1st Oxford Stationary Bike-a-Thon Fundraiser

Big thanks to the people of Oxford and undiscerning tourists from all points for making our first fundraiser for Cross Country for Cancer a huge success. At 9 o’clock last Saturday we set up my fixie on a stationary trainer under Hertford’s Bridge of Sighs and 8 hours of cycling later we had raised £527 ($980.40 US) for charity. Along with online donations, that puts us at over $2,500 — 1/10 of our $25,000 goal!

A couple things stuck me over the course of the 6 hours that I was on the saddle. First and most profoundly, the male anatomy was not made for spending that much time on a hard leather saddle. I’m still regaining feeling in my ‘extremities’ and am fairly certain that I have once and for all taken my self out of the gene-pool. Also, a disturbingly large proportion of the population, when confronted with a lycra-clad cyclist riding a stationary bike in the middle of the street, have an uncontrollable desire to yell “Oi, you ain’t gettin’ very far!” and then double over in convulsive laughter. Actually, most of the folks that stopped by were really inquisitive and supportive.

About an hour into the ride we had put up a sign saying “Will sprint for 1 quid”, which immediately improved our success (some people are quite conscientious about getting value for their money). As some as the sign went up we started develop more of a circus-esque atmosphere. Fred definitely caught the wrong end of the stick with the sprinting. As soon as he got on the bike his ‘friends’ made him spin for about 5 minutes straight. Seriously, how can anyone be mean to Fred? It’s like telling a child that Santa died in a tragic misunderstanding with the LAPD.

During the course of the day Paddy put in a powerful couple hours, and Max made an appearance for about fifteen minutes (Oxford finals prevented a longer stay). Paddy deserves special mention for being the mac-daddy of all street hustlers. Tourist just can’t resist that bright Norwegian smile.

Anyhow next weekend, June 10th, we’ll be out on the street again. This time with a real sign, a real map of the US, Krispy Kreme donuts, and maybe even a permit from the city.

06.08.06 Update: Here are some photos of the event.

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