London To Monaco 2022 Kicks off with a…Crash

You should see what the bollard looks like!

There’s something about the London to Monaco charity ride to help the Blue Marine Foundation raise money to help preserve and protect our world’s oceans that captivates me. And anyone who’s read my first-hand reports from previous rides knows that riding across  France—and Holland, and Belgium, and Luxemborg, and England etc. with the special type of people that riding about 1000 kilometers from London to Monaco to raise money to help save the oceans attracts, and then donning my blue velvet blazer for the “business” that I’m able to get done during the Monaco Yacht Show is the highlight of my very busy travel calendar.

This year is even more special simply because my beloved London to Monaco ride hasn’t been held since 2019 thanks to the global pandemic that has changed us all in sneaky and profound ways. In fact, many of the teams that started this year’s ride in London—only yesterday—have been waiting for the start of this years ride since the last one ended before anyone ever heard of Covid-19. Seems like a lifetime ago, right?

But after returning to the magic and madness of this year’s ride, I’m happy to report that the world may be a bit different now, but the inherent goodness of the London to Monaco ride for the planet, participants and donors is stronger than ever. Thanks to efforts from teams like Winch Design that provided the significant investment to get the first ride started (and every year since) and a fresh new wave of teams, Blue had already raised close to $300,000 before the ride even started. And more donations are steaming in all the time.

One of the many things I love about the ride is that it gives us all ways to make a positive impact on the biggest challenge we all face–protecting the health of our planet–in personal and powerful ways. And as I’ve expierenced over the years, the simple challenge of being part of a team that rides long distances for a purpose that’s bigger than myself has made me a better person. And being asked to be part of Damen Yachting’s team this year has been amazing because it’s allowed us to help the environment in cool ways that foster meaningful relationships and get super fit too!

As you’ve seen from my instagram posts I was totally pumped for the start of this year’s ride. And my high expectations for goodness, and fun, and challenge, and human connection and making a difference in the world that many of the most exclusive travelers I write about (and for) crave have already been blown away. In fact, I was especially excited today because our route (that’d been set by the amazing Just Pedal team) had us riding to the Damen Yachting shipyard in Vlissingen for lunch.

We’d use had a bit too much coffee (thanks to the amazing founding partners Climpson & Sons coffee) at the coffee stop and we we’re putting out the power…

The violence of the crash surprised me.

I was crumpled on the ground (on the floor as my wonderful English friends would say) but I didn’t know why.

Nothing hurt, yet. I was just surprised. And I didn’t want people to worry.

Medic!

“I’m fine. I’m fine I’m fine” I repeated to no one in particular. I had a feeling my teammates had seen what happened-or better yet HEARD the violent impact I’d made with a rock-solid bollard protruding about 3 feet up from the side of the road that many Dutch villages use to tame traffic for pedestrians on the outskirts of the village. They often come up quick. They often appear in the road it weird places. And I’m hardly the first cyclist to smash into a rock-solid bollard outside of a small Dutch village. But man, I sure smashed into one today. The good news is my face broke my fall. And inspite of all the bad outcomes that smashing into a stationary object outside a small village in Holland can bring on, I got off pretty easy. I’ve had worse road rashes. And my left ear is cut in a weird way. And my front wheel is tweaked. But, thanks to the rock-start medics on the ride,

and my man Richard the mechanic who got my bike sorted I’m ok.

Richard and Jo from Just Pedal work to get me up and going again!

In the end, I arrived at Damen Yachting in a Just Pedal support car (instead of on my bike). But I arrived. My friends and teammates hugged me and shared how thankful they were that I was ok. (And how lucky I was too!) I had a full red COKE and some lunch, and then…

My friend and Damen Yachting teammate Michel Coens have been doing this ride together for years now.

I got back on my bike and rode the last 50 kilometers with my team into Bruges, Belgium. In fact, I’m writing this from anchor-little hotel only a short hop from Bruges’ famous main square.

So, what does all this have to do with raising money to help save the oceans?

I’m actually not sure. But I do know we are all much more powerful than we think we are. And we all make a difference even when we won’t really know what the true impact of our actions until much later. It’s true when a group of people ride across France to help the world’s oceans. And it’s true when one of that group goes down HARD, but gets back up thanks to good people who are always there to help!

So, wa da ya say? I’ll be the first to admit I’m more of a “money spender” rather than a “money raiser” but, I haven’t met my London to Monaco fundraising goal yet. And It’d be awesome if you could make your donation by clicking on the link below!

https://bluemarinefoundation.enthuse.com/pf/bill-springer-e2e62

Thank you. And be sure to check back to see if I hit anything tomorrow.

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