Rider Event Report

We had a really great evening last week in London with a lovely crowd of between 30 and 40 Loopers: both Alumni and new riders to the event. It was a chance to meet fellow Loopers, WWMT Trustee Rick Wates, lead cyclist Ben Davies and Kate from Le Loop HQ. We were also lucky enough to be joined by the founder of Football Beyond Borders who, along with young Jack (who will be joining us to cycle stage 6, Macon to Dijon as one of our charity visitors on tour). Read on for the highlights from the evening …

Thanks for last night, really enjoyed it and brought some of the training and why into perspective. Loved the Chairty speakers and of course you and Rick did an amazing job. Myself and John were buzzing on the way home.

What WWMT is all about

Rick Wates is a WWMT Trustee, brother to Will Wates and Chairman of le Loop. As such, he rides a Loop with us every year and speaks with real passion about the grass roots impact of the grants his family’s Trust gives to charities. Rick talked about reaching those youngsters who most need our help and support, now more than ever, thanks to both the legacy of Covid and the cost of living crisis.

Rick will be riding the Grand Depart and also returning for the final roll into Nice and so many of you will get the chance to meet him on tour and find out more about how your hard-earned donations will impact young lives for the better.

Who are FBB?

Founder Jack asked us to think about who was our ‘responsible adult’ as we grew up … the most important grown up in our lives aged around 13 … the adult we knew we could rely on to look out for our wellbeing and best interests and how different our lives would have been if they hadn’t been there. He explained that Football Beyond Borders is there to step in and provide that role where children don’t already have one. Football is the hook, but by nurturing and mentoring young people, they’re able to give them that crucial support as they move through their teenage years – helping them to make good life decisions and fulfil their potential.

Tristan is a success story from the project – he described how tough it was growing up on a rough council estate in Manchester and how, thanks to the support of FBB, he’s been able to complete his A-levels and get into employment – something many of his peers have not managed to do. He’s kept clear of crime and anti-social behaviour and is full of enthusiasm and confidence about his future. He’s a great lad and we love the way he’s grabbing the opportunity to ride with us in France in the same way that he’s made the most of all the opportunities given to him by FBB. Those of you who get to meet him on stage 6 will no doubt enjoying learning more about his journey and supporting his efforts to ride as much of the stage as he possibly can.

Hearing from Rick, Jack and Tristan really helped our Loopers to appreciate the impact their fundraising will have and we had some great feedback on how inspiring and motivating it was to meet them all. Bravo!

Rick Wates
Tristan from FBB - Charity Visitor on tour this summer
Ben Davies - lead cyclist offering sage advice!
'Greenie' - one of our Grand loopers 2024

Training Tips

Next up was our new lead cyclist Ben. He took the opportunity to remind us all about the training pages in the Rider Account. If you haven’t checked those out yet, make it your business to do that this week!

The take home messages were to get in the long rides and the back-to-back rides as a matter of priority. How much is enough? The training advice page will guide you, but we’re all managing busy lives, so there has to be flexibility here. Do what you can within the constraints of all the other elements of work and family life that you’re juggling.

Huge thanks to Ben for joining us from Bristol for the evening – I know a lot of our riders enjoyed getting to know him more and picking his brains!!

Tour Tips

And finally, Kate talked us through a typical day on tour. Those Alumni present were invited to give us their top tips and number 1 was ‘get organised’! The logistics of getting bike and body out on the road each day can be challenging when you’re tired, so plan ahead (Kate recommends a check list for packing and ‘daily to do’ lists – at least for the first day or 2 on tour until you get into the routine).

Also give careful thought to your day bags – not just what you want to include in them, but how to organise access to them. We have 2 vans out on the road playing leapfrog – so if you want to access your day bag at every feed stop, you need to have 2 day bags. You might achieve this by sharing with your room mate, or simply by taking 2 small bags to split your kit. Just make sure you don’t use a bin bag as a day bag (you may laugh but … it’s been done before, with inevitable consequences!).

Our February Motivation blog lays out really well all the things you need to think about on tour. Have a read here.

It was a great evening and we’re delighted so many of you were able to find the time to join us. For those of you who couldn’t make it (many of you are too far outside London – even overseas), we hope this summary helps to fill in any gaps.

The excitement and anticipation is building!!

Vive Le Tour!

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