Pedal It Pink cycle marathon in aid of Breast Cancer Campaign
Kirstin Innes finds out about a new women-only cycle ride raising funds for breast cancer research
If you go down to the park today, you’d better go in disguise. And that disguise had better be pink. Breast Cancer Campaign’s women-only, pink-clad cycle ride, Pedal It Pink, is set to turn Edinburgh’s Holyrood Park pleasantly pastel this fortnight.
‘Our mission is to beat breast cancer by funding research, and we’ve been doing that in Scotland for 13 years now, raising £2.5 million for Scottish-based research,’ explains Catriona Wright, Breast Cancer Campaign’s events manager. ‘One of the ways we do that is through fundraising events: walks, runs, sky dives, a dress down day where everyone is encouraged to come into work wearing pink. But we wanted to run a really big mass participation event. Breast cancer affects so many people across so many different communities, so it’s always great to get as many people from across the spectrum together and raising funds in the same place. There are loads of sponsored walks and runs happening all over the place, so we wanted to do something a bit different, and I don’t think there are any other women-only cycle rides.’
Pedal It Pink launched last year, with two ride-outs in Liverpool and Nottingham. They went so well that the charity decided to turn the cycle-fest into a UK-wide event. Wright personally is delighted to be launching the event here. ‘Edinburgh’s my home town, so it’s great to have an excuse to come back up, and I think Holyrood Park will be perfect for Pedal It Pink.’
If you’re a bit saddle-shy (don’t worry, we hear it’s just like riding a bike), you’ll be pleased to hear there are a choice of rides: women riders can sign up for a marathon-length endurance cycle or an easier-on-the-thighs half marathon. There’s also a family 5K stretch, which is open to men and children.
‘That’s really important, too,’ says Wright. ‘Although the main ride is in part about female solidarity, about getting all the girls together down at Holyrood, men can of course get breast cancer too, and can be affected by it just as intensely.’
They are still expected to take the dress code seriously, though.
‘We give everyone who takes part a pink T-shirt, but people are encouraged to go as pink as possible. At previous rides, we’ve had people turning up in pink tutus, pink wigs, pink helmets – even two people on a pink tandem once. Everyone really goes for it. A lot of people are taking part because they’ve been affected by breast cancer, and they write messages or the names of the people they’re cycling for on their backs.’ In pink, of course.
Pedal It Pink, Holyrood Park, Edinburgh, Sunday 16 May. All participants will need their own bicycle and helmet. Entry to the marathon costs £15, 1/2 marathon £10 and family 5K lap £5. See www.breastcancercampaign.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.