Thanks to Jeremy of YnNi Teg for this blog about the epic 90 mile sponsored cycle they embarked on to raise funds for Size of Wales on Go Green Day. Jeremy Thorp is a director of YnNi Teg, a board member of Community Energy Wales, and an employee of Sharenergy which supports community energy projects throughout the UK.
Friday the thirteenth may not sound like a good day to try a 90-mile bike ride if you’re superstitious, but with such a good cause being supported by our fundraising efforts, we weren’t daunted!
It was 7.30am when we set off from YnNi Teg’s new 900 kW wind turbine near Meidrim, Carmarthenshire, in the dark with strong wind (the turbine was performing well!) and driving rain. Fortunately the rain eased within 15 minutes and the remainder of the day stayed dry.
We were dressed all in green to show our support for #GoGreenDay, and the good cause in question was Size of Wales, who would be spending any money we raised on a variety of activities that will protect tropical forests and fight climate change. Being a Wales-based environmental social enterprise, Size of Wales is particularly close to our hearts here at YnNi Teg. They are protecting an area of tropical rainforest which is in fact twice the size of Wales!
So there was myself and fellow Director, Rob Proctor, cycling through South Wales in our bright green outfits, attracting a little attention along the way, as intended! The ride was challenging; Wales is not known for its flatness. But having set off from Meidrim, it was a joy to ride through the stunning countryside of Carmarthenshire before reaching the medieval town of Carmarthen where we met up with Neil Lewis from the Robert Owen Community Banking Fund who joined us for a few miles.
We then headed towards Cardiff, passing through Llanelli, Swansea and Port Talbot. From Llanelli, most of the journey was along Sustrans route 4, which is mostly car-free and well maintained. At one point we shared route 4 with a huge group of school children, some walking and some on bikes, on their own fundraising day; very encouraging to see.
At various points along the ride we were heartened to see a decent number of wind turbines, reminding us why we were on our ride, and it seemed like a great omen for the launch of YnNi Teg’s share offer later that day.
Finally, after a gruelling nine and a half -hour ride we arrived in Cardiff – just in time for our launch, which was taking place at the Size of Wales Go Green Day celebration event at Tramshed. During the event one of our fellow directors, Grant Peisley, officially launched the share offer for our YnNi Teg wind turbine and we were able to hand out fresh off the press copies of the share offer document. Our new wind turbine in Meidrim is partly being funded by the sale of shares. By buying shares, you become a member of our Community Benefit Society, get a fair return on your investment (projected at 5%) and support the installation of more community owned renewable electricity generation. If you’re interested in ethical and environmentally-friendly investment opportunities, it’s really worth having a look at our website – www.ynniteg.cymru.
It was a long day. Our ninety miles, ridden over nine and a half long, tiring hours, had raised £627 for Size of Wales which they will double thanks to their match fund! Though tired, we were so pleased to know that our efforts would be rewarded by our being able to support a charity that means a great deal to everyone at YnNi Teg. Hopefully we’ll get to do something similar next year, but the question is, should we up the stakes a little? How about doing it in fancy dress, on a tandem, or even on unicycles? Hmm…I wonder if Rob will be up for that!