12 short months after buying a bike, I found myself cycling the NightRider event in London, a 50km bike ride (or 56.2km in my case as I took a sight detour!) through the sleepless streets of London at night, high with excitement and a great sense of purpose. Whilst being a personal challenge, my main motivation for doing it was to raise awareness and funds for an amazing charity, The Mango Tree.
MMT Digital has supported The Mango Tree for several years and admires the incredible work it does. It’s a charity working in western Kenya and southwest Tanzania delivering a range of development projects which tackle the causes of poverty and help to address social and gender inequality. Working with HIV affected rural communities, it provides support to care for and educate 5,000 orphans. I am extremely proud to have raised £480 in donations for completing the cycle. However, there is still time to donate via my donation page.
The event is a sociable, fun and rewarding charity bike ride. It gives participants the opportunity to explore an iconic city on a Saturday night by bike with cool, free LED wing indicators (best invention ever), all whilst raising awareness and funds for your chosen charity.
Before the race I made my way to the starting point at Lee Valley VeloPark, where the atmosphere was already electric with the crowd buzzing and music pumping. My cycle wave headed off at about 11:40pm with encouraging cheers from the event organisers and the ringing of bike bells. The atmosphere was truly amazing. As I was cycling through London, I found myself mesmerised with the sights and architecture I passed.
I stopped at the halfway point and munched on a banana, popcorn and carrot cake whilst sharing stories with a fellow cyclist about what brought us to London and to the event. There was a real sense of camaraderie - people striking up conversations with people they didn’t know but leaving each other with an insight into their life, character and motivation for doing the charity ride.
It took me under five hours to complete the cycle and proudly receive my medal and bacon butty as the sun rose and the birds sang. It was five hours I’ll never forget. A truly amazing experience that I would recommend to everyone. Hopefully see you there next year!