On the 11th of September 2021, hundreds of cyclist will pedal for a good cause.
What started in 2016 after the death of my mother to do something as an homage to her and to raise awareness regarding HPV (Human Papilloma Virus)-prevention has since matured into an international cycling event, raising funds for researchers working on HPV at the Institut Goustave Roussy in France and the DKFZ (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum) in Germany .
The Nicola Werner Challenge has now been rebranded as The NWC. The memory of mother is no longer the center of the event. In 2019 cyclists were first equipped with a bike-plate. Instead of riding with a number, their ride is dedicated to a person, in their memory or who might be suffering from cancer or other illness, who is accompanying someone who is. In short someone, who is close to our heart.
Even though I don’t take to the road, I have my bike plate. My first one was dedicated to Nicola, my mother. The second one I dedicated to Those having lost someone, as it felt right in the year of covid. This year, I am dedicating it to a friend, who at the age of 27 was diagnosed with stomach cancer only a few months after giving birth to a baby boy, and now has to deal with a baby, treatments and all the hormones and stress hormones that come with this very delicate situation.
Today, I am writing this text from Jena, Germany. I took my computer with me to my grandfather with the goal of writing about this years upcoming challenge. The 6th edition of The NWC.
I want to invite you to participate! There is still time to sign up. The deadline is the 31st of August 2021, but in function of available spaces, later signups will be possible (but for the Paris based event, you’ll be charged an administrative fee). So don’t wait! Sign up today!
“But I am not in Paris!!” you say.
“Don’t despair, for the second time THE NWC is an international event, with rides in various locations, such as Lyon, Philadelphia, London, Berlin, to name a few.”
“But I am not in any of those big cities”.
“Don’t worry, we have a solution! You can ride anywhere, even of Zwift, as an Independent.”
(That smirk on your face tells me, I am not the only one thinking of politics, when I hear the word independent.)
Yep, there are so many solutions for you to participate. In Paris, the main event. You can ride 120km, 200km, 120km Gravel and even a shorter ride of 50km. Then there are satellite events in other cities in France, Germany, UK and USA. These cities are: Lyon, Berlin, Black Forest, Bochum, Munich, London, Philadelphia, Rhode Island (12th September), Seattle. So really no excuses if you own a bike and are free on the 11th of September 2021.
In Paris, participants will receive not only their bike plate when they check in with me in the morning, but a Zefal water bottle. During the ride there will be some great foot-stops and a lunch at the Barn Hotel. At the arrival in the city, the finisher bags will be handed out (probably by my kids, who already played the role of models for the t-shirts), which include the edible finisher-medal by Poilane and a Faber Castel pencil.
If you are signing up, it is expected that you make a donation of at least 100€ in Paris and 50€ in the other cities. After all the goal is to raise money for cancer research and not just have fun, eat well and sweat a lot and to be photographed in the new solar jersey.
Speaking of the jersey. As far as I know, they are sold out. But don’t despair there are beautiful event t-shirts, which you can see here, modelled by my kids and yours truly and photographed by the talented Charlotte Lindet. Treat yourself to a pair of super, super comfy solar socks and this year’s cap.
Did I forget anything? Probably. And if you are not participating, know no one who is, then make a difference by donating a little bit from the comfort of the beach, your back porch or living room. I have opened my own fund-raiser just for that. Support the cause!
Stay healthy and safe and do inflate those tires on the rusty bike and go for a ride.
Thanks for your support!