“In charity, there is no excess.” – Francis Bacon
Ever travel thousands of mile, only to meet someone from your town back home? So it was for Karen and I as we walked through Park Monceau in Paris, returning from a stroll on the Champs Elyseé. It was the 24th of July, a thoroughly pleasant day as I recall. Turning the corner, we were surprised to see a horde of cyclists, hundreds of them!
Bikes of all manner could be seen, mostly late-model composite frame racers, but a few well loved classics as well. Like their bikes, the riders came in a variety shapes and sizes as well. Some wore club jerseys, some there from a club of one.
Scanning the crowd, Karen spotted a couple of riders in America-themed jerseys hanging out together. We strolled over and introduced ourselves. The fellow on the right is Paul Ferrell from Seattle, very near where Karen and I live when back in the states. The rider on the left is from the Portland area, though his name escapes me. We all marveled at the slim chance that we would be in the same place and time, half a world away from home.
Figuring they were here for the last stage of The Tour, I was surprised to learn they were participating in a charity ride. That’s right, they traveled 6000 miles to ride in a four-day charity ride from London to Paris. Read more about the charity and view more pictures after the break.
The annual ride is one of many organized by Action Medical Research, a British charity dedicated to engaging people in the treatment of babies and children facing life-threatening diseases, and supporting research into rare but devastating childhood diseases for which there is currently no cure. Founded in 1952 by Duncan Guthrie, Action Medical Research was at the forefront of the war on polio. Today, Action Medical Research continues the battle against childhood disease by organizing charity events for cyclists and runners from all over the world.
The pleasure of cycling is multiplied when done in the company of others; even better when the reason for the ride is something bigger than than mere personal pleasure. If you’re feeling like your cycling is stuck in a rut, or perhaps it’s loosing some of its fun, consider doing a charity ride. There are as many rides as there are worthy causes, so finding one that works for you should not be a problem. Make new friends, put some fun into your ride, and be a part of something bigger than yourself. Nothing wrong with that!