About 8 months ago now, I saw a Facebook advertisement for a London to Amsterdam charity cycle ride. Having wanted to find a way to give back for some time now, I thought this would be the ideal opportunity to raise a good amount of money, while having fun and enjoying my favourite pass-time all at the same time.
For a few years now, I have had a comical back and forth with a great friend of mine, Nikki, always challenging each other to do silly things, generally to do with fitness. On all occasions the outcome has been productive, and usually involves some form of humour or mockery along the way. Running best 5km times, taking on obstacle courses, or being talked into getting back into cycling by her because she wanted to get a new bike to commute one (poor Nora!). I would not change a thing!
One evening, after looking over the finer details of the challenge, I popped a message over to Nikki suggesting she might like to give the challenge a go. All in jest of course, as she has hardly ridden Nora since getting her back in 2016. Ever the cheeky joker, I suggested it might be the opportunity to get back in the saddle and use the bike for once. Knowing full well Nikki was already in the middle of a fitness drive of her own, there was very little chance she was going to take this on. Not to mention she had already bailed on doing the Ride London 46 at the last moment, just to have a holiday to Morocco, I mean, how selfish lol !
"Nikki is typing..." Here we go, wait for it, I thought. "oh when is this?" came the reply. Playing along I sent some basic info over. "Nikki is typing..." I waited with baited breath. "Yeah sure why not" WTF !! This isn't what I was expecting at all!
In her usual full on committed way, she had signed up for the challenge within a day or two, and I was now playing catch-up. That will teach me!
We both have very personal reasons for wanting to get involved in this. Both appreciating very much what St Christopher's do each and every day, and keen to give something back in a way to thank them for the amazing work they do for so many people every day. I am sure if you look on her Just Giving page, you can get the full reasoning behind her quest to ride to Amsterdam, that is not my story to tell. https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/nikki-calver1
Of course, in her usual manner, Nikki has grabbed the bull by the horns and really gotten stuck into the whole affair. New turbo trainer, signed up to Zwift, and now a new bike too! There is no stopping this girl! What started out as mockery from me (quite usual rest assured) has turned into a bit of a grudge match now, and I can already see that the four days of riding in June will be quite interesting to say the least.
I should point out at this stage that there is an every growing number of participants in this event, with the last count being around the 50 mark. So whatever happens, it is going to be one hell of an adventure.
With training just starting, friends are already being made within the group. Getting to know new people, and help each other grow as cyclists. I can't wait for the time to come, and the adventure to begin.
I should finally say, sorry for doubting you Nikki, I should have known better. I admire the commitment, and gusto you have attacked this with, and wish you all the best in raising a phenomenal amount of money for an amazing cause. #RideOn