YesCymru cyclists collectively cover 4000 kilometres to raise money for Ukraine
Welsh cyclists from YesCymru have covered over 4000 kilometres to raise money to support humanitarian work in Ukraine.
Having originally set themselves the task of cycling 1600 miles (approx 2,600 km) – roughly the distance of Cardiff to Kyiv – the group far exceeded their expectations over the weekend covering the equivalent of going to Kyiv and a good chunk of the way back.
The challenge was organised by Dan Ley from YesCymru Abertawe who rallied the support of YesCymru Cyclists, a group he set up during the first lockdown, linking fellow cyclists from across Wales and beyond using Strava – an app for cyclists and runners which records routes and distances covered.
For the ‘Caerdydd to Kyiv challenge’, members of the group took to their bikes last weekend, adding their distances to the overall total in order to raise money for the Disasters Emergency Committee.
Dan said that they came up with the plan just a couple of weeks earlier: “The distance from Cardiff to Kyiv is around 1600 miles, and as a group we decided to cycle either virtually or in real life on our bikes, on our spin bikes, or however people wanted to do it.
“We ended up accumulating 4000km (nearly 2,500 miles) distance over the weekend between us, using our Strava group to record the distances automatically.
“And while we did that, we asked people if they were willing to give some money through a fundraising page that has kindly been set up by YesCymru Central.”
“In the end there were over 40 recorded rides on our strava group including people riding around Wales England, Sweden, Germany, Spain and Italy.
“There were several people who took part in the ‘ride to London’ which is a 100 miler which was great (and also influenced the decision on which weekend to do it as I knew that there would be some taking part).
“Several people also took part through the online platform, Zwift and on turbo trainers at home.
“YesCymru is not just about Wales – Wales wants to be part of a bigger global world, and we are looking to help other countries where we can.”
Dan set up the group in a bid to tackle isolation and support mental health, when the Covid pandemic led to the first of the lockdowns, when the weather was good, but no one could meet up.
“A lot of people’s mental health was getting affected, mine was getting affected a bit as well. At the time, of course, we had no marches, no one was getting together, no meetings, no catch ups, nothing face to face.
“There’s a few people within YesCymru who are really interested in cycling so I started this group as a way to keep people connected and also support each other and share our lives in ways that we were able to during the lockdown.
“Since then, it’s just grown and grown. I think we’ve got over 300 members on our Strava group now and I’ve met a lot of people and some people have got together so hopefully it will just carry on growing.
“We constantly posting our pictures on Twitter on the Strava group to show what we’re doing, and we’ve got our own YesCymru cycling kit now.
“We have cyclists being spread all across Wales – we’ve got some in North Wales, East South West, mid Wales all over the place.
“Sometimes it can be hard to meet up but hopefully in the future once we get some events on the go, we can get some groups together to take part in some races or just some casual rides, or some events to create more awareness around independence.”
Donations can be made to the fundraiser here
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