Everyone is fit and well prepared, have trained hard over the past few weeks and months, but the excitement was noticeable at the start. Against the backdrop of the Brandenburg Gate, the team was said goodbye to the French embassy. Last chance to check the bike again, adjust the yellow jersey, take pictures and say goodbye to friends and family before the first day’s 150 km stage. The Berlin team has been on the road since July 9th – on the way to Paris.

The Berlin “Team Rynkeby – Hohes C” includes 22 riders, plus a five-man support team in the escort vehicle with a mechanic who will fix the bike in an emergency, and also two doctors and a nurse. A team just like the pros who are currently fighting for victory in the Tour de France in France. The Berlin cyclists are also fighting – namely for support for children with cancer. When the team arrives in Paris on July 16, they will have collected a lot of donations for the German Children’s Cancer Foundation with the 1,200 kilometers they have covered. That will be a good feeling. Last year, the Rynkeby teams cycled together 9.75 million euros; the German Children’s Cancer Foundation received 152,000 euros. That will be surpassed this time. What is still largely unknown in Germany already has a tradition in Denmark and other Nordic countries. Team Rynkeby is the largest charity cycling team in Europe. In Denmark, in 2002, the idea was born to collect money for seriously ill children and their families with a bicycle tour on the occasion of the Tour de France. The eleven hobby cyclists who set off for Paris at the time have now grown into a real movement. Today, the Europe-wide team Rynkeby includes 2,500 recreational cyclists and many hundreds of helpers. In the past 20 years, Team Rynkeby has raised around 75 million euros for seriously ill children. There are now more than 60 local teams from Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland. Teams even come from the Faroe Islands and Iceland. In 2022 there will also be a team from Belgium for the first time. From Germany, teams from Flensburg and Nieder Olm (Rhineland-Palatinate) have been cycling since 2019. New in 2022 is a team from the Rhine-Ruhr area. And the Berlin cyclists are also going on the long journey to Paris for the first time. The team was only formed last late summer and has been training for the big tour ever since. After a reference to the Rynkeby project in the “Ehrensache” newsletter, says team leader and manager Ingela Aliwell, who works as a health officer, three new team members immediately got in touch. “We collect money for a good cause – and we also have have fun with it,” says Ingela Aliwell. She is not an experienced professional cyclist and has never belonged to a cycling club. She just liked the idea of ​​doing something good by cycling and was looking forward to the route together. Unfortunately, Ingela Aliwell had a positive corona test the day before departure and now has to stay in Berlin. The team has been training hard in the past few weeks. The group met three to four times a week in order to build up an extremely strong condition by covering as many kilometers as possible. It is a colorful mixed group between 21 and 60 years old that has come together. Some have experience with long tours, for others it’s a whole new adventure. In total, the team members trained around 2,500 kilometers. All members of the team pay themselves for the uniform racing bike prescribed by Rynkeby headquarters, the hotels on the route, food and team clothing. The trip to Paris is expressly not intended to be a race. “We drive together in a group, everyone supports each other so that we can make it to Paris together as a team,” says Ingela Aliwell: “We want to drive safely and get to our destination safely, while also having a lot of social contact.” Of course, they are already looking forward to meeting and getting to know the around 2,500 cyclists from the other Rynkeby team in Paris. Then, says a team member, the yellow-clad cyclists will roll through Paris together in a huge crowd. The Berlin team Rynkeby is active in a variety of ways in addition to regular training. Donations are collected, for example, at Christmas markets, special campaigns or so-called kilometer donations. This year, the German teams have already collected 250,000 euros, says Aliwell. For the tour to Paris, they looked for sponsors who would get a logo on the team jersey for 2,500 euros each. They have been successful with a number of Berlin companies. And there are also a number of donations for every kilometer covered. The team is also supported by the Berlin Chamber of Crafts, which provides a sponsored escort vehicle. More information about the idea and Team Rynkeby can be found here.https://www.team-rynkeby.de/radfahren-mit-team-rynkeby/team-rynkeby-teams/team-rynkeby-berlin