With the boom in uncreative, highly annoying email marketing, the majority of emails in my private account are consigned to the recycle bin without even being opened.
Luckily on one slow, dull, rainy evening last month, I opened one of the many messages I get from Evans Cycles and came across one saying: “Win a chance to ride with Sir Chris Hoy”. A small shriek of excitement, a few personal details filled in and the click of a button later... it dawned upon me that all this would lead to is more useless emails.
But, a week or so later (after scrolling through the usual Viagra and Lottery emails) I suddenly came across another one from Evans. I opened the email to read the immortal words: “You have won!” – Me!? A technical engineer at Linkam getting to ride with “his royal thighness” and 6 time Olympic Gold Medallist Sir Christopher Hoy MBE?! The feeling I had was indescribable. And as I was allowed a plus 1 to the event, who better to take than fellow Linkamite and cycloholic Jack Verhoeff.
On the day of the event itself, Jack and I met the team from Evans Cycles and Hoy Bikes at the top of Box Hill on a delightfully sunny Surrey afternoon. A quick cup of coffee and an obligatory health and safety session later, the guest of honour himself made his much anticipated appearance. As we set off on our trail, Sir Hoy – a gentle giant of a man – rode his way beside every small group to exchange pleasantries and casually chat with all 50 lucky participants. As he moved onto the next group, my thought process quickly changed from: “Please don’t knock him off!” to “Wow…did I really just meet arguably the greatest ever cyclist these Isles have produced?”
We continued onto the finish line, where we were met with more cake and a further opportunity to meet and greet Sir Hoy, as well as get various memorabilia and body parts signed by this true British hero.
The whole experience was one that I will not forget for the rest of my life, and taught me a vital lesson – maybe checking emails is a worthwhile task indeed!
You can keep up to date with all of Linkam’s Cycling escapades by following @Team_Linkam on Twitter.
By Jim Hayward