Sunday, 15 September 2013

MICHAEL BONNEY FUND RAISER

Geoff McComb from Chain Reaction Cycles asked for a bit of help for the Ride for Michael fund one day on the phone, he was planning a ride to raise money for some alterations for Michael's home and he wanted some clothing printing. The answer was a resounding yes and we talked at length at how and what could be done to help the cause.

Geoff invited us to a black tie fund raising event at North Lakes hotel in Penrith where many of the Uk's mountain bike fraternity would be in attendance, we felt honoured to have been asked we rushed about on the day but got there in perfect time and my wife Lynne good friends Craig McKay and his wife Karen got their glad rags on and raced to the bar.

We were greeted by Michael and his lovely wife Linzi and I felt very humbled, it was the first time I had seen him since his accident and I felt very awkward, the first few words Michael spoke to me dispelled any of my trepidation, he was Michael again - great.
There was very British feel to the evening, Orange mountain bikes adorned the hall as we walked in, Woody Hole from Hope saw us at the bar and we laughed and joked, Chips from Singletrack was busy meandering through the people he knew as we tried to find our table. We were on a table called Crush, all the tables were named after orange bikes ours was called Crush and we sat along side the MBR writers and editor.
The dress code for the evening was "Creative Black Tie" and they took this code to another level by being black tie above the waist but strictly Mtb below in their very colourful baggy shorts. After a brief introduction we swapped stories and realised that as usual we knew virtually the same people even though we had never met. 6 degrees of separation etc.
As usual I didn't get chance to talk to all the people I knew, but it was nice to see them.
The evening started with a sort of raffle, there was an envelope on each table and every guest had a Ride For Michael wrist band on their place setting, the idea was if you wanted to be included in the raffle for a Vans Guitar you put £5 into the envelope and accepted the wrist band. Everyone joined in and each band had a unique number and the compere drew a number and confirmed the winner to be Hannah Barnes who accepted the prize gracefully while having to pose for photos. Michael made a very emotional speech before proceedings and they showed a video that Steve Peat had made which relayed his feelings and was also quite emotional. He was at the World Cup in Hafjell but ordinarily would have jumped at the chance to be there.
The compare of the evening was Phil Colbert who did a great job to drive the emotion in the room he moved things on very well and encouraged people to part with their hard earned with gusto. There were some great prizes on offer, signed shirts, a signed Manchester Utd football, some absolutely brilliant rebadged Stella if I say so myself and various other stuff but let's face it they were all there for the beer.
Bidding was frantic for the beer but Danny MacAskill won it for £220 in the end which i found quite remarkable as the 1st team signed Man Utd match ball went for £150, probably the worlds most expensive beer.
A Peaty signed shirt raised £1000 and a ride for Michael t-shirt signed by all the top downhillers went for £400. I bid for most things but I bid up to £50 for a cut colour and blow dry at a local ladies hair dressers, thankfully I was outbid and it went for about £100. Alan Mulddon from MBR was the star of the night bidding £2000 for the shimano Xtr group set, remarkable considering that he could quite easily blag one in his position, such was the flavour of the evening. We were served up with a three course meal which was very nice followed by coffee then more beer.
Keep a eye out for more information about one of Steve Peat's helmet's and a brand spanking new SANTA CRUZ BRONSON that is going to be auctioned to raise funds for www.rideformichael.co.uk on ebay soon, 
The end of the evening came all too soon, there was a final total for the evenings proceedings and the figure of £15,500.00 amazed us all. The road home was marked in an unmissable fashion and in the blink of an eye we were at breakfast discussing what a great evening it was and how much was raised for such a worthy recipient - Mr Michael Bonney lets get out and #ride4michael

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