Leicester scientists get into gear for new fundraising challenge

Dr Charlotte Smith and Professor David Bartram are getting on their bikes to highlight Cycle 300, a new fundraising challenge from Cancer Research UK.

Two Leicester researchers are getting on their bikes to highlight Cycle 300, a new fundraising challenge from Cancer Research UK.

Dr Charlotte Smith (School of Business) and Professor David Bartram (School of Media, Communication and Sociology) are urging men and women to sign up now and then choose how, when and where to clock up 300 miles on a bike in September.

Charlotte, who is leading a research project into the effects of vaping regulation, is one of 4,000 Cancer Research UK funded scientists, doctors and nurses working on the front line in the fight against the disease.

She’s also a Team GB triathlete with a passion for cycling and a string of medals for events including Ironman.

David, Associate Professor in Sociology, cycles to work every day and knows only too well the importance of research into cancer after his grandfather died of lung cancer.

Both scientists are keen to show how peddle power can make a crucial difference to people diagnosed with the disease.

Charlotte said: "I love cycling and I think this is a great way to raise money for Cancer Research UK’s vital research. But you don’t have to be a cycling fanatic like me – the beauty of it is that anyone can take part because they can fit it in with their lifestyle.

"I’d encourage anyone who can cycle to join the campaign and clock up 300 miles in September."

Charlotte’s research is looking at the difficulties surrounding the regulation of e-cigarettes and examining whether any restrictions could be encouraging users to move back to tobacco.

"Research so far shows that e-cigarettes are far less harmful than smoking tobacco which is the single biggest cause of cancer," said Charlotte. "Prevention is key to beating cancer and that’s why this research is so important."

There are many ways to hit the 300-mile mark. Commuters can to notch up ten miles a day on their cycle to work. Weekend enthusiasts can plan epic 75-mile routes through rolling countryside, while gym bunnies can step up the spin classes to hit their target.

David, co-editor of The Journal of Happiness Studies and expert in international migration, said: "Smoking killed my grandfather when I was 12 years old and that had a major impact on my life.

"That’s why I’m delighted to be involved in something that raises funds for such a worthwhile cause while helping keep people fit and active."