Katherine Horsham is our latest Doer of the Month, after raising 27 pledges in support of her Ride London cycle sportive on 29th July. Katherine lives in London, working in community building and volunteering while looking after her two re-homed guinea pigs, Jaffa Cake and Fudge Brownie. If only she’d taken them on the ride with her…!
We caught up with Katherine to hear about the ride and raising pledges…
Firstly – what were you raising support for? Any particular reason for choosing this challenge?
I’d recently been a walker in Eden Project’s The Big Walk, walking 230 miles and visiting 35 amazing community projects over three weeks. Having completed this challenge, I was certainly a lot fitter and I wanted to sustain the momentum.
The idea of working towards a challenge also really motivates me to do things I might not have thought possible. I re-learnt to cycle last year and so thought a cycling challenge would be fitting, hence signing up to RideLondon 46.
What made you decide to ask for support through Do Nation, and how did you hear about it?
When meeting people on The Big Walk, they were usually surprised that we were ‘just’ raising awareness about the importance of connection and community, rather than asking for money. When they realised that, people relaxed and willingly engaged in what we had to say. This was probably much more effective than asking them to give us £5.
Like The Big Walk, I didn’t want to ask for money for RideLondon 46. Then I remembered how I had met the Founder of Do Nation back in my earlier career and decided now was the time to give it a whirl!
What was the most surprising or exciting pledge someone made?
They were all exciting!
I was really pleased to see a few for the ‘Well Oiled’ pledge, where people try and avoid unsustainable palm oil. I sign a lot of online petitions related to this and it can sometimes feel like only really environmentally-conscious people are aware of this. It’s great to get more people involved.
The ride itself – how did it go?
Doing RideLondon 46 was a real challenge for me. Before doing it, the furthest I had ever cycled was 35 miles in a day and it wasn’t timed!
We’re really seeing the effects of climate change on our weather this year and this had a big impact on the ride. Everyone was preparing to do it in the heatwave, then the weather turned and we were expecting heavy rain all day – as we lined up at the start, we got completely soaked!
I was really worried about being to slow on the ride – if you don’t get to a certain point by a certain time you get ‘swept up’ (i.e. asked to drop out of the race). I was completely scared of this happening and that helped me to cycle a bit faster!
I was one of the few people doing it without a road bike and this really took its toll on my legs. But I did cross the line in 4.5 hours, much to my surprise!
Keeping going requires grit and stamina – what motivated you to keep pushing on?
Due to the fear of being ‘swept up’, I was considering not doing it at all. But, it was knowing that so many people had made pledges via Do Nation that helped me to go for it.
And once done, how did you celebrate?
In truth, the celebration feeling didn’t really kick in until the evening after the event – I was too exhausted at the finish to muster up much enthusiasm. I did wear my medal around the house a bit the next day (if that doesn’t sound too sad!) and delighted in eating whatever I wanted for 48 hours!
Finally – any top tips you’d share with someone else raising support on Do Nation?
My Dad was a bit superhero in terms of getting me a lot of my pledges. He spread the word through his network and made a real difference, probably accounting for half of my pledges.
So my tip is to share what you are doing with everyone you know, not just those who get the environmental stuff, because they might just surprise you.