Norwich researcher cycles length of UK in virtual challenge for Alzheimer’s Research UK

Michael Hornberger Bicycle

By Ed Pinches | Thursday 28 May 2020

Prof Michael Hornberger, from the University of East Anglia, has cycled the 1407km distance between Land’s End and John O’Groats on his indoor bike to raise money for pioneering dementia research.

The researcher based at Norwich Medical School, signed up for Alzheimer’s Research UK’s Cycling Down Dementia challenge.

Cycling Down Dementia challenges supporters to ride either 500km (Pioneer), 1,500km (Epic) or their own choice of distance (Maverick) before 30 June and raise money for the UK’s leading dementia research charity.

Prof Hornberger’s work at the University of East Anglia is part of a large collaboration that uses a mobile phone game, known as Sea Hero Quest, to understand how we can better identify people who may be more at risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Prof Hornberger said:
“Alzheimer’s Research UK has supported my research here in Norwich for many years and so I wanted to set myself a fundraising challenge to give something back to them during these difficult times.

“I have loved cycling since I was a child and I am missing my regular cycle to work at the moment. Taking part in Cycling Down Dementia was a perfect way for me to spend a lot of time on my indoor bike while raising money to help Alzheimer’s Research UK continue to fund research in the region and make breakthroughs possible.”

Prof Hornberger has so far raised almost £800 for dementia research. To sponsor him visit:


Alzheimer’s Research UK, which is the official charity partner of UK Cycling Events, first launched Cycling Down Dementia in 2017. The campaign has so far raised over £500,000 for life-changing research.

Megan Ruddlesden, Sporting Events Manager at Alzheimer’s Research UK, said:
“Dementia affects a significant proportion of the population – more than half of UK adults know someone with dementia and there are over 2700 people in Norwich alone living with the condition.

“Most commonly caused by Alzheimer’s disease, dementia affects people’s memory, behaviour and personality. Today, there are no effective treatments to slow, stop or prevent diseases like Alzheimer’s, but researchers are working hard to change that.

“We are so grateful to everyone who is putting their grit and pedal power to the test especially during these difficult times by taking on the Cycling Down Dementia challenge. The vital funds raised are critical to ensuring we can power world-class studies to make life-changing breakthroughs for people with dementia.”

To sign up for Cycling Down Dementia go to

When people sign up they create their own supporter page where family and friends can see how they are getting on and sponsor them. They can connect tracking apps such as Strava or MapMyFitness to their supporter page to record their activity or can manually add rides.

Participants can compare their distance and fundraising with others on the website and compete for a place on the leaderboards.

Anyone who raises £200 will receive a free Alzheimer’s Research UK neckwarmer and participants who raise £400 will get a free cycling jersey.

About the author

Ed Pinches