists were phenomenal in their dedication to training and fundraising and their determination to finish the course was fantastic to see. On behalf of everyone at North West Cancer Research I would like to thank them for their efforts. They all had their own personal reasons for partaking and I think they all did their selves proud.”

The four-day charity event, Cycle of Hope, will return in 2019 on the 4 – 7 July. Challengers can now sign up for the event, with a number of places already filled. To find out more about next year’s event call Cara on 0151 709 2919 or [email protected] or visit the Cycle of Hope event page here. 


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