A CHARITY has reluctantly cancelled its London to Brighton bike ride due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) has called off the cycling event, which has been held for 40 years, for 2021 due to “the high-risk of having to call it off at the last minute”.

Each year around 15,000 cyclists take part in the event which raised a record-breaking £3.1 million in 2018.

Since its inception, elite and novice riders alike have pedalled over 41 million miles between them to help the charity raise tens of millions for life-saving research to beat heartbreak.

The BHF is encouraging all would-be L2B cyclists to support the charity in 2021 by taking on its virtual cycling challenge, MyCycle, or the London to Brighton Off-Road Bike Ride.

Liam O’Reilly, head of the events at the British Heart Foundation, said: “It’s heart breaking to have to cancel our London to Brighton Bike Ride for a second year and we know that many people will be disappointed by the decision.

READ MORE >> Coronavirus: London to Brighton Bike Ride cancelled

"The uncertainty surrounding continued Covid-19 restrictions for large scale events coupled with a high financial risk of cancellation at short notice left us with no choice.

"But we’re determined to return with a bigger and better event in 2022.

“We’re incredibly grateful to the thousands of cyclists that take part in the event each year, pedalling the 54 miles from London to Brighton to raise funds for our life saving research into heart and circulatory diseases."

The BHF’s London to Brighton Off-Road Bike Ride on 4th September 2021 is another option for those keen to take to the saddle this year for the BHF.

The 75-mile route over varied terrain "will put your physical endurance levels to the test".