WHAT A SPECIAL DAY. THANK YOU.
I said it in an Instagram post on Monday but I still feel a little speechless after the weekend, the feelings of hope, friendship, openness, community, positivity and future were so strong this year, it has given me such a renewed passion to keep honouring Nelson and tell his story.
It’s so clear from the emotion I felt on Saturday that we all really needed to feel that togetherness again, and it made me realise again the sheer power of smiling and laughing with old friends, but also the power of meeting new ones and hearing their stories. We are in this together, and I believe there is a new found feeling of support amongst us, especially in our amazing community.
This year was the first year we’ve done a small family ride and without sounding egotistical it was about so much more than that for me. Our kids and small people are the future of mental health, we have to get them involved in the conversation, give them the tools, words and emotions to be able to handle life and all its bumps as best as possible, and change the way mental health is viewed in years to come.
It was so amazing for me to see so many families and kids hanging out, grins galore, and with the support of @calmzone perhaps in years to come they will be able to carry Nelson’s story like a beacon for others. It’s up to us to keep those ripples going. There were some tiny legs, heroic rides and lots of brownies scoffed.
Ride on Rascals!!
This year was all about the reunion, the rekindling of old friendships, making new ones, and continuing to spread the word of CALM, reduce suicide and the stigma surrounding mental health. With your help, I think we did all of that and more.
BIG NEWSFLASH BEFORE WE GO ANY FURTHER!
Next year marks our 10 year anniversiary of our (your!) event – please save the date Saturday 17th September now! Expect some proper fun to be had on the day, we can’t believe we’ve made it this far… here’s to many years to come! Ride on Nelly!
Online entry link coming very soon, as ever places will be limited to 800 so please bag your place quick!
So here are all the links to your results, loads of incredible photos taken on the day from various brilliant photographers, and CALM’s Just Giving link in case you’d like to make a last-minute donation.
Brilliant pictures out on the road and climbs by Charles Whitton: https://www.charleswhittonphotography.com/portfolio523580.html
Stunning photos from the day by Richard Johnson
* Free to use but please credit richardjohnsonphoto.com
Finish line pics from Tony the Tiger aka Hamish Duncan
* Again feel free to use but please credit @hambourine
Event film: You may have noticed our filmer Mikey Corker @mikeycorker cruising around (top surf & action sports film dude), in the next few weeks keep your eye out for an edit dropping. This will be released via our Instagram account so follow us if you can. @tour_de_test_valley
Your timing result from Results Base: https://resultsbase.net/event/5874/results
There’s still time to make a CALM Donation: Please if you didn’t manage to make a donation on the day and you’d still like to, here’s the CALM Just Giving page. Once the abacus has been out we’ll announce a total for the year asap. We cannot thank you again for all the support.
MISSED OUT ORDERING A JERSEY OR CAP?
If you missed out on this years exceptionally jazzy jersey you can still order one now, it will be delivered in a couple of weeks. These will only be on sale for two more weeks. Our jersey legend Harry Lodge at Halo Sports will look after you.
SO MUCH THANKS… SORRY FOR THE LONG LIST BUT IT’S IMPORTANT!
We’ll say it again, this event would not be possible without our incredible and long-standing partners.
@vans_europe (they had a massive crew riding including 3 guys from Belgium! Vans support of the event & CALM is amazing)
@thesnowboardasylum (they ran a gin bar for us for hours which raised loads of money for CALM!)
All these guys have been with us from the start, we cannot salute you enough.
Also, the key people who help us on the day are Andy Cook Cycling, mechanics Gary Harris, Richard and Harry, the lovely Henry from Results Base, Craig at Mizu for his brains and juggling of stock to create the super cool metal party cups which has helped us raise a stack of extra pennies for CALM. Also the Jason & John from MediBike who keep you safe on the road.
Another chap that deserves a huge mention and thanks is motorbike support rider Ricky Hill from North Devon. Ricky has had a tough year but was back in the saddle again helping others, pretty much the 4th emergency service for me and the riders. You’re a legend Ricky.
The amazing food at HQ supplied by Bowtells Farm Shop and their brilliant crew, also this year was a first event for the local guys from Thyme & Tides in Stockbridge. Their coffee went down so well and def kept me going, they will be back! Ice creams guzzled by the kids from the ‘Ice Queen’ van.
The all-important amber nectar that flowed so free came from the fine people at Bowmans Brewery and Mr Whitehead’s Cider. Bravo people for such fine liquor, again they have supported us from year one.
A massive thanks and fist bump has to go to the team of 20 women who tirelessly made and donated all the gorgeous flapjacks. Led by Nicola Dunning @nicoladunning these guys deserve a very special mention.
The pump track went down so well too, a proper good new addition. This was supplied by Pete King Ramps, thanks Pete and to the two chaps who looked after everyone (including a frothing Jenny Jones below) were brilliant.
On the farm Rod, Bill, and Nelson’s parents Edie, Nigel and brother Chris who work so hard in the lead up to make the stunning site what it is. Plus of course Edie and her legendary brownies, she starts cooking them in January!!
Also without our incredible volunteers and loyal friends this event would be nothing, to all the feed station staff, the car park guys, JC, Wendy, Todd, John, Simon, Stacey, Sarah and more from the Army. Total legends.
A massive mention has to go to my designer Dale Stilling @dalestiling who brings my jersey ramblings every year to life, and the legendary ex cyclist Harry Lodge who has made our jerseys from year 1. Thanks guys!! We have big plans for a unique jersey next year to celebrate 10 years of ‘Ride on Nelly.’
And the biggest thanks to you. You made this year as special as the first, Nelly will ride on, and for many years to come.
Thank you so so much for making this so special and for everything your doing to help @calmzone achieve to reduce suicide.
We will announce a total raised for this year very soon.
Love you all. Peace, love & pedals!
Ride on Nelly.
Bring on next year – THE BIG 10!!