The FireFlies Antipodes charity ride from Christchurch to Queenstown is into its third day. From 17 to 23 February, the ride covers approximately 1,000km over six grueling days. 12 riders from the marketing, creative and production industries are dedicating themselves to raising much-needed funds and awareness towards the Snowdome Foundation’s mission, ‘making hope real for Australians fighting blood cancers’.
Leon Wilson, Partner / ECD Robyn&Leon talks about Day #4:
100km’s into Day 4 and it’s been raining torrentially for about 98 of them. The ITB in my right knee has gone from a dull ache to a sharp pain each time I extend my leg. Not great… there’s still another 40km’s to go, including a big climb. The caravans that threaten to knock us off while furiously overtaking are looking pretty dry and cozy right now.
Sometimes we talk as we ride, sometimes we’re busy in our own heads. The journey isn’t only on the road. Eventually, we make it to Haast, an isolated little town on the West Coast. The Alps run close to the coast here giving the town an oppressive feel, like the landscape doesn’t want it to exist and is slowly pushing it into the ocean.
There’s warmth in the hotel bar though, not just from the fireplace we’re drying our soaked shoes in front of, but from the people as well. I get chatting to a local in front of me at the bar, and when he gets his change he hands the $30 to me to put toward the cause.
This ride is about a lot of things, but fundamentally it’s about empathy. It’s about friends, family, and strangers caring about one another. It’s about knowing that if your knee hurts, someone’s back probably hurts more. It’s about not taking people for granted, whether it’s those that you know, those that you love, or those that you’ve only just met.
As a group of riders, some familiar and some foreign to one another, we’re a little like a microcosm of society in this respect. And whether it’s a Fireflies ride or just everyday life the most important thing along the way is to be good to each other, even to the people towing caravans who want to run us off the road.
To pledge a Firefly please visit:
Matt Oxley, Managing Director – TRACK
Simon Kane, Partner / Sound Designer – Song Zu
Bill Doig, Freelance Producer
Malachi Moxon – Northside Locals
Carmen Barry – Northside Locals
Sam Hall, Executive Producer – Blockhead
Graeme Pereira, Editor – Arc Edit
Wilf Sweetland, Global CEO – Sweetshop
David Llewellyn, Founder & Director – Bellweather Agency
Simon Bloomfield, Creative Director – Apparent
Leon Wilson, Partner / ECD – Robyn & Leon
James Bush, Creative Technology Lead – Fjord
This year’s ride is made possible by the generous financial sponsorship of Blockhead, Campaign Brief, Finch Company, Goodoil, Northside Locals, Panavision, Rumble, Skin Grows Back, Snowdome Foundation, SongZu, The Editors, TwentyOne Coffee and founding sponsors Sweetshop and RSA Films.