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Posted by Angela and Kate from 'Ova the Hill' on Friday 31 July 2015

Cycle rides can be a fantastic way to fundraise and a great personal achievement too. However, organising your own fundraising cycle ride may seem daunting. This year the Ova the Hill team raised over £36,000 for us by cycling 250 miles from Bradford on Avon to Liverpool. The team of 20 women are keen to share their experiences and help other fundraisers to continue the Ova the Hill legacy. Team members Angela and Kate have kindly put together some advice to encourage and help you to organise your own successful fundraising cycle ride and get ‘Ova the Hill’ for Target Ovarian Cancer.

Making a plan

Having always been keen on the great outdoors and particularly cycling, the idea of doing a cycle ride to raise money for Target Ovarian Cancer seemed to be a good idea. My husband and I knew we had friends and family that would support us and the idea became more of a plan. We had soon rallied together a group of pals all keen to raise money for a good cause.

The next question was where to ride? I wanted to include the journey from my parents-in-law’s (Bradford on Avon) to my parents’ (Crosby, Liverpool). Fortunately in our group was an expert map reader and route planner – she was able to come up with a route across the Welsh Borders, where we would cycle about 50 miles a day.

We allocated roles within the group and over the months ahead everything started to fall into place. We set up a group Whatsapp which was a great way of communicating, and had monthly planning meetings which were a great opportunity for a good catch up over a glass of wine and some nibbles! Main themes covered at these meetings included what to wear, what to take, how to get to the start point, publicity, and social events to kick off the fundraising.

With up to a year to go I started checking on accommodation options along the route – essential when trying to book for 20 people a night!

Overwhelmed with donations

We first set a fundraising target of £5000 but we were blown away with everyone's generosity so kept on raising the target, eventually to £30,000! We were often chatting about our route and trip, and had business cards to hand out before, during and after our journey. Sponsor forms were created and were particularly useful in places of work.

To help raise awareness of our challenge we had events such as coffee mornings combined with raffles, bring and buy, and cake sales. We sold donated jewellery and clothes, as well as home-made chutneys. Local businesses overwhelmed us with their donations.

Support crew

For the bike ride itself, we were incredibly lucky to have a very able, willing support crew. Being prepared for punctures and other adversities is essential when planning any expedition. The support crew helped by putting on a basic maintenance course, and even more helpful – came to our rescue when needed once we were en route. They also made sure that our bags were transported to the next accommodation stop, which saved us from carrying them.

Top tips for the trip:

  • Be realistic about the distances you can complete
  • Have plenty of maps and more importantly competent map readers
  • Plan your route accordingly - you could opt to climb only one hill
  • Look after each other- if you go on a longer expedition people will get tired and need morale boosting
  • Have fun!
  • Plan your eating and drinking needs carefully - you will need to take plenty of snacks and water
  • Be prepared for the public’s generosity

So why not get on your bike and get Ova the Hill for Target Ovarian Cancer?

Angela and Kate, Ova the Hill

If you would like to organise your own 'Ova the Hill' fundraising challenge, please get in touch with the Target Ovarian Cancer fundraising team on fundraising@targetovariancancer.org.uk or 020 7923 5474.