The Great Nu Image Cycle for Endometriosis UK
10th November 2023
If you follow us on Instagram (@nuimagestudio, give us a follow if you don’t already), you might have seen us do our 24-hour charity bike ride for Endometriosis UK back in September.
We were initially inspired to undertake this challenge for a very special member of our team who has been suffering in silence with Endometriosis for a very long time. As the challenge became more real, it developed into raising awareness for all women and people assigned female at birth who suffer with the disease. We knew we wanted to do something special, to create an impact, and a dedicated bike ride was the way.
The plan was to cycle for 24 hours non-stop, with members of our team taking it in turns to put in shifts, with the bikes’ pedals never stopping their motion. We felt this represents the ongoing fight that people with Endometriosis deal with every single day, not just for 24 hours. Their fight is inspiring, from their daily struggles with symptoms to the way they cope with agonisingly long diagnosis times, and they deserve all the support and recognition for what they go through.
The 24-hour journey was truly something else, and it’s a shame that we couldn’t have all of you with us through the fun. So, we thought we’d lay out a timeline of highlights, letting you sit back and imagine you were right there with us, just without the leg cramp.
Our original start time was almost immediately chucked in the bin. Our amazing client Smilebikes donated two fantastic Raleigh Trace bikes for us to use for our event, but we quickly realised we’d forgotten about the distance trackers, a key measurement for success in our challenge. So, Ellie and Jordan went off and secured some. Day saved!
The new and improved start time. Our first three cyclists – Alex, Emily and Stephen on the guest bike – were off… In place, of course. Time to start raising awareness, money and mileage for Endometriosis UK.
Turns out Phoebe didn’t quite know her own strength. In her enthusiasm and determination, she managed to dislodge a pedal halfway through holding her own spin class. Classic PJ. In our moment of need, our friendly neighbours at RUA were able to lend a helping hand in the form of a spanner and were able to get the show back on the road (figuratively speaking).
A poignant moment for sure, this was when the bear costume first made its appearance. Our Social Media Exec Alex emerged from the studio in a full teddy bear get-up and the crowd went wild, earning us a few extra pennies from passersby. Dancing (Alex) and staring (the rest of the team) ensued.
Snack time! The wonders at Fancy Jacks kindly donated a stack of delicious scrap jacks (flapjacks that didn’t make the cut) for us to munch on, giving us a much-needed energy boost, powering the cycle party on.
Oops, turns out we didn’t secure that new pedal properly. At around the 14:30 mark, Alex managed to wiggle it free during his sprint. This time we stopped both bikes whilst Phoebe tracked down a new pedal, and around 15:30 the new pedal was fixed into position courtesy of Ian. It was becoming a day of overcoming obstacles, in true endo-fighter fashion.
Ian and Alex cycled the half hour between 15:30 and 16:00 to complete their full hour stint, and this way, we were only pushed back an hour on our schedule as a result of this delay.
As evening rolled in, so did more support. Digital Marketing Exec Ellie’s nanny hopped on her exercise bike at home, coordinating this for the same time as Ellie’s second cycling stint, this time with our studio support assistant Jess. Go, Ellie’s nanny, go! What a gal.
Praise be, it was time for a pizza delivery. Cheesy deliciousness to grease our wheels and keep us moving. Arriving in the midst of our team captains, Emily and Phoebe’s stint, it was like dangling a carrot in front of a horse. The girls kicked it up a gear, sprinting over the finish line at the hour mark and jumping off for some well deserved grub.
After two hours of cycling, quizzes held by resident entertainer Alex (“just by one” being his chosen catch phrase) and music, you guessed it, the bear decided to come back out to play. This time piloted by Designer Jordan. His mate said he’d donate £100 if he dressed up in the costume, and so dress up he did. A beary (sorry) good boost for the bikers.
Who’s that? It’s Emily’s dad! Emily is our Head of Digital and her 76-year old dad was a real trooper on the guest bike for an hour. We call him a trooper not because of the hour-long bike ride he endured, but because he put up with Emily and Ellie’s 80s singalong for an hour. What a guy. And, a personal highlight for Emily and Ellie, going down as one of their favourite stints on the bike.
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s the bear costume again! Yet another rousing bout of entertainment from our resident teddy
It’s the start of a new day and the team is still cycling. This time, one of our Web Developers Kurt showed up and hopped on the guest bike, joining Jordan and Emily’s cycle for the whole hour. We’re not sure how many people would willingly partake in a spin class at midnight but our man Kurt did, an absolute gent.
Okay, so, this is when the police showed up, but hear us out first. A bunch of dancing and (quietly) encouraging folk watching two people furiously pedal in the early hours on a Saturday in Norwich is apparently enough to draw the attention of the local police. Driving round on their nightshift, they pulled up to investigate what was going on. Once we’d had a chance to explain our cause and they saw how well-behaved we were, they swayed to our side. Even donated some money via our JustGiving page. Woohoo!
Surprisingly, the early hours of the morning were a busy time for visitors and the team couldn’t have been more grateful for it. Despite being eager to do so, our Digital Marketing Exec Isla couldn’t join us for the challenge due to going on holiday the same day, however she graced us with her presence on the way to the airport. Popping by to cheer us on, at first we were jealous that she was headed to a sunny and relaxing destination, but she produced a lovely bottle of champagne for us to celebrate with once our event was finished, so we forgave her.
Rebecca, one of our Web Developers, dropped by with beers for the troops and to hop on the guest bike. The best 4am refreshments and encouragement as the challenge started to take its toll on our core cycle team.
At this point, the charity cycle had been going for 18 hours and everyone’s legs were somewhat turning to jelly, and the thought of sitting on a bike saddle was drawing up some painful memories. Luckily, the wonderful cause we were cycling for and the copious amounts of support kept us going with smiles on our faces. Still, friends and family were turning up, and turning up when they knew the team would be starting to flag. Whether it was knowing we were on the home straight or the deliriousness kicking in, the team were emotional and thankful for every person pushing them on at this point.
A much-needed McDonald’s delivery arrived and, goodness, what a delight. Oh, hot and crispy hash browns, thank you for your service. The perfect filling breakfast to keep us moving for the final hours.
Like a mirage on the horizon and out of the mid-morning sunlight, Digital Marketing Exec Molly appeared like an angel, bringing offerings of cheese twists and good vibes. She cycled with Alex and Emily for the last stint of the challenge, soundtracked by Take That’s ‘Never Forget’, it was an emotional finish all round. A true representation of team spirit and coming together to accomplish something great.
“Alexa, play Chariots of Fire by Vangelis”. An hour late due to the various emergency errands ran throughout the day, our cycling event for Endometriosis UK was finished. What a rush. Our exhausted and somewhat sweaty team of cyclists had done it, cycling for 24 hours straight between them in gruelling shifts. Bloody hell. Time for some champagne and a lie-down.
What an incredible day and this timeline doesn’t even cover it all. There are tons of highlights to look back on, but similar to if you ask any member of the team, if you get us started we won’t stop, so we had to select some poignant moments. But, if you wanted a quick fire round of some more favourites; the woman who threw loose change at Alex dressed in his teddy bear form from her car (we swear that this was in aid of the cause), Emily testing our Harry Potter knowledge and showing off her impressions with a trivia quiz, Jordan falling asleep at 7pm upright in his chair, the Royal Mail delivery vans honking their horns every twenty minutes throughout the whole 24 hours, and lastly Lewis, our Social Media Exec, smiling profusely throughout the whole challenge. Like, seriously, it was supposed to be a challenge Lewis.
It was a day of laughter and fun, but also of education, awareness and support. The end goal was always to be a voice for the silent sufferers, posting short videos on our social media throughout the day with facts and information about Endometriosis, and we like to think we did alright. We raised £3,193 in total for Endometriosis UK and we could not be more proud. If you donated or supported us in any way, we just want to say a huge thank you – this challenge was a success in part due to you and your generosity.
If you’d like to learn more about Endometriosis, head to endometriosis-uk.org. The more awareness raised the better, even if that is just educating yourself and those around you about this debilitating chronic condition. Likewise, you can catch up on the whole 24 hours by visiting our Cycle Challenge highlight on Instagram.
We’d love to do another event like this for a good cause, so stay tuned for more charity escapades (which may or may not involve the bear suit) from the Nu Image team.