As we speak, nearly 1,500 cyclists and 350 volunteers from Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway and the Faroe Islands have embarked on a seven-day 1,231-kilometer journey from Ringe, Denmark to Paris for a cause. The cause? Raising money for children with cancer.
Now in its 14th year, Scandinavia's Team Rynkeby Charity Ride is monumental - both in numbers and in purpose.
And while we are always happy to lend a helping hand when the rain and mud comes, supporting Team Rynkeby’s mission to fight childhood cancer was an opportunity we could not pass up.
“It doesn’t take long to decide that you want to help people raising funds for children with cancer,” said Ass Savers Director of Brand Jungho Kim. “If we can help play a part in ridding the world of this disease, of course we are on board.”
What is now an international charity ride raising more than €4.8 million per year had humble beginnings when it first launched in 2002. We sat down with Team Rynkeby Charity Ride organizer Ditte Friis Johansen who tells us how it all began:
AS: What are you looking forward to with this year’s 2015 Team Rynkeby Charity Ride?
DFJ: A lot of things. First of all I look forward to joyful ride with good biking friends. But it is more than the ride to Paris. During the fall and spring we struggle to collect donations for the Children Cancer Foundation and when the sun starts to warm us, the training starts. All in all it is a great feeling to do a good thing for yourself while you’re helping children with cancer.
AS: How has Team Rynkeby and the annual charity ride grown over the years?
DFJ: The idea of cycling to Paris popped up back in 2001. A Rynkeby Foods employee, Knud Vilstrup, was diagnosed with COPD (smoker's lung). He wanted to do something to ensure that he was living a healthier life and had a vague idea that he should do some physical training, but he also wanted to gain an interesting experience.
“There were 11 cyclists and one volunteer in a minibus.”
Vilstrup asked Rynkeby's Technical Director at that time, Torben Møller-Larsen, if he thought it would be interesting to cycle to Paris to see the final stage of the Tour de France on the Champs-Élysées. Møller-Larsen agreed, on condition that he was allowed to join the trip and the next year the team was formed. Vilstrup's vague idea had become a reality.
Team Rynkeby was not founded as a charity project. However, when the cyclists returned home from their first trip in 2002, they had made a profit and they decided to donate this money to the children's cancer unit at Odense University Hospital. The number of participants and sponsors grows every year along with the funds raised to fight against childhood cancer.
“We are pleased that Ass Savers will help all 1430 riders on their way to Paris when they ride to raise money for children with cancer. We are happy that the Ass Savers will save our ass when the rain and mud comes.”
AS: What role do sponsors play in supporting Team Rynkeby’s mission to raise money for children with cancer?
DFJ: Sponsors make a big difference, everything that helps us on our way to Paris is of great assistance.
AS: Why were you interested in partnering with Ass Savers?
DFJ: You save our ass when the rain and mud comes. Using an Ass Savers reduces the amount of water and dirt in the ass and the back. It is light, smart and well performing. I would call it indispensable.
Learn more about the Team on the Team Rynkeby website.