Our 1,500 mile cycle tour to explore France’s stadiums, sustainability and social enterprises

Andy Smith is doing BikeSocial  Le Tour des Stades on Do Nation

In December 2015, Andy Smith & Annie Glennie joined the Do Nation team and 40 other people to cycle from London to Paris with Climate Kilometre, raising support from friends and family through pledges on Do Nation.

Now, Andy explains why they’re both about to set off on another French adventure, this time a whopping 1,500 mile cycle tour to explore the stadiums, sustainability and social enterprises (& cheese!) in each Euro2016 host city.

From #SambaCycle to #BikeSocialTdS

On Thursday 12th June 2014 the football World Cup in Brazil kicked off with the hosts playing the opening game versus Croatia.  I watched it on a big screen among hundreds of yellow & green-clad locals in a packed square in the heart of Manaus, a city of 2 million people that sits in the middle of the Amazon Rainforest.  The day before I’d completed my #SambaCycle charity adventure by visiting the 12th of 12 football stadiums that would host the tournament, and as the hashtag suggests, I traveled those 5,000 miles across Brazil by bicycle!  It was the best thing I’ve ever done and gave me a thirst for more of the same.

On Friday 10th June the Euro2016 football championships will kick off at the Stade de France in Paris with the hosts playing the opening game versus Romania.  Are you detecting a theme here? Well I actually won’t be in France on that day, BUT a week earlier I will have completed another football themed cycle touring adventure by reaching Lyon and the 9th city of 9 that will host Euro2016 (but then I need to get back home to be an usher at my mate’s wedding on Sat 4th June!).

map

For this upcoming trip a few things are a bit different compared to Brazil. Firstly, I’m not doing it on my own since my girlfriend Annie will be joining me (from Paris onwards) for her first ever cycle tour of more than three days – very exciting! Secondly, we’ll be checking out the sustainability initiatives at the tournament’s stadiums and also aiming to visit social enterprise organisations in each host city. You can follow our updates and photos/videos of what we discover via the #BikeSocialTdS Facebook page (if you’d like a fuller explanation of the name/hashtag then please check out my recent On Purpose blog). And thirdly, to show support for our challenge, this time rather than ask for donations of money towards a particular charity, instead we’d like people to pledge to take action to support environmental and social causes! Yes, we’re asking you to sponsor us… but no, we’re not asking you to give us your change: we’re asking you to create change. Because I hope, like us (and Do Nation!), you believe that making the world a better place is about actions, not just cash.

Do Actions

On Sunday 10th July I’ll be back in Paris for the final of Euro 2016, this time without my bike. I don’t have a ticket for the big match at the Stade de France, but as a passionate football fan I still want to be there to play my small part in creating the special atmosphere that top class sporting events generate: the hopes and dreams beforehand, the thrilling intensity during and the glory or despondency afterwards!

This actually sounds a lot like the rollercoaster of emotions that many people felt about the COP21 climate change conference (see what I did there?!), so it neatly(/clumsily?!) brings me to my call to action… YOU too can play your small part in helping to create the solution to our planet’s climate crisis! Please go to our #BikeSocialTdS campaign page now to pledge some Do Actions, and encourage your friends to do the same, because our biggest potential for positive impact comes when we inspire those around us to take action too.  Merci beaucoup.

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