I think many people reading this will already know the story, so I will just summarise it here
A couple of days after my 54th birthday our shed caught fire. We lost everything. Memories and possessions we had built up over decades. We were heartbroken.
I lost all my bike related stuff.. bikes, helmets, shoes, equipment, tools - I used to build my bikes up from scratch so I have (damnit.. had) all the tools a bike shop would have.
Yes we were insured, but you don't get the same amount back - and I would have to prioritise other family things before I could replace a bike.
It looked like I wouldn't cycle again. I went to a dark place.
What do bikes mean to me?.. this is what I wrote when contacting a bike brand
...to tell you what my bikes mean to me, they are not just for sport (although i have done a couple of Ironman races, beach bike races etc) Bikes are - A means to pick up trash. Each ride I pick up litter - A means to get to events. For example, last year I cycled from Haarlem to Utrecht for a cleanup. I picked up trash on the way there and on the way back too - A means of avoiding cars or trains - If I can cycle I will - A means to commute - I did that commute from Haarlem to Amsterdam for nearly ten years)
Then Daan and Steef came to the rescue - an incredible act of kindness - they created a GoFund.Me page. Go to that link to pick the full story up (In English and Dutch).
At first it was too much to handle - I didn't really know how to react. How could I promote people giving the fund money when so many GoFundMe pages are for things like medical costs? It was very confronting to accept.
But then I realised it wasn't about that. Daan and Steef did an incredible act of kindness, but every penny that was added to the fund was also an incredible act of support by others for what I am trying to do and how I do it.
I could finally accept it. But I didn't just want to say thank-you. I wanted to do more for all the people donating money.
But first: THANK-YOU to all the people donating money. It is incredible the support I received. I am so overwhelmed. THANK-YOU!!
So what else will I do? I realised I want to think about the donators every time I use the bike.
I had a brainwave!
I am going to put the names of all the donators on the bike itself. Cover the bike in the names of people who helped. Whether you gave 1euro or 1000euros, it doesn't matter. each donation is special and touches my heart
Do you give money? Then tell me the name to use!
I don't have the bike yet, but I would love to know the name you want on the bike (especially those who gave anonymously) - please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know.
I will try and contact you but if you contact me beforehand that will be a huge help.
Do you want your name on the bike but haven't donated?
Then you still can.. just make a donation on the link below and I will add you (even if it is 1 euro) - we will leave the GoFundMe campaign open until I have the bike.
Updates - Where's the bluddy bike?!!
I am now looking for a bike but I want to maximise the money you gave, so I am trying to get a great deal. Rather than talk about that in this blog entry I will put all the updates I have separately and link them together
I will end it here for now with links to more information. Below is the GoFundMe page, but here is another article about it (in Dutch) from the NH Nieuws website