To date this year, I've not really signed up to do any bike challenges. About this time last year, I'd cycled from London to Loughborough, but I currently haven't planned anything similar this year. I'd talked about doing the Devon Coast to Coast or the Way of the Roses but this has been hot air for the time being. I thought it was about time that I signed up and did something this year. My rides to date have mainly been commutes and transport, rather than recreational rides. I needed a challenge to get my teeth into.
I'd seen back in January that the Royal Air Force Benevolent fund were running a Paris to London bike ride in September. I liked the idea as it was to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain and that it was all on Bromptons. However, the off putting fact was the £1000 sponsorship target, so I initially dismissed it.
However, it kept popping up in the London Brompton Club Facebook group and it also cropped up on my Twitter feed when retweeted by various companies I follow (namely Brompton themselves). And so, I looked at it in a bit more detail.
£350 entry fees that covers all my expenses for the ride. It's sponsored, by some big names - Thales, Brompton and Strava which has kept costs down for the riders. However, there is a £1000 sponsorship requirement (riders have to raise £1000 to take part) which had initially put me off.
However, the idea of the ride refused to leave me alone - images of cycling along the French countryside in a "formation" of up to 150 other Bromptons with the RAF March Past playing in the background kept cropping up whilst I was trying to work…
The Gauntlet is laid down
So last week, I eventually looked at the challenge again. And looked at the other tours that Ride 25 offered. Looking at the prices of running my own Paris to London trip, staying at hotels and getting the Eurostar there and the ferry back, £350 suddenly looked very good value for money. And then the opportunity to take part in a memorial ride and raise money for a charity, I decided that it would be worth the cost and it would be a great opportunity.
So I signed up and now have to start training for the ride in September! Hope to get a lot of pictures along the route and aim to do some rides with the London Brompton Club to get some training in for it. The ride will be four days of riding and the longest ride I've done to date is a two day ride - it looks like I need to get in the habit of cycling distances day after day again. I used to do 40Km rides on both Saturday and Sunday when I was at university so I'll be looking at doing similar in training. The distance from my house to work is about 40Km so it would be good training to cycle in once or twice a week. The benefit of having the Brompton is that I can cycle in for the morning (or home in the evening) and I only have to do a ride in a single direction as I can bike on the train without having to get an off peak train.
So now comes the part where I ask if you'd care to sponsor me for this challenge and donate to a good cause.
There's three ways you can help out:
- Firstly, you can donate directly at Just Giving. My page can be found here. All money is sent directly to the charity.
- Secondly, you can help raise money for me without any cost to yourself by using Easyfundraising. Basically, if you buy anything online, if you go to Easy Fundraising and click the shop link on their website, you get directed to the store website and can purchase your item as normal - however, the shop pays Easy Fundraising for each sale made through it's store like this and this money is donated towards charity.
- Spread the word! If you don't want to or can't donate, then please pass on the details of the ride and my sponsorship page to others!
I think I'll be organising some RAF themed rides over the coming year to get the right mindset. I lost a family member who was in the RAF during the war so this can be my tribute to him.