With just days left until the Tour de France arrives in the UK, 25 cyclists from across the country have completed a gruelling ride from Glasgow to London in a 600-mile trip to raise money for charity and promote peace.
The event, which started earlier this month, had been named ‘Ride4Peace’ by its organisers – the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community (AMC).
Cyclists took on the challenge with the ambition of raising £100,000 for British-based charities, the British Heart Foundation and Humanity First.
Tackling the winding Ride4Peace route participants got to tour the British countryside, stopping at 13 Mosques in Glasgow, Newcastle, Hartlepool, Bradford, Huddersfield, Sheffield, Manchester, Birmingham, Oxford, Feltham, and finally London.
Faith and civic leaders, sports enthusiasts and members of the public were all on hand to greet and motivate the team at each checkpoint and cheer the cyclists along.
The Ride4Peace is just one of several events which the AMC has organised over the past month to commemorate 100 years since its establishment in the UK. The £100,000 being collected will take the total amount raised to close to half a million pounds over May.
In addition to stopping at 13 Mosques and a number of BHF shops, the Ride4Peace cyclists stopped to pay their respect at Bailiff Bridge Memorial Park, a First World War memorial originally built in 1921 and recently restored in 2007, and also at the Commonwealth War Graveyard in Ripon.
Explaining why the cyclists chose to stop at the memorial sites, Ali Khan, a member of Team Ride4Peace said: “Like myself, many of the cyclists are of South Asian descent and our grandparents and great grandparents played a big role during both world wars.
“About 74,000 members of the Indian army offered the ultimate sacrifice fighting for the British Empire in the First World War and more than 1.5million people from across the Commonwealth forces in both World Wars.
“It was the collective sacrifice of all those who served that helped to provide us with many of the opportunities and freedoms we enjoy today. Their memory is something to be cherished and celebrated.”
Adding why it was so important to welcome people of all faiths and backgrounds to the mosques during the cycle, Ali added: “We hope that opening up our Mosques across the country to anyone and everyone will demonstrate that they are beacons of peace within local communities and not places to be suspicious of.”
More information about the Ride4Peace can be found at: www.ride4peace.org.