August 18, 2016, by Liz Cass

Fab Four take on sixth charity cycling challenge

The University of Nottingham Life Cycle 6 group photo. Photo by Alex Wilkinson Photography and Videography,

Nick Miles, Karen Cox and Steve Wright

A team of four are on track to have helped raise more than £2.8 million by cycling for charity.

For the last six years Professor Sir David Greenaway, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Nottingham, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Karen Cox, Professor Nick Miles, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Advancement, and Steve Wright, University Chauffeur, have taken part in Life Cycle – a biking challenge set over two weeks in August.

The first event took place in 2011 when the foursome were part of a team that cycled from John O’Groats to Land’s End to raise money for palliative and end of life care.

Similar challenges followed each year and have seen the four clock up more than 23,000 miles, eat an estimated 336 chocolate bars and raise more than £2.8 million for worthy causes.


Professor Sir David Greenaway

This year’s ride will be the final challenge for Professor Sir David.

He said: “A special kind of camaraderie develops very quickly across the riders and Support Team: partly because we are all going through the same pain barriers; partly because we are all united by a single cause; partly because everyone is just an amateur cyclist taking on a challenge for a cause they believe in. It is genuinely inspiring to observe people who are not regular cyclists take this on and do it.”

This year for Life Cycle 6 they will join eight more riders to take on the four compass points of Great Britain- from Lizard Point to Lowestoft Ness, Ardnamurchan Point to Dunnet Head. A distance of 1,400 miles.

The ride is one of the flagship fundraising events in the #BreastCancerAndMe campaign launched by the University earlier this year.

The University of Nottingham Life Cycle 6 group photo. Photo by Alex Wilkinson Photography and Videography,

The University of Nottingham Life Cycle 6 endurance riders 

The campaign has a £1 million target and funds will go directly into the university’s laboratories to support world-leading breast cancer research.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Karen Cox said: “The Life Cycle rides have just been an amazing experience. You learn a lot about yourself when you are tired, hungry, wet and cold and you really don’t want to go up the next hill.

“Somehow you dig deep and you keep going and feel a real sense of achievement when it is all over. Six years ago I didn’t know I could ride so far on a bike for so long but because you are doing it for a great cause with fantastic people it is genuinely brilliant, keeps you fit and makes you happy. “

Steve Wright said: “When I look back at the first ride I realised how unprepared I was – have done not nearly enough training and on the wrong bike. I never imagined I’d still be doing this six years later. I have formed great friendships and seen places I would never have seen.”

Professor Nick Miles said: “It’s been a fantastic experience to do all six Life Cycle endurance rides and raise money for such a variety of causes.

“We all have days when we’re struggling on the ride, but luckily not all at the same time so we support each other. It can get tough but when you’re really struggling, focusing on a mile at a time and thinking about the cause keeps you going.”


Eat as often as you can. Even if you do not feel hungry, always remember you are eating for the next day. Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir David Greenaway

When you stop at fabulous cafes around the UK make sure you sample the fantastic baking. Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Karen Cox

Simple: Do some hill training. University Chauffeur Steve Wright.

Don’t think further ahead than the next mile and if you’re finding it really tough, think of the cause and why we’re doing the ride. Professor Nick Miles

Fab Four Facts:

After this ride the fab four will have completed a total of 23,880 miles of endurance rides, or 5,970 miles each.

This is on top of a total of 27,840 training miles (6,960 each). Based on a 40 mile ride every weekend from March-August for the last six years.

To keep up their energy levels the four eat 7,000 calories a day. That’s 98,000 calories each for each endurance ride.

The team suffer about two punctures per ride – that’s a total of 48 over the last six endurance rides.


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