Saddling Up To Save Wildlife – RideLondon-Surrey 100 2018
Six conservation champions are tackling the gruelling Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 2018 this month to raise vital funds for the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF).
Cycling students Rhianna O’Connor, Jeehoon Kang and Jordan Otty will be joining thousands of riders to pedal the tough 100-mile course on Sunday July 29. Three friends Lizzie Connolly, Will Storey and Will Bromfield will complete Team DSWF this year.
“We got into cycling at the beginning of 2018 to explore the Surrey Hills during our last few months living in Guildford, before we graduate,” said Rhianna, who’s studying mathematics with Jeehoon at the University of Surrey. “We discovered that we could do the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 for our local charity DSWF, which works so tirelessly to protect endangered wildlife – so we decided to enter!
“We both care deeply about all animals and after recently campaigning about veganism across the university campus, we wanted to represent vegan cyclists in this event, while also raising money for other types of oppressed animals across the globe.”
Jeehoon and Rhianna at Wildlife Artist of the Year – DSWF RideLondon cyclists
The Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 has now established itself as one of the major events in the south east’s sporting calendar. The 100-mile course winds through a dramatic London backdrop and beautiful Surrey countryside on traffic-free roads.
The route will take the cyclists from the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London, past Canary Wharf and through London, before they head out into the stunning Surrey landscape. The riders will face the challenging climb up Leith Hill, followed by the world-famous zig-zags of Box Hill. They’ll then cycle back into London, passing some of the capital’s most famous landmarks, as they make their way to the spectacular finish on The Mall.
Lizzie and Will – DSWF RideLondon cyclists
Rhianna and Jeehoon are part of a team of six riders raising money and awareness for DSWF this year. Lizzie Connolly, Will Storey and Will Bromfield from Battersea in London, and Jordan Otty from Kent – also a student, at the University of Bath – are tackling the challenge too.
“I love cycling and always look forward to the opportunity to head out and explore new roads around Bath with my bike and some mates – especially if a café stop is on the cards!” said Jordan, who’s studying Business Management. “My weekly training typically involves a ride with the university’s cycling club, one or two solo rides plus an indoor spin session.
Jordan – DSWF RideLondon cyclist
“Being an animal lover and coming from a South African background, I was naturally very interested in the incredible work done by DSWF. A recent trip to Namibia really brought to life how critical the situation is with regards to rhino poaching and so I was incredibly excited by the opportunity to help – especially considering it involved cycling!”
Jordan – DSWF RideLondon cyclist
Jeehoon, who is Korean, said DSWF’s work to save the tiger through its TigerTime campaign had particularly inspired him to cycle for wildlife: “Korean tigers or Siberian tigers, which are now extinct in South Korea, maintain a strong cultural significance to me and I would like to support the work of DSWF in its efforts to raise awareness and take action to preserve wildlife all around the world.”
The team of super cyclists have been training for weeks and aim to raise up to £2,500 for DSWF, which will help it fight wildlife crime, protect endangered species and engage with local communities on the ground.
Will S and Will B – DSWF RideLondon cyclists
“A huge thankyou to all of our brave riders who have been training so hard in very hot weather to prepare them for their 100-mile cycle for wildlife,” said DSWF’s Head of Fundraising Susie Baxter.
“We are so grateful for their passion for conservation and commitment to raising vital funds to help us and our project partners continue our crucial work protecting endangered species such as elephants, rhinos, pangolins and tigers. We wish them all the very best of luck – go Team DSWF!”
The DSWF support team will be cheering the cyclists as they chase down 100 miles for wildlife, at key points on the route – including Box Hill and of course, the finish line on the Mall in London.
You can help DSWF fight wildlife crime, such as elephant and rhino poaching, by sponsoring Team DSWF on their JustGiving page here.