And it happened, the expected day was here before we could know it and with a lot of the gear arriving earlier that week if not the day before, both bikes, one of them borrowed from Monkey’s cousin, had all panniers, racks, bags, bottles etc. Braveness was the word for those days, when we used to think we could go without a camping mattress for sixteen days and still peddle for about 70 miles in each one of them and that would be ok.
What happened next was only going to be the opposite of what we planned, like having constant rain for the first week solid. We knew this may happen while riding on British soil, but we packed beach towels and bathers in hopes to finish our days relaxing along the French coast from north to south in our super nice overly planned route.
Despite all the unpredictable and rain we actually had a great time, and we ended up raising 1,600 € for Grupo AMAS in Spain, and £530 for Autism Puzzles, in Wales. Due to different legislation, we had to run separate campaigns.
For Autism Puzzles, we used the donation platform JustGiving for all online contributions, and we also collected cash in our workplaces, topping up the total amount received by Autism Puzzles. Perhaps having ridden only 2 days in the UK and the inexperience we had in organizing such long and big event showed on a lower collection for our British partners. That and perhaps that charity events organised by members of the community are so much more common in Great Britain than they are in Spain. Despite not being able to stand out in time, we still got to speak to Gareth Lewis in Good Evening Wales on our way to Bath.
For Grupo AMAS we chose to divert all donations straight to them, so they had all contributions straight away, which made things easier than other options.
In Spain the idea got a little bit more viral. We spoke to many radio shows, got mentioned in national and local press, appeared on TV, had an event organised by Pamplona’s Council and two charities, who came along on bikes for a few miles led by Patrica Perales, Pamplona’s Deputy Mayor and finally welcomed and awarded with Honour Medals of the City by many Leganes citizens, the La Liga CD Leganes’ president Maria Victoria Pavon; Social Services, Education and Children’s Rights Councilor Virginia Jimenez and the Mayor Mr Santiago Rodriguez.
Such a great time… Let’s do it again, shall we?