GA member TILNAR ART is challenging all Giftwrap readers, their colleagues, friends and relations to get on their bikes for charity.
The company, which imports fair-trade products from Africa, has recently created ‘The TILNAR Cycle Challenge’, a unique, brand-new, cycling event which looks set to become a national, if not international phenomenon.
The Challenge is the idea of the company’s founder Tom Hawes who, tired of spending every working minute at work as a city lawyer, abandoned his job a couple of years ago and set up TILNAR ART. The name is an acronym for ‘This Is Life Not A Rehearsal, Always Remember This’.
Last year the company went viral, reaching a million people on Twitter and Facebook when its large, colourful giraffes appeared on the route of Tour de France supporting Chris Froome. This year Tom, who is himself a fanatical cyclist, has had an even more ambitious idea.
“I have been wondering for sometime how far I could cycle in just one day. I mentioned it to a few people I cycle with and they were really up for it too so I decided to organise for around 30 of us to ride around Ongar, where I live, to raise money for Porridge and Rice, a charity that helps children from the slums in Nairobi,” Tom told Giftwrap.
However, the more people Tom talked to the more certain he became that the TILNAR Cycle Challenge could become something much, much larger. “There are so many keen cyclists, who are all signed up to cycling Apps and websites, so it is very easy to reach them and I know that they will really relish the idea,” he explains.
It seems he is right. Within days of going on Facebook the Challenge had attracted some 595 ‘Likes’ and the number is growing all the time.
“The great thing about it is that everyone, however old or young, fit or unfit, can get involved. You simply set your own personal challenge and get as much sponsorship as you can for the charity of your choice,” says Tom.
His concept certainly makes participation easy. Unlike a Marathon where you have to apply for a place and have to guarantee to raise a certain amount of money there are no such restrictions at TILNAR. Tom is currently in negotiation with a number of large charities which he hopes will lend support to the event and more details of these will be available soon.
In the meantime anyone with a bicycle can dust it down and between the hours of 6.00am and 9.00pm on the 20 June, (which is the Saturday nearest to the Summer Equinox and longest day), cycle as far as they possibly can.
It is hoped that some of the outlets that sell TILNAR ART products may also come on board as local organisers. “We are encouraging people to cycle in a loop and are looking for places – like zoos, cafes and garden centres – where families can meet and wait for participants while they cycle around. We hope it can become an annual event and a really fun family day out,” says Tom.
One person who has already signed up for the challenge is GA chief executive Isabel Martinson. Izzy, who is the veteran of a couple of endurance cycle rides in aid of Help for Heroes and once cycled 90 miles in one day, told Giftwrap: “I rather doubt I shall beat my own record as I am not nearly as fit as I was then, but I am getting into training and shall enjoy challenging myself again. It’s a great idea and I hope as many other GA members as possible will also get involved in this very good cause.”
(Article kindly shared by The Gift Association)