Blogger: Lex Gardner, RSPB Volunteer

A few months back, I jumped a bicycle for the first time in a decade. As a kid, riding bikes round my home village of Wicklewood was a favourite pastime but as I grew up, I grew out of my little bike and never bothered to buy a new one. However, I have rediscovered my love of cycling.

It was a rare, sunny day in April and I decided to be spontaneous and jump on my granddad’s old push-up bike he had stored in our shed. At first I was unsure and lacked confidence in riding the creaky contraption but my worries were quickly washed aside and replaced with excitement. It is safe to say I did not exactly look the part on such a hideous bike, but it felt awesome to speed down hills and country lanes, giving me a sense of nostalgia from my childhood. After this, I ventured out maybe once or twice more before realising how ridiculous I looked and decided to purchase a bike for my own.

It was around this time that I wanted to start doing more fundraising for Operation Turtle Dove. I had previously organised a little gig event and managed to raise some funds, so I figured why not take the plunge again! It wasn’t long before I knew I wanted to join my passion for cycling and birds together to formulate a charity bike ride in aid of turtle dove.

Getting back on the bike has so far been a piece of cake, so I am confident I will be able to manage the 35 mile route of Marriott’s Way, a destination I chose to ride around because of its beautiful wildlife and connection to nature. I won’t be alone either – I have enlisted help from my two ‘band-buddies’ Josh Ringer and John Gaughran. Both are great guys who share my love for a ride. On top of this, I am welcoming any fellow nature lover/bike rider to join in on the day! Are you tempted?

Turtle doves are a bird on the brink. We have witnessed a 93% decline in their population since the 1970’s and as they are one of my favourite birds, I feel strongly about taking action and doing my part in their recovery. I hope to raise a hundred pounds from my efforts and welcome and donations. Please find my just giving page here! You can also find some additional information on turtle dove here.

See you on the track!