BikeFest 2022 - Cycling across Spain to raise money for the events industry

by Andrew Bishop

This January, Andrew will be taking to his bike and cycling from Valencia to Barcelona over 3 days as part of BikeFest, covering a total of 360km to raise money for Backup in the UK and AAA in Spain - two charities supporting industry workers who have suffered financially from the pandemic.   

Why? - to raise awareness for vital funds for those in the live events supply chain severely impacted by the pandemic.

When? - from Valencia to Barcelona between 29-31 Jan 2022.

BikeFest 2022 route

So, Andrew Bishop is a LYCRA clad keen long-distance cyclist? – Nothing could be further from the truth. Having learnt to ride 55 years ago these days, he cycles to his allotment or the shops on a Falcon Cycle hand made with British Steel in North Lincolnshire in the 70’s! No carbon fibre frames, no fancy technology, just a good old fashioned push bike.

So, you may ask why is Andrew planning to ride his bicycle 360km (230 miles)? We asked Andrew to tell us more:

“I guess this is my ‘Eddie the Eagle’ moment. I asked myself what I can do to help my friends who are struggling to make ends meet and raise money. These engineers have unknowingly given so much to so many from behind the scenes. The events supply industry has been closed since March 2020. Many of my customers are truly struggling with event cancellations or postponements. It became clear that despite the government's guidelines everything was open except grassroot live music venues, clubs and outside events. Our customers have not been able to function normally for almost 2 years. Many have closed or left the industry”.

When did you start training?

Winter in North Yorkshire is not conducive to cycling which is why “Tour de Yorkshire” takes place in May. I started to turn a few pedals in December 2021 and put on my first pair of clip on 3 weeks ago and have fallen off twice on icy roads.

Is anyone doing it with you?

Yes, I think there will be five from the Spanish Events Industry and five from the UK, but the numbers ebb and flow with training injuries and work commitments. We do have a support van driven by Nicky Greet who works for our industry association PLASA.org. Trained medical practitioners and bike mechanics are with us for those tricky moments. I am told to lubricate my nether regions and eat a banana on the hour every hour to keep going! The mind boggles!

Why now Andrew?

The finish on day 3 was planned to coincide with the opening of one of the largest industry trade shows in Barcelona Fira for ISE 2022 Integrated Systems Europe, the world’s leading AV and systems integration exhibition. The show was cancelled 7 days ago but “The show (or at least the bike ride) must go on”!

What about the future?

If government restrictions are lifted summer 2022 could be the biggest ever event year in living memory for the people of Great Britain. In June we celebrate our Queens Platinum Jubilee, Glastonbury returns, and a 24-month pressure cooker of suspended family celebrations and weddings could explode with happiness! It is hard to prepare for the unknown, but we will be here, helping make everyone’s event a reality.

Andrew - BikeFest 2022

What can people do to help?

Simply share my journey. Many I speak to have done very well during the last 24 months as with all pandemics, commercially, there are winners and losers.

All the companies involved with #weamakeevents continue to meet weekly on zoom and your support is truly appreciated.

After all, “It's been no bed of roses, no curtain calls, but we'll keep on fighting 'til the end, cause, we are the champions, my friends”

Please spread the word and support us. If you have the means to give a little visit BikeFest Spain 2022 • We Make Events (raisely.com)

Thank you.