This third CSF Cycle for Life, primarily organised to raise awareness, was held in memory of Linda Shepherd, the CSF founder who sadly died in March aged 64.
This year the route ran from Carcassonne to Sète along the canals and coastal paths of Languedoc. During the four day 200 km ride a total of 42 riders took part, sharing much fun and laughter. Although the Ride is not a race, it is a challenge for the cyclists, many of whom join for their own cancer related reason. The sense of achievement and camaraderie on the final day, first at the lunchtime picnic stop in Agde and then at the Welcome at the Musée de la Mer (offered to us by the Mairie of Sète), was palpable. Having been at the start in Carcassonne and the finish in Sète as well as at various spots on the way, this was a particularly moving moment for me.
The Cycle for Life is the only event which raises funds for CSF (National), the umbrella body which provides support to the 15 CSF affiliated associations. In particular, the National association organises the training programme for our Active Listeners, the trained volunteers who provide direct client support. Between them the cyclists raised over €5,000, an amazing amount which will go towards funding our annual Training Conference in November. It will also help full training support to be given to the newer associations, such as Paris-Île-de-France, who cannot yet fund a trainer.
In addition to the 42, one man rode his own Cycle for Life. He had intended to cycle 400 km from his home in the Haute-Pyrénées to join the final day but the heat made him rethink and instead, each day, he cycled a 100 km circuit from his home raising over €500 in the process!
There are many stories that could be told, but maybe the lasting memory is the number of cyclists who want to do it again next year!!
Finally, my thanks must go, first, to Annette from LaFranglaise. Not only did she design and build this website and manage our online publicity, she also put in a huge amount of time and effort in organising the event. Secondly my thanks go to the volunteers mainly from CSF Languedoc and CSF Sud de France without whose support the event could not have been run. I would also like to extend my thanks to the very generous sponsors - Vie et Velo, Mellow Velos, VideoProFrance, Freewheeling France and Renestance who, with the music of Outback, put on a lovely welcome at Sète.
President, CSF (National)
27th June 2017