Inspiring stories from our community seem to pop up in our feed quite regularly (which we absolutely love). From every day adventures in the local park to some slightly more arduous challenges, everyone has a story to tell. As in all honesty, nothing quite compares to the simple pleasures of riding a bike. No matter how far, how long or how hard you ride, it always gives us that sense of freedom, connection and calm, enabling us to be ever-present, one pedal stroke at a time.
We do however, want to draw upon one rider (and his little accomplice)’s adventure that was really quite something.
Just over a month ago, our good friend Alvaro (and little Cora) set out on their hugely impressive ‘Live Slow-Ride Far’ challenge in the great outdoors, all in aid of the charity The Maypole Project, a UK based self-funded organisation who supports children with complex medical needs and their families for free, for as long as they need. So, we asked Alvaro for his final thoughts on the challenge.
“10 years ago I decided to go on a long bike ride with my good friend Robert for the first time. 10 years later, on exactly the same day, we completed our Live Slow-Ride far fundraising ride. A self supported 300+km off-road ride through the Jurassic Coast, New Forest, Isle of Wight and the SouthDowns, pulling a trailer with my 2 year old daughter.
8 days of wild camping, off road and lots… LOTS of hills! It has been an incredible experience which has opened my mind in many ways, but most importantly we have been able to see the world from a different perspective, from my daughter Cora’s eyes, pace and way of looking at things. As a parent you can teach your kids things, but it’s incredible how much you can learn from them when they are at their own devices.
I think it was on day two when it hit me and realised what the pace will be for the next week. Once we adapted, it became natural to observe and navigate things the new way.
It was not an easy ride. It was physically and sometimes mentally exhausting. But that’s how every ride..and even life goes. Still, I think it’s been the best ride I’ve done on my bike so far.
I cannot thank enough Robert for being the amazing person he is. We have been friends since we were teens and I’m honoured to still call you my friend and to still share adventures together.”
Alvaro and Cora’s kit list
Alvaro and Cora had lots of different items in their luggage, from functional camping essentials to the smaller items to keep Cora smiling. We wanted to quickly delve into what they brought along with them in their bags…
First and foremost, they had the bikepacking bags themselves. Incredibly robust, waterproof yet lightweight, Alvaro chose a couple of pieces from the new Vortex Range to carry everything that was needed for the trip.
Next up, Alvaro had the perfect selection of apparel that would enable him to ride in every condition that the adventure threw at them – rain or shine. With the Ridge Pertex® Waterproof Jacket and Trousers ready for those slightly wet and dreary mornings, Alvaro also had the option of the All Roads Cargo Bib Shorts and the Kielder Lightweight Jersey to keep cool when the sun was shining and Cora really wanted to get up that hill to reach the ice cream van!
- Ridge Pertex® Waterproof Jacket
- All Roads Fleece
- Kielder Lightweight Long Sleeve Cycling Jersey
- All Roads Cargo Cycling Bib Shorts
- Ridge Tier Waterproof Trousers
- Merino Blend Neck Warmer
- Esker Polartec™ Long Sleeve Trail Jersey
Lastly, Cora wore her signature oversized Spark Trail Jersey which she will definitely grow into. After loving the adventures in the trailer and playing in the countryside, we know she’s going to be at one with the bike in no time.
A very special ride for a very worthy cause, chapeau Alvaro
The fundraising page is still open and so if you would like to donate to his charity The Maypole Project, head over to the fundraising page on JustGiving.