Tour for Kika – Riding this year’s TdF route for charity

Tour for Kika

In 37 days I head to Rotterdam and from there to France for a month.

July 2nd - a day before the pros circle the streets of Rotterdam, fifteen intrepid Dutch lads will set out to ride the 3600 km of this year's Tour de France for Kika, a Netherlands-based charity supporting research into childhood cancers. It is a monumental challenge, perhaps the greatest test a recreational cyclist could aspire to. The prologue, twenty stages, cobbles, crosswinds, and the mountains of the Alps and Pyrenees await them.

Riding all stages 24 hours ahead of the race is sure to elevate the experience; mountain stages will already be lined by fans and towns and villages en route will be buzzing with excitement as they put the finishing touches on their preparations.

Call it serendipity. Six weeks ago I first heard about this adventure when one of the riders, Simon Knops studying in the US at the time, rode and won the cat 5 race at Copperopolis. I'd taken his picture and he wanted to know if he could use it on the Kika site. It's fair to say I was immediately intrigued and two weeks ago after discussions with the team I committed to the project as the official photographer.

The logistics are daunting. Between now and June 28th there's ton of details yet to be worked out. My accommodations are booked for only half the stages. We've got some novel ideas for transport and they need to fall in place. There's gear testing, and decisions to be made about how much I take. Meanwhile the team continues to train, putting in major miles on the weekends and they have a training camp in the Alps in June to put a sharp point on that fitness. By comparison my job is easy.

To date they've raised $30,000 dollars for Kika with lots more to come. Fingers crossed I'll be able to announce a couple of equipment sponsors this week. I hope that those of you who enjoy VeloDramatic will support the cause and if you're in the industry, we're still looking for product in a few areas. I'd love to see the team get outfitted with shoes, its the final piece in the team kit that would give these committed amateur cyclists a PRO look. Arm warmers, gloves, compression gear, nutrition and supplements are all areas we could use some help. Contact me at robertson@velodramatic.com if you'd like to be part of this epic project and the resulting imagery.

I'll have several more updates before we roll out in Holland including an ecommerce donation link from the team shortly. Come July I'll do my best to post a daily update and photo from the road. I'm excited to part of the team and can't wait to document their journey. With the support of the luminaries of Dutch cycling (Hennie Kuiper, Laurens ten Dam, Jan Janssen, and Hennie Stamsnijder) and Ivo Opstelsten (former mayor of Rotterdam) our boys can't miss.

17 Responses to Tour for Kika – Riding this year’s TdF route for charity

  1. Josh says:

    Awesome project! Look forwarding to helping out with some donations.

  2. huphtur says:

    Is there a link to their site somewhere so one can find more information?

  3. Paolo Polledri says:

    It sounds like a fantastic project, and I’m totally envious. I look forward to the pictures!

  4. Veeral says:

    Hey Michael,
    Well done on getting the opportunity. Do you require a sherpa to haul the heavy L-glass up the mountain stages and Profoto lights ? :-p

    Looking forward to seeing some amazing footage.

    All the best.

    cheers
    Veeral

    • Thanks Veeral. The mountain stages will be interesting with all the fans. I’m going to have an ebike along on the trip thanks to Ultra Motor. http://www.ultramotor.com/us/product/a2b_hybrid

      Equipped with panniers and power assist to 16mph I’ll be able to stay with the boys on the climbs where traffic may be blocked, carry gear and get a little exercise in. I’ll have a little fun with a loaner for a week of commuting in June.

      ::M

  5. Elmer says:

    Great story Micheal, looking forward to meet you at the start in Rotterdam.

    • Thanks Elmer, it’s going to be great. I should be in Rotterdam on the 30th hopefully I get to see you all before we get down to business. How is your training going?

  6. kurt says:

    I just got back from a trip thru Germany and sepnt a couple of days in amsterdam. Many, Many, many bikes. I rented one but the key broke in the lock when I stopped to have a beer. This ended my riding for the day. Awesome while it lasted. You can go anywhere and there is a bike lane.

    Enjoy your trip. I can’t wait to see the pictures. The wife and I are talking about a Netherlands/Germany bike trip ourself. So it will be good to know your thoughts.

    Good Luck and Godspeed

  7. Mario says:

    Can you ask Lance and his livestrong foundation for some shoes etc.?

    Sounds like an amazing project. Enjoy it!

    • jean1113 says:

      This is great, and it sounds like something Lance would be very interested in contributing to in some way.

      • thanks Jean,

        I’ve been waiting for the team to get their English donation page sorted out before making an attempt to get Mr. Armstrong and Livestrong to take a look.

  8. Elmer says:

    With our training behind us, we have some time to focus on some PR and donation opportunities.

    Please let us know if you need anything in that regard.

    Looking forward to meet you the 1st or 2nd of July.

    • Hi Elmer,

      I think I’m out of ideas at this point ;-) … just a few more details and it’s time to think about packing. I will be in Rotterdam on the 30th and should see you all at Tim’s on the 1st. I do need someone to come and pick me up from my hotel outside Amsterdam on the morning of the 30th. I’ll either have the electric bike already or will need to pick it up from Ultramotor’s warehouse near Schiphol

      Did the guys reach out to you last night about sizing for SKINS compression wear?

      Look forward to seeing all of you too.

      ::M