Cycle Live – My Baptism of Fire
We have a little saying in the office during event season, sleeping is cheating! That is certainly true for Cycle Live, Nottingham’s biggest annual Cycling Event.
I remember thinking, “wow, this is the company that owns and delivers The Great Notts Bike Ride, a name that is reminiscent with so many locals”.
Initially I was a little confused by the Cycle Live vs Great Notts Bike Ride thing. What’s the difference? Cycle Live is the umbrella name given to the two day weekend event which included the Saturday family bike ride. Ah, now it all makes sense.
The event is a slick operation having been delivered for so many years. The build up to the event was my baptism of fire. I joined in May 2017, as the event countdown was picking up speed.
The office was alive with phones ringing, medals & t-shirts arriving, rider packs being processed and the operational planning. It was a real eye opener just how much went on behind the scenes.
I was dealing with the administration at this point and I remember thinking I can’t believe how many rider packs the Royal Mail seem to eat!
I love dealing with the participants on the phone. We have some wonderful characters calling in. Instantly, the lovely Roydon and his FAB Riderzz spring to mind.
Roydon is a loyal supporter who gathers a large team together every year to raise money for Prostate Cancer. He’s so organised, contacting us regularly to make sure that everyone is registered correctly and on the team. It was funny that after all this checking and re-checking, Mr Uber Organised forgot his bib on the day! Roydon you will never ever live that down.
I also remember the lady who called the office in a massive panic. Left with the task of booking her husband onto the event, she had accidentally booked him on the 125 mile bike ride instead of the 25 mile ride. We could hardly amend the booking for laughing. She was tempted to just leave it as it was and have a quiet day to herself!
On the day, the main team arrive around 3am, with some even earlier than that. I remember getting the briefing notes and thinking “heck alive, I don’t think I will bother going to bed!”
Participants start arriving for the longer rides around 6am and from there on in the atmosphere builds and builds as 4,000 riders plus supporters arrive. Before long the event village is awash with families, club riders, people in fancy dress and charity fundraisers.
It would be a bit remiss of me not to mention our Unicyclists. They turn up every year, a great group of talented guys. This year however they had signed up for the Friar Tuck, our 50 mile route. 50 miles on a Unicycle, how impressive is that? Oh, and they cycle to and from the venue!
When I am not doing my day job (Marketing Manager) I am Mrs On The Day Registration. This involves mainly issuing new packs, replacing packs and listening to all the funny excuses as to why the participant has no pack.
After the Royal Mail, dogs have a lot to answer for, closely followed by overzealous tidy partners! Oh, and if you break anything during training, whilst I am thinking about it, we really don’t need your x-rays emailing to the office.
There was one participant that sticks out in my mind, who paid us a visit in registration. It was the High Sherriff of Nottinghamshire, who announced he was participating in the Robin Hood 25 mile bike ride.
A great chap, who was wonderful to talk to, however his main concern was potentially getting lost on the route. This an understandable concern shared by many participants. He had never participated in the event before and was asking how well sign posted and marshalled it was. Now if anyone knows our Head of Events, he has this nailed to the wall.
I promised the Sheriff we would not lose him. Just listen to the marshals, look at the signs and you will be fine. He and I did laugh as we realised how funny it would look if we lost the Sheriff of Nottingham participating in the Robin Hood Bike Ride. How ironic. It probably would make the local headlines.
Event life is brilliant. The buzz is amazing. The people you meet are inspiring and endearing and the individuals you work with are dynamic, enthusiastic and sometimes just bordering on being crazy workaholics.
However, the real high for me is the great and the good that such and event brings to the community and especially to the local charities we work with.
This year we had the privilege of working with the amazing team at Nottingham University Hospitals Charity. Fundraising is at the heart of all our events however this year Cycle Live participants helped to raise a massive £25,000 for the hospital. In this ever increasingly difficult fundraising environment, that is a figure that really does make me feel proud of all that we do at Perfect Motion to bring events to the community.
Thank you to all who come and support the event and donate to our charity partners, because without the Roydon’s, The Bill & Bens, The Unicyclists and everyone else who joins us on the Embankment on the fourth Sunday in June, Cycle Live would not be the unique experience that it is.