Keeping the pedals turning
The COVID-19 pandemic forced Chase The Sun to cancel the planned 2020 mid-summer rides across north and south of the UK, and across Italy too. This was a huge blow for us all as organisers and as disappointed riders who had been keenly anticipating and training for the longest day’s challenge. However, where there is a will, there’s a way, and with a bit of creative thinking, the CTS team were able to come up with a novel solution.
We devised a socially distanced, individual (or small group) challenge that could still unite our avid community of Chase the Sun riders to celebrate the year’s longest day together on two wheels. The plan was to encourage and inspire people to get out on their bikes, and to do this we created an alternative navigational, motivational, creative and physical challenge. We asked each rider to use their local knowledge, exploration and creative interpretation, to plan and ride a route within their own local area. The challenge was to try and pass-by a similar local representation of a number of selected key landmarks that define the original Chase the Sun UK South ride route.
We presented the landmarks in the form of a Chase the Sun BINGO card, to be ‘ticked off’, as you pedal. We hoped it would appeal to a broad range of riders, as the concept allowed for one to choose to ride as long or as little distance, and creative interpretation of some substitute landmarks was positively encouraged! The game was just a premise to bring people together (apart) and enjoy a shared reason to ride on the middle of June weekend, when of course those committed to a CTS adventure would normally been waking at sunrise to depart together across the country.
Starting at sunrise was very much optional in this substitute Bingo format! We really hoped that our riders would take snaps of their adventure and share their funniest, or most novel, finds or moments along the way, via the medium of social media… using the hashtag #ChasetheCunCycle.
We weren’t disappointed! Hundreds of riders took up the challenge, riding in locations all over the country, many diligently completed the whole card ‘Bingo!’. Some even stretched their rides out over 100+ miles, with a ardent few completing a full 205 miles cycling, equivalent to the postponed UK rides routes. Dozens of entertaining posts, photos and anecdotes popped up amidst the social media feeds, and we felt like the idea had been really well received.
We’d like to thank all the riders who took the opportunity to get out on the bike, and we very much appreciated all those who took the time to post and share their experiences. Our hope is that we were able to use this opportunity to motivate existing CTS followers, and also generate interest from some new participants to Chase the Sun. Perhaps introducing and re-invigorating people to follow and hopefully come and join us at our next years Chase the Sun events.
Many of our riders had exciting, worthy and poignant stories behind their rides, for example Michael from Sussex said: