Red Balloon Ride January 2021

Something a little different…

Fantastic fundraiser Ralph Burditt, of Qualcomm Technologies International Ltd, has made ‘Wear Red for Red Balloon Day’ a standing feature in previous years to raise money and awareness for our charity. But with colleagues working from home instead of in the office due to Covid, this year the usual plans were sadly out of the window. Instead, Ralph decided to make 2021’s fundraiser an active one and tap into one of his co-workers’ other interests; cycling.

And so Red Balloon Ride was born!

As January is typically a bit of a gloomy month, regularly getting out in the fresh air and doing some exercise seemed both an excellent idea and, given the typical un-motivating UK January weather, likely to be a challenge. The aim was for cyclists to get out on their bikes as much as possible during the month, to travel the furthest distance and scale the greatest height possible across the 31 days. Team members could sign up to three different target distances based on ability: 300km, 600km and 1250km, with an award for total distance and total altitude in each distance category. To mix things up a bit we added in a “best photo” award so riders could share some of the beautiful views they see out on their rides.

Cycling through January

Fourteen cyclists took part in what turned out to be a snowy, rainy, icy and definitely chilly Red Balloon ride. Between them they totted up 325 separate rides, a distance of 9,418km and climbed over 45km! They had some excellent supporters donating to spur them on, and it’s not hard to see why – one rider did a total of 39 separate rides, four cycled over 100km in a single ride, and one climbed a total altitude of 9325m. Needless to say we’re seriously impressed with all they achieved!

An amazing fundraising total

With their incredible perseverance and dedication to the cause it’s only fitting that they raised an incredible fundraising total with their efforts, and we were delighted that together the riders managed to raise a fantastic £5148 for Red Balloon’s new Future Fund across the month.


To celebrate the team’s hard work, and such an incredible achievement across the challenge, last week we held a virtual award ceremony to celebrate and thank all the riders and their dedication to the challenge.

CategoryLongest single rideMost Altitude climbed overall
1250km136.93km – Nick Salter9027m – Ralph Burditt
600km102.42km – Hamid Zare Doust9325m – P.C
300km82.15km – Dmitrii Vasilchenko6199m – Leanne Bakehouse


And our Best Photographs awards winners were Nick Salter (1st) and Sarah Thompson (2nd): you can see their photos in the gallery below and in the header image above.

We want to say a huge well done to all those that took the challenge on:

Ralph Burditt, Nick Salter, James Timmins, Karl Bard, Hamid Zare Doust, Joe MacMullen, Peter Robinson, Leanne Bakehouse, Matt Collins, Sreejith Sudhakaran, Sarah Thompson, John Turner, and Dmitrii Vasilchenko.

We hope they are all as proud of their achievements as we are!

Photos from the challenge

Not only skilled cyclists, there’s also some keen photographic eyes in the team! We love these images taken out on rides and being able to see the beautiful places and scenery our riders got to experience.

Thank you

A huge thank you to Ralph and the whole cycling team for their incredible fundraising and a wonderfully successful challenge. Their efforts have been an inspirational way to begin the new year and the donations raised have been a great start to our Future Fund!

If you’ve been inspired by Red Balloon Ride and fancy following in their tyre tracks, then have a look at our fundraising page and help support our Future Fund.

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