“Let’s go for a bike ride” suggested Head of Primary at FAWS, Tim Williams to his colleague Richard Dalton (Head of Secondary)…..from small seeds grow HUGE plans and some four months later 14 people – made up of 8 members of staff; 4 cycling friends; 1 parent and one member of staff from Brachers Solicitors – along with an incredible support crew of 5, were cycling 189 miles from The London Eye to the Palace of Versailles to raise money for two projects in school – one of which was “Create a ripple…MAKE A SPLASH!”
It started off with about 4 or 5 people – initially (CRAZILY) we thought we would do it totally unsupported, it was only when a few well-intentioned and quite insistent parents of cyclists said this was really not a good idea that we succumbed and reluctantly agreed to have a support crew. Cue – the people who became our BEST FRIENDS and kept us supplied with tea, food, more tea, first aid equipment and did EXACTLY what it said on the tin – supported us! The logisitics of planning this kind of event grew on a daily basis. We wanted to raise as much money as possible for the charity and so needed to keep our costs as low as possible. We were thrilled to have corporate sponsorship from so many people and organisations which meant that all personal funds raised went to the charity.
We are indebted to Steve Farley, Blair Gulland, Tony Cruickshank, HPS builders, Soloberry and our website designer Burning Leaf who gave financial donations to cover our ferry crossings and other expenses along the way.
SouthEast Railway gave us train tickets up to London so we could start our ride fresh and raring to go. Greggs gave us PILES of food which our support crew brought out for us at regular intervals along the way. Paul Brett of Senacre Cycles (THE only bike shop in Kent you should ever go to!) led the way and provided training advice, nutrition advice as well as nutrition on the ride, planned the route and got us safely to our destination with huge smiles on our faces. Steve from Recognition Express pulled out all the stops, supplying FAWS hoodies and a finishers medal for each of us.
It was extremely tough but WE DID IT!!! And raised well over £10,000.00 along the way. Oh yes – and we got to meet the Olympic Gold medal winning legend Dame Kelly Holmes who presented our sponsored cycling jerseys to us!