The FireFlies Antipodes charity ride from Christchurch to Queenstown is into its final 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’.
James Bush, Design Lead at Fjord talks about the sixth and final day of the tour:
“It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them.”
― Ernest Hemingway
As I sit here in my hotel room reflecting on the past six days with the Fireflies family and the completion of my second tour. Trying to think of something to write. Staring out across Lake Wakatipu. Sad that the tour is over and frustrated that I’m no longer lost in the moment of being on the road. I keep coming back to a question I’m often asked, “Why do you choose to ride such a long way on a bicycle with a bunch of strangers for charity?”
Well, by joining a Fireflies tour you become part of a family. A very close-knit albeit dysfunctional family, one that chooses to share everything whilst out on the road, be it laughter, tears, jokes, stories, personal memories or reasons for riding. We share it all, the good, the bad and the ugly.
Whether you’re an experienced cyclist or a rookie, riding long distances, up big hills, for six days straight evokes something different in everyone, fear, anxiety, excitement. It is these feelings that can only be captured in the moment. They are hard to describe but your fellow riders understand just by the look on your face.
We are all riding for different reasons and I think that is what makes it so special. For me, experiencing someplace new by bike is only the beginning. It is the friendships you make and the memories you create. The fact bicycles are involved is just an added bonus.
Also, hearing “You spilt ketchup on my Nigel Cabourn’s” will never get old. But I guess you had to be there.
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.