campaign: Wheels for Wells
end date: Sept. 30
bike riders: Charlotte Meakin, Lizzy Morland, May Llyn Ong, Elizabeth Onstwedder and Tianshen Rong
Five students jumped on their bikes to ride from London to Amsterdam (125 miles/200km) to raise enough money for an entire water project. We wondered how their three-day trip — of rain, floods, soreness — turned out and whether they’d ever do something like this again…
What was it about charity: water that made you say, “I’ve got to get involved?”
I really liked that 100% of the money we give goes straight to the project. Also, the Google Maps thing is really good — the fact that you can see where your money is going. (charity: water proves every completed project using GPS coordinates on Google Maps. See them here.)
And where did the idea for the bike ride come from?
We were basically having a conversation about how much fun it would be to cycle all across the U.K. And then we decided it would be more fun to just bike ride to Amsterdam instead. It was just a random conversation that escalated into this.
How long have you guys known each other? Was this a ragtag group you pulled together or are you five always doing something crazy together?
This is the first time actually we’ve biked together as a group. We’re all friends with each other, but we’ve never been together as a group.
What was the bike ride like? Grueling? Tell us about it.
We had a few complications. We had torrential rain at one point. We’ve had several punctures that we had to fix. We had quite a bit of trouble just getting out of central London. It’s been really tough but I think we’ve all worked really well together to overcome. We got there. It wasn’t an easy journey, but we made it.
Would you ever consider doing something like this again?
Yeah! We were talking about this on our way back and we might even want to do it next year again. It’s really given us a sense of achieving.
Any stories from the road?
The original plan wasn’t to cycle quite so far, but we got to the Tube (London subway) and found out we weren’t allowed to take our bikes on the Tube. So we in fact had to cycle an extra 30 kilometers just to get to our starting point!
Any words of encouragement for other campaigners that want to do the same kind of thing?
We’d say just do it, because we thought we wouldn’t be fit enough to do it. It’s been a lot of fun, and it’s not actually as difficult as you’d think it would be. so if anyone wants to do it, don’t worry about. Just get your bike and get on the road.
But there’s preparation involved… you trained, right?
We tried. We should have trained, but we made it okay without training.
You can do anything to raise money for clean water projects — and 100% of donations you bring in go straight to our work in the field. Learn more about starting a campaign like this one here.