Women cycling in Palmer Park, Reading
Girl power, a few of the participants on the day

Women in Reading cycle for Syria

Smoothies were a key ingredient for a group of women in Reading who joined together for a worthy cause: to cycle the distance from Damascus to Palestine in a single Sunday afternoon to raise money for the British Red Cross.

As Ramadan was approaching, I was anticipating a month in which very little interest in outdoor activities would come from some of the BME (Black and Minority Ethnic) groups I was looking to engage in cycling. What I failed to remember was that Ramadan is also a month in which charity takes a higher priority. The solution was simple: a cycling event to raise money and for women only.

I was looking forward to the challenge of getting back on my bike and raising money for charity. The atmosphere and support from other women was great and the amount we cycled was more than I imagined." 


A few weeks and several emails later, I had put together 'The Cycle for Syria Cycle Challenge'.  The aim was to accumulate a total of 138 miles -  the same distance as it is from Damascus to Palestine -  in a single day and within 3 hours 30 mins on the velo track at Palmer Park Stadium, Reading.

Yea it was really good, I enjoyed the smoothies and
trying different bikes."


The event was conceived rather last minute, but on the day over 20 women and children attended and cycled at total of 144 miles within 2 hours and 45 mins, and yes I even allowed a short break or two!  The total raised was £600.00, which was donated to The British Red Cross working in Syria. 

Javed Saddique