On Sunday 21 June 2015 I am cycling the London to Brighton bike ride. Whilst it isn’t the longest or hardest (excluding Ditchling) bike ride it is fast becoming an event that is tied to emotions for me.
I first rode the L2B in 2013, it was a fitness goal that allowed me to come to terms with some life changes. Every mile pedalled became cathartic, soul cleansing, I got off that bike at 54 miles in a better place than I started.
In 2015 the L2B takes a new emotional tie. In November 2014 one of my best friends lost her beautiful son during pregnancy. Her pregnancy had been one of strength and determination and of all my friends one that I felt to the root of my heart. The morning I received the message that Oscar Jensen was born sleeping was devastating, I cried that morning, I cried on my way to work, and cried when I got to work, my heart broken for a friend with such goodness in her heart that she deserved every happiness, not to be living this nightmare.
When Oscar was laid to sleep in his forever bed I would have traded my soul to reverse time as I watched my brave friend carry his tiny coffin and bravely read at the goodbyes. Her strength was unfathomable, I don’t know where a person finds that kind of strength.
There are no words, I have never felt so useless as in those early weeks, I couldn’t change it, fix it or remove that pain. Asking ‘how are you’ seems a stupid question in these circumstances and whilst my heart was broken for her I couldn’t put myself in that situation not would I as I couldn’t fathom how she was feeling.
I learnt so much from her in those weeks and months that followed. Her strength continued, even if she didn’t realise how strong she was at the time, her determination to raise awareness was focussed, and i watched the beauty of Oscar’s Wish Foundation grow.
In January 2015 I had already planned to cycle the L2B, another friend suggested cycling for OWF and shortly afterwards a team was constructed, when Gemma asked to cycle with us there was a new glow and focus to our ride. Whilst my company sponsored the team and provided shirts etc to raise visual awareness what I have learnt in that 6 months surmounts any fundraising….
I have watched one of my closest friends throw herself into cycling with vigour, she’s outdone everyone in clocking up mileage. I’ve watched her fundraising through other events, finish her teaching qualification and run a charity whilst working full time. I’ve watched her live at a time when so many would hide, I’ve watched her talk about things that so many people would hide away from. I have never been so blessed as to watch a friend demonstrate true strength in the face of adversity.
Saturday night the pair of us will be holed up in a hotel awaiting our 730am start time, there have been many tears this week as the true story behind our ride sinks in, the sponsorship is pouring in as we are now £1s from our target of £800. The emotions are high, the focus is strong, the cycling shorts have led to hours of amusement.
The greatest thing I am taking from this? That I am blessed with one of the most beautiful, brave, strong women in my life who inspires me to want to do good.
I made a pledge to Oscar Jensen in January, that I would help his mummy raise awareness and provide valuable resources through Oscar’s Wish Foundation and that we would ensure he had a legacy, his story would be told, because it needs to be heard, to give a voice to other mummies and to allow my friend to reach her charity status.
So if you’re on the route on Sunday, watch out for us in our OWF tops and arm bands, give us a wave, and if we’re caught between every emotion you’ll understand why.
If you want to learn more skip over to
If you want to sponsor us you can make a pledge on:
If you want to hear more from my beautiful friend:
This isn’t your average cycle, this is our pledge, the start of a journey to raise the profile of OWF.