CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Night cyclist Mo puts herself on the map with 12-hour ride

22-year-old's 160km charity challenge creates GPS image of a cyclist

23 October, 2020 — By Calum Fraser

Mo Maynard by the Thames during the 160km cycling challenge

LIKE a modern day crop-circle creator, Mo Maynard cultivated a giant GPS self-portrait during a 12-hour charity cycle.

The 22-year-old rode through the night, setting out from her Highbury home and heading down through Camden, doing a loop in Westminster and the City, before taking a few sharp turns in Shoreditch and peddling back up through Islington to complete her work of art.

Every twist and turn was tracked by a mobile app using GPS technology to create the cyclist image plastered across a map of north London.

The epic feat, cycling 160 kilometres from 8pm on Thursday, October 8 to Friday 8am, was all done to raise money for the charity Centrepoint which supports young homeless people.

The GPS image of a cyclist created by Mo Maynard’s 12-hour charity ride around the capital

Ms Maynard said: “I found it really tough. What surprised me most was the mental challenge.

“It was almost impossible to keep alert when I was so cold and tired. I had the luxury of warm clothes and food during the night, which helped me keep going, but it made me think of those who don’t have these necessities to rely on.”

Centrepoint estimates that 110,000 young people in the UK were homeless, or at risk of homelessness, last year.

And in the wake of the coronavirus crisis, a Centrepoint spokeswoman said they had already seen the number of rough sleepers calling their helpline double. Ms Maynard’s effort was part of Centrepoint’s Stay Up fundraising day which has replaced its annual Sleep Out event which often sees a number of famous faces join thousands of Londoners sleeping outside for a night in the capital.

Ms Maynard, who has raised £1,500, said: “Even before the coronavirus pandemic I started thinking about how less people are carrying cash, so if someone on the streets needs help they are less likely to be able to give them anything. Now, with the pandemic, I noticed that homelessness is on the rise.”

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