What happened during the London Calling?
A few months ago, somewhere in mid-July, we asked all of you to send us your most creative ‘application’ if you wanted to participate in our ‘London Calling’ project. In the end there were 3 winners: Sam from Antwerp, Mathias from Leuven and Alexandra from Hasselt. They would prepare themselves to cycle to London together on Saturday 7 September, where they would discover the headquarters of Deliveroo.
Day 1 : From Brussels to Brugge
Mathias, Sam and Alex couldn’t have a better start. The sun was shining when they gathered at the Mont des Arts in the heart of Brussels. After a short photoshoot, they started their journey with the first ride to Brugge. Despite the lovely sun, not everything was fine. To reach the ‘Venice of the North’ they had to cross roads with few cycle paths. To add to that Mathias also got a flat tyre after only a few kilometers. But the three musketeers couldn’t care less, the atmosphere was great and the short stops were fun and diverse: the velodrome in Ghent, a delicious spaghetti at Bavet and short breaks along the road. That day, together on the bike, Mathias, Sam and Alex really got to know each other better.
Day 2 : meeting with the NL team
Arriving in Bruges in the evening, the ‘London Calling’ team finally became complete. The fellow adventurers from Rotterdam, named Naweed, Polivas and Dymphie, also reached Bruges. The vibe between the team from Belgium and the Netherlands was really good. The next day all six of them left Bruges early in the morning. But just when they reached a good pace after a few kilometers, the inevitable happened. Alexandra fell off her bike and broke her collarbone. The ambulance arrived immediately and took her to the hospital. Luckily was well taken care of in the hospital and we can tell you that she is doing well. Of course the atmosphere wasn’t too good after this. The team lost a lot of time and above all a teammate. To take their mind off things, they made a detour along the beach of Dunkirk, where they enjoyed a beautiful sunset. Finally they cycled to Calais to spend the night there before crossing the channel the next day. No doubt this was a day to remember.
Day 3: touch the English floor
After a short night our 5 riders started their day with a ferry crossing to England. There they were confronted with the most difficult and heaviest stage: a ride to Mainstone, full of hills, climbing and rain. We’ll spare you the details, but a tired and proud Mathias, Sam, Dymphie, Naweed and Polivas eventually reached their private cottage in Maidstone. This idyllic spot met all English clichés withthe well-dressed hosts andthe ingredients on their plates nicely suited to match, so British!
Day 4: Last efforts
After a “Royal British Breakfast” the club of 5 riders departed to its last destination: London. Nervous to see them again and curious about their adventures, we waited for them in London HQ. And as fate has it we were made to wait a little longer, partly due to Polivas’s flat tyre. But eventually at dusk, around 9pm, we met the riders under the Tower Bridge. All five of them came to us smiling and satisfied.
Day 5: The Olympic dream awaits them
After a well-deserved night’s sleep, the riders were ready to visit our headquarters along the Thames in the heart of London. Our Global Operations Manager, Dirk, gave them a guided tour and gave them an overview of how everything works: operations, marketing, restaurants and the technical team.
After that, the final event awaited them: the UK Rider Races final. It was a track cycling race where riders from all over the United Kingdom competed at the 2012 Olympic Velodrome. To a thunderous applause, our riders took a lap of honour in the Olympic stadium.
It remains an unforgettable experience!