My plan for 2014 could be coming together after a brief chat with a friend when I saw him with his shiny new bike, a Boardman in red with the same pedals I have on my Specialized Allez Sport.
He is a fellow teacher at another secondary school in the area we both live. We are also both governors at our local primary school so see each other a lot, however this is not the main point of the blog. A team of staff (12 in total) will be cycling from their school to Brighton, I assume for charity, but even if not it is a good twist upon the London to Brighton rides I have completed over the last two years. The will set off from their school, Birchwood, and cycle the 94 odd miles straight through London to the south coast city. Sorry that should read 151.2km as to not fall fowl of the rules. In effect is is a fairly strait line on the map, so a good route, and this has got me thinking.
Each year at my school we have a charity week with loads of different fund raising events from cakes sales to more energetic events like our version of Strictly Come Dancing, or as it was called Strictly Come Prancing. In effect the fundraising goes on for much of the year and is organised mainly by the students and they do a fantastic job. Anyway back to my thinking and yes this involves bikes again. From earlier posts I have been looking for something a little different for 2014. I am now thinking there is an opportunity for a staff team to cycle from our school (which starts with an L) to another UK town or city with the same letter. The first place which came to mind was Leicester. A nice 177 km but going inland means we wouldn’t finish near the sea. Another option was Lowestoft on the coast of East Anglia. This would be 167km and could be completed in a day without too much trouble even is a large group all travelling together. The advantage here is you could cool off in the sea afterwards and I think the beach might be a sandy one rather than the pebbles of Brighton. Other locations which would have to be discounted this time round purely on location would be Looe and Liskard in Cornwall, both lovely places and anything past Leicester so Liverpool would not be possible on a first attempt. Wherever the location is needs to be more than 161km just to break the 100 mile barrier!
The location can be sorted in the next few weeks but the main consideration would have to be the time for the event. Obviously it couldn’t be on a school day as there is work to be done, but could easily be a weekend and probably best if it was one which was attached to a school holiday, but this isn’t essential as I went to work after the London to Brighton rides. Quicker recovery comes to fitter riders, so More preparation would be required. Then there is getting a team together to complete this with me. There are a few cyclists amongst the staff who could be interested in completing this challenge if we get it off the ground. I think between 8-14 riders would be a good number to allow us to ride at a reasonable speed whilst doing so as efficiently as possible in a long train. I can see an email in the next few weeks being set to the team who organise the charity events. I can organise the ride it’s the charity aspect I would leave to the group.
Then there would be the kit. I feel for such an event there should be matching kit so people know who we are and what we are doing. Ideally a cycling clothing manufacturer would hear about this idea and be willing to kit us out in order for the team to perform well on this super fundraising event. Note to self, go and chat with the local bike shop down the road from school to see if they want to get involved. The worst they can say is No Thank you! When this gets a bit more than just an idea I will approach more outside organisations and see who would be willing to help.
Well the next job is to send an email to the staff who co-ordinate the charity work which goes on in school, and if that gets the green light then start to gather a crack team of cycling staff from work who will complete a great challenge for as yet an unknown charity, whilst getting in fantastic shape doing it.
As always when I have more I will keep you all informed!