With the depths of winter fully upon us, it feels like a good time to cast our minds back to the past summer season and reflect on what was an extraordinary year for our charity partner, Bike the UK for MS. With their schedule of UK based outdoor cycling adventures, it was the perfect synergy for our ‘Power to Help’ program, helping them raise over £65,000 for the multiple sclerosis community.
Who are Bike the UK for MS?
As a charity, Bike the UK for MS brings together a community of inspired individuals from all backgrounds, ages and cycling abilities for a common purpose: to raise funds and awareness for multiple sclerosis research, volunteer their time and make a positive impact on the lives of those living with MS.
Multiple sclerosis (or MS) is a chronic, often disabling disease that attacks the central nervous system (CNS), which is made up of the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. Symptoms may be mild, such as numbness in the limbs, or severe, such as paralysis or loss of vision. Today, new treatments and advances in research are giving hope to people affected by the disease.
For many years, Bike the UK for MS has been supporting local MS Society groups across the UK. With increasing participation, they hope to grow this support over the coming years and build a closer relationship with the MS communities en route.
Bike the UK for MS Challenges
With routes crisscrossing the UK, including Land’s End to John O’Groats, the North Coast 500 and from Sea to Sea, the 2022 summer offered up a whole host of highlights and challenges for Bike the UK for MS participants, supported by Jackery.
For those tackling the traditional 15 day adventure from End to End of the UK, the team crushed their way through the relentless Cornish hills and up and over Dartmoor before being struck by the summer heatwave (who remembers those glorious days). Maybe a mini freezer, powered by the Jackery unit, will be an option for 2023? With temperatures dropping, but the sun still shining, the team battled on to celebrate the wonderful achievement in John O’Groats.
The two intrepid teams taking on the North Coast 500 cycle were welcomed by 360 degree views, meandering coastal roads and white sand beaches with mountainous backdrops, making for spectacular riding. However, they too faced tough conditions while completing the 500+ mile route with 36,000 feet of elevation over 8 days.
Finally the shortest, but by no means easiest adventure of the season, saw a team take on the Sea to Sea from Whitehaven to Tynemouth over an August long weekend. Despite more wet and wild conditions (I thought this was meant to have been the UK’s hottest and driest summer on record) the 17 strong team kept pushing through to ride from coast to coast of England.
With Bike the UK for MS focused on ensuring as much of the funds raised goes towards supporting MS projects, many of the overnight accommodations are basic, with low cost camping or generously hosted by sports grounds, community centres and churches. In these facilities, it was often difficult or impossible to find enough power outlets for the whole team to charge items vital to their safety out on the road like phones, bike computers for navigation and lights.
Jackery UK were able to make a lasting impact on the Bike the UK for MS events by providing two Jackery Solar Generator 1000 units including two packs of the Solar Panel SolarSaga 100W for off grid charging. Used throughout the day at rest stops as well as at camp in the evenings, we were able to help keep the teams safe with fully powered devices.
With MS, the progress, severity, and specific symptoms of MS are unpredictable and vary from one person to another. In some cases, riders need the additional support of an eBike in order to reach their personal challenge goal of riding the country. The green, quiet and easy to use Portable Power Station Explorer 1000 ensured riders were able to push themselves to their limit without the worry of running out of battery for their bike.
If you ride an eBike and have the benefit of vehicle support when out on your cycling adventures, we recommend continuously topping up your battery from your Jackery unit when taking breaks. Prefer not to take many breaks and ride steady through the day? If you have the means to do so, charging a spare eBike battery while you ride is a great way to allow you to keep riding throughout the day without having to wait for it to charge when empty.
Top tip camping in Scotland
Anyone lucky enough to have travelled the spectacular Scottish NC500 loop or been to the Highlands will have undoubtedly come across swarms of midges. The small flying insects can be incredibly frustrating and causes irritating bites. You’ll notice they are often most prevalent in calm conditions with no wind. Try Bike the UK for MS’ trick of using box fans, powered by your portable Jackery unit, to create enough breeze around your campsite to blow them away. Wrap up to stay warm, but sitting in the cold breeze is far more comfortable than being attacked by midges.
Final thoughts on the Jackery Solar Generator 1000
‘We couldn’t be more grateful for the support provided by Jackery with our solar generators. It’s transformed our ability to support our riders whilst maintaining a rustic and accessible adventure. The portable nature of the Explorer Power Station and SolarSaga made for seamless use throughout the days and evenings on the trips.
Having the ability to run appliances and extension leads with the AC ports, as well as USB devices charging at the same time, was invaluable for a team of our size. In addition, charging the units with our car adaptor allowed the units to be easily topped up while our support vans drove between rest stops and overnight locations.
Being able to tell our teams that they have access to power whenever needed is a huge relief both to us as organisers and the participants. Safety is our number one priority and knowing that riders have their essential items charged is a game changer. I honestly don’t know what we would do without our Jackery units out on the road.