Ride the Rollercoaster of Change

When my mum was seven months pregnant with me, she accidentally went on a stomach-churning, womb-turning fairground ride. You could say that after that, I was born ready for the rollercoaster ride of life. But not even that pre-birth training prepared me for the emotional rollercoaster which was the last two weeks.

Ride the Change – our community driven cycle ride for climate action – has really been testing my limits. After the enormous success of last year’s inaugural cycle from London to Glasgow, we were eager to build Ride the Change into an annual pre-COP event. But were we going to be able to make it happen, or weren’t we?

Ride the Rollercoaster

Running a big outdoor event like this in November was never going to be easy, let alone in a year with several existential world challenges competing for peoples’ attention, money, and time.

But I wasn’t expecting it to be quite so tumultuous. Despite having 80 wonderful people signed up to the ride, from organisations ranging from Pukka Herbs to AECOM, Impact for Good to Aura Power, we just hadn’t raised enough to cover the essential costs. I’ve lost track of how many times we thought we’d have to cancel the whole ride over the last week, only for a sponsor to step in and offer support to keep it alive, stoking our hope once again. But it was never quite enough. And then, reluctantly, a mere £3,000 short, we decided to call it quits. We planned how to send out 80 refunds, and started telling our sponsors.

And that’s just when a final sponsor came out of nowhere.

But we’d already reconciled with our decision. It was too late. Or was it?

Well, I wouldn’t be writing this if we’d called it quits. I’m incredibly relieved and happy – perhaps even elated – to let you know that after all that, Ride the Change ‘22 is officially going ahead.

Unliever cyclists head off on day 1 of Ride the Change 2021

But why?

So why have I and the team been spending so much time trying to make this ride go ahead, when we should be laser focused on delivering on our vision to galvanise millions of people to play their part in making net zero possible?

Over the last week or two, I’ve often questioned that.

But then I reflect, and i know exactly why.

Not only was Do Nation born out of a cycle ride, and so this goes right back to our roots, but our theory of change is centred around community. Community runs at our very core. The role of communities in normalising behaviours, in inspiring change, in instigating action. And nothing epitomises that better than a group cycle bringing together environmental professionals and dreamers in one place, to spend days together, sharing ideas and challenges, building relationships, and fuelling dreams.

And then, of course, riders of last year’s ride galvanised over 2,000 people to make climate action pledges, driving meaningful action in their daily lives, and making a healthy step towards achieving our vision. Can we do that again?

Be a part of it

You can help us make this roller coaster ride a real hit, here’s how:

  1. Join us: Whether you want to spend some time bonding with colleagues, building relationships with customers, meeting new people working on fascinating projects across the sustainability space – or simply taking time away from the screen to pause and reflect – Ride the Change offers it all. There is still time to sign up and join Ride the Change – whether for one day or all four. Even my seventy-something parents are joining for a day on their e-bikes, so no excuses. 😉 Find out more and get your tickets here.
  2. Support us – each rider is asking for support through action instead of cash, and our aim is to raise 1,000 climate actions together – can you help us do that? Over the coming days, we’ll be making pledge pages on Do Nation for each rider, you’ll be able to find them here.

Thank you.

Last but not least – a huge shout out to Cyan Partners, our Silver sponsor, and our Bronze sponsors Arup, AECOM, and Nonstop Adventure, plus our Carbon Footprinting partner Green Element, and our charity partner Possible. And, of course, Adventure Uncovered for leading this rollercoaster with us. Without them all, we couldn’t and wouldn’t be firing ahead.

Now, I better go start training…!

Ride on!

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