Former pro Molly Weaver rides 130km off-road…in her back garden

She has raised thousands for a good cause

Cyclists everywhere have had the disappointment of cancelled events this year and it can be easy to feel disheartened.

But when former pro Molly Weaver heard that the long-distance gravel event The Dirty Reiver in Northumberland was cancelled, she decided to hold her own solo event…in her parents's back garden.

Starting on Friday (April 15), Weaver set off on a 130km adventure in her own garden, riding more than 1,000 laps of a short off-road circuit.

While riding the short 100m course for 12 hours Weaver was also raising money for charity with all proceeds going to the Women’s Aid Federation of England , which works to end domestic violence.

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Weaver has raised a staggering £12,000 with her off-road exploits, with 622 people donating to the cause (you can donate here (opens in new tab)).

She said: “I’m so happy I never have to do that again.

“And I think my parents would agree. I couldn’t have done this without their help and without them sacrificing their garden for the greater good. I’m lucky to have them.”

It’s safe to say the garden didn’t look the same after Weaver had completed her mission.

She isn’t the only rider to take on a unique challenge during the coronavirus lockdown.

Last week former Tour de France winner Geraint Thomas rode for 36 hours over three days to raise money for the NHS.

The Team Ineos rider spend three 12-hour shifts on indoor training platform Zwift in his garage in Wales, £360,000 for charity.

>>> ‘A once in a lifetime opportunity’: How Cycling Weekly readers are riding during lockdown

Willie Smit (Burgos-BH) raised the bar and rode 1,000km in a single ultra-distance ride in April.

Smit, a former Katusha-Alpecin rider who now races for Spanish ProTeam Burgos-BH, spent 37 hours in the saddle to complete the enormous challenge he set himself.

Even more impressive, the South African completed the ride at 2,000 metres above sea level at his home in Andorra and without the benefit of a fan to cool off, as he wasn’t able to purchase one during the coronavirus lockdown.

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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.