Virtual Velo 2018

Cycle 500 miles or 1000 miles
in your own time

Frequently asked questions

How can I take part in Virtual Velo™?

To take part in Virtual Velo™ , please click on the Register Now button. This will let you set up a fundraising page, choose which distance you want to take part in (500 miles to Hamburg or 1,000 miles to Rome), and which hospital you want to support. You can also add a photo, and say a bit about why you are cycling and supporting your hospital charity. Don't forget to link your chosen fitness app to your page (see "How do I link my fitness app" FAQ).

How do I link my chosen fitness app to my challenge page?

Once you have set up your Virtual Velo™ challenge page, you can link your chosen fitness app to the page so that all your rides will automatically be uploaded and can be shared with your friends and colleagues. You can link up Strava, MapMyRide and Fitbit. Please follow this link to get instructions on how to link up your app.

Is there a minimum age to take part in Virtual Velo?

No. You can take part in Virtual Velo at any age as part of a family group, but in order to take part in the London to Brighton bike ride, or the rides organised through the WhatsApp group, there is a minimum age of 16.

When does Virtual Velo take place?

Registration opened in May, and the challenge starts on 11 June. Clock up as many miles as you can to reach your 500 or 1,000 mile target and Virtual Velo finishes on Sunday 16 September when a group of us will be taking part in the 54 mile London to Brighton bike ride so why not join us to ride your final miles or celebrate reaching your target! Once you've registered, all your miles will count even if you ride before 11 June, but our leaderboards won't go live until 11 June.

Is there a minimum amount of money I need to fundraise?

No. Every penny counts and we will be extremely grateful for anything that you raise.

The more money we raise together, the more patients and families that we will be able to help.

All riders that complete their 500 mile or 1000 mile challenge and raise over £100 will receive a special Virtual Velo™ medal!

Can I raise money for a specific ward or department in my chosen hospital?

Yes you can. Please put on your fundraising page which ward or department you are fundraising for, and we will make sure the money you raise is allocated to that ward or department

I am riding to support Heartlands Hospital Charity/Good Hope Hospital Charity or Solihull Hospital Charity but my page says Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity. Are my donations going to the right hospital?

Yes. The hospital charity is a group of four hospital charities but has just one charity number. The everydayhero account just picks up the first hospital charity - Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity - but absolutely your fundraising will go to the hospital you have identified you want to support on the registration page.

What does the money I fundraise go towards?

Your money goes towards providing ‘added extras’ over and above that which the NHS can provide, including equipment, facilities and research.

How do I join the Virtual Velo™ WhatsApp group?

To join the WhatsApp group, please email your name and mobile phone number to velo@uhb.nhs.uk and we will add you to the group. We will also ask everyone who sets up a fundraising challenge page if they want to become part of the WhatsApp group.

Will there be any group rides during Virtual Velo™?

Yes. As well as offering the London to Brighton bike ride, we will be offering you the chance to ride with other participants in weekend rides from our hospitals.

Keep coming back to the website for updates, or join our WhatsApp group to get notifications of rides.

Can I take part if I don't have a fitness app or smart watch/phone?

Absolutely! You can download the Strava or MapMyRide apps for free if you've got a smart watch/phone or you can add your miles manually to your challenge page.

One of my supporters can’t go online and donate, can I still add their donation to my page?

Yes - you can easily add any offline donations to your fundraising challenge page by clicking on the link to 'add offline donation' on your page.

Do I need a bike to take part?

If you’re not able to get out on a bike, then why not use a static bike at home in or in your local leisure centre?

Do I need to pay to take part?

Virtual Velo™ is completely free to take part in. However, we’d like to offer people the chance to take part in a mass cycle event to finish the challenge in September, so you can take one of our places in the London to Brighton cycle ride on 16th September.

There is a £45 registration fee for that event but this is not a compulsory part of Virtual Velo™.

How do I sign up for the London to Brighton ride on 16th September?

If you’d like to join us on the London to Brighton ride to finish off the challenge you can fill in your details and pay the £45 registration fee  by clicking here.

How do I win a trip to Hamburg or Rome?

We have two challenges – ride 500 miles to Hamburg or 1,000 miles to Rome, and our top fundraisers are in with a chance of winning a three night break to the cities.

For every rider doing the 500 mile challenge that raises £500 you will be entered into a draw for a trip to Hamburg, and for every rider doing the 1,000 mile challenge that raises £1,000 you will be entered into a draw for a trip to Rome.

Is there a minimum distance that a cycle has to be to count towards my total?

No, whether you cycle two miles to work every day for three months, or you choose to do fewer long-distance cycles, Virtual Velo™ is an event for everyone!

Do I get any free cycling gear?

Yes! Everyone taking part in Virtual Velo™ will get one of our hospital charity cycling tops free of charge (like the ones featured on the photos on this site). You will get a cycling top for the hospital you choose to support. In addition to your free cycling top, we have a full range of cycling bib shorts, gilets, jackets, caps and water bottles that you can purchase via the hospital charity - we will send those details out to riders.

Can a group of us link our challenge pages in a team?

Yes! If a number of you would like to set up a team then choose a team manager and then they can set up a team from their fundraising challenge page and invite others to join that team. Then all your fundraising pages will show up on the team page which you can personalise and will show the total miles ridden by the team. This is a great way for groups to achieve the mileage targets when you have a mix of strong cyclists and some beginner level cyclists.

How can I find if my friend is taking part in Virtual Velo™?

On the Virtual Velo™ homepage there is a "Find a friend" box beneath the leaderboards. Type in their name here and any fundraising challenge pages set up will appear here.

Why does Virtual Velo™ use everydayhero for the fundraising pages? The hospital charity has always used JustGiving for fundraising pages in the past.

everydayhero and JustGiving are both part of the same company - Blackbaud - that the hospital charity has used for a lot of years to help us raise so much money to support patients and families at our hospitals. For Virtual Velo™ we wanted to have the ability to link the fundraising pages to your fitness apps and that function is currently only available on everydayhero not JustGiving. We think it is still just as easy to donate on both sites!

Help! I have a question that isn't answered in these FAQs

Don't worry! We'll keep adding FAQs to this list, but if you have a question that isn't answered here please just email us at velo@uhb.nhs.uk and we'll be happy to help!