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How we pedalled our way to £7,000!

Think Malawi’s Pedal with a Purpose charity cycle team culminate their epic six day ride in Glasgow, on Thursday August 10, in time for the UCI Cycling World Championships

Photo by Alan Harvey for Glasgow Life

Our four intrepid Pedal with a Purpose charity cycle riders finished their six day, London to Glasgow ride on August 10 2023, in time to celebrate the city’s UCI Cycling World Championships. In the process and with the help of our volunteers, supporters and sponsors they raised over £7,000 which will go towards grassroots education projects in Malawi.

The ride was officially started by Malawi's High Commissioner to the UK, His Excellency Dr. Thomas Bisika on a rainy morning at London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, on August 5.

The riders finished in sunshine on August 10 in Glasgow’s Pollok Country Park, welcomed by family members, supporters and also Macpherson Mbeya, Malawi's sole entrant in the Wiorld Championships.

Watch highlights of the journey here:

The ambitious ride covered 500 miles, on a six day adventure, with the route passing through London, Essex, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire, East and North Yorkshire, County Durham, Northumberland, Cumbria, Dumfriesshire and Lanarkshire. This included crossing the Pennines on one of England's highest roads, as well as technically riding below sea level at one point in Lincolnshire!

The arrival celebrations included cycle-themed art workshops, funded by Glasgow Life a charity that aims to inspire every citizen and visitor to become engaged and active in a city globally renowned for culture and sport. The event was also attended by cyclists from the city's Women on Wheels organisation, with art being exhibited by schools involved in artist residencies with Hannah Braxton and Deirdre Nelson. The Village Storytelling Centre performed a piece created by members of the local community, with Malawian food served by Phindu Lipenga.

The funds raised from the ride will directly benefit Think Malawi's grassroots education projects supporting children and youth in their local communities. These initiatives range from making reusable sanitary pads available, enabling girls to stay in school, building desks to innovative remote learning projects. Since young people (under 25 years) constitute 60 percent of the population on the African continent, investing in Malawian youth development and empowerment is crucial to the future of the country.

Alongside charity founder Steve McInerny, the Pedal with a Purpose cycle team are Peckham Cycle Club members Alastair Boon and Alex Bascetta, who grew up in Kilbarchan Renfrewshire; and Duncan Jowett, an Ipswich-based veteran of long-distance races.

Sponsors of the ride include Billy Bilsland Cycles of Glasgow, a family owned, independent business with a proud Scottish heritage, which opened in Glasgow's Saltmarket in 1980 by the decorated Scottish Olympic cyclist, Billy Bilsland.

“We have a history with Malawi after donating bikes to the Malawi cycling team at the Commonwealth Games in 2014. We came across Think Malawi and decided we wanted to support them as we believed in the goal of the project - to improve the quality of life for the children and young people of Malawi.” - Steven Graham, eCommerce Manager at Billy Bilsland Cycles.

If you'd like to be part of our next challenge, please email

Thank yous

The ride was made possible by a huge group of supporters, volunteers and businesses. These include:

Our commercial sponsors:

Everyone who donated - you know who you are!

Our riders:

Alex Bascetta, Duncan Jowett, Alastair Boon and Steve McInerny

Arrival event :

Deirdre Nelson, Alphaeus Ngonga, Phindu Lipenga, Circling Southside, Helen Voce, Village Storytelling, Scotland Malawi Partnership, Mobile Print Studio, Hannah Braxton,

Our volunteers and trustees:

Kate Hauxwell, Caroline Head, Saniya Patel, Jacqui Forte, Sandra Webb, Jonathan Ellenor, Adrian Butler, Heather Cumming

Supporting organisations

Pie Events, Peckham Cycle Club, Malawi UK Association, Malawi High Commission


Anthony Phiri, Phil Wright, Fred Wright, Christian Player, Gavin McCafferty


Our support for educational projects, which help children in Malawi to fulfill their potential, is made possible by our regular donors. Please consider becoming a regular donor yourself, and join our community.

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