Charity Chair takes part in CLIA £10,000 cycle challenge

This September, travel industry professionals in the cruise sector are taking part in an epic cycle challenge once again, to raise funds for Family Holiday Association and this year charity Chair, Philippa Harris, will join them.

We spoke to Philippa ahead of the challenge.

Philippa cycling in Dungeness in June 2020

Philippa cycling in Dungeness in June 2020

“I’m really looking forward to this challenge. As Chair of Family Holiday Association, it’s a great charity to be supporting. But also having spent my entire career in travel and tourism, this is so relevant.

“It’ll be great to see people in the industry again, cycling with people who I do and don’t know. Cruise is such an important part of travel, and by the time of the challenge, the cruise industry will have been open about 6 weeks. They’ll be feeling invigorated by their new environment and by working again, which will be so exciting.

“I’m looking forward to feeling part of the team, wearing the t-shirt and cycling alongside the others. I’ll be a bit nervous before we start, but once we set off there will be a real sense of camaraderie. Cycling is my hobby, but this definitely will be a challenge.”

“I want to go a bit quicker than my usual speed. I did the Rhine Challenge three years ago when I first became Chair, where I was cycling for 18 days, covering 50-60 miles a day. I’ll be cycling further in one day than I did in any day along the Rhine, but as it’s just the one day I can afford to push myself more – I just have the one shot!

Philippa cycling with her cycling club along marshes in 2020

Philippa is part of a cycling club and goes out for regular rides with other members

“Cycling with others makes a huge difference.”

“Last time travelling the Rhine, there was just three of us, and most of the time I was at the back on my own which makes it a lot tougher. Raising money makes it so rewarding. And Family Holiday Association is close to my heart. It gives the day so much purpose.”

As Philippa prepares to challenge herself and reconnect with industry colleagues who have been through a tough time of change, it’s worth reflecting that the families they are pedalling to support have had a tough time too.  The impact of the pandemic on ordinary working families has been significant, with more families being unable to support the idea of a break or holiday than ever before.

Now facing exceptional demand, Family Holiday Association needs funds to be able to send families on breaks who are experiencing really tough times and who otherwise would not have access to a break.  The cycle is aiming to raise £10,000 and support up to 40 families to spend a few days away creating precious memories. But we all know that the benefits of a break are so much more than just a few days away, and the impact of the holiday lasts as long as the memories.

You can support Philippa and the rest of the CLIA Team by making a donation or leaving a message on their fundraising page at: https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/CLIACycle21

Check out Philippa’s top tips for new cyclists!

A graphic stating the top tips for first time cyclists: 1) Make sure your bike works properly, 2) Wear the right clothes, and 3) Don't be put off by distances.