It’s no accident that love lies at the centre of HaLOVElo. We believe that if we are doing something we love, which benefits more than just us, and does no harm to the world, that’s about as right as we can get it. We also know that we have been very lucky to move to this Mediterranean paradise, in these troubled times on our planet, and in Europe. From our start in 2015, we have developed several ways of ensuring our impact is socially, economically and environmentally beneficial to those who haven’t been as lucky as we have, and these are proudly shown off here.
Please read on below, for more on our various charitable initiatives, supporting women’s cycling and child refugees, and opposing manmade climate change.
In 2018, we began our collaboration with the Homestretch Foundation, set up by former pro racer Kathryn Bertine (Teams – Cylance, Wiggle Honda, BMW HappyToothDental, Colavita). We will run a series of training camps / holidays called ‘Above & Beyond’, involving Kathryn in a few different ways, for the benefit of her current work in addressing gender inequality in professional sport.
Kathryn is a formidable force in women’s cycling, and as a racer she accrued many top 20 UCI finishes, three Caribbean Championships and six national championships. Both during and after her pro career, Kathryn continues to be a tireless activist for women’s cycling. She is the author of four books, two of which highlight her path in cycling: As Good As Gold and The Road Less Taken. She is also the director of the first film ever produced on women’s pro cycling: Half the Road. Expect screenings of the film, copies of the books, as well as some fundraising fun at our Above & Beyond events this autumn.
When Kathryn retired in 2017, she founded the Homestretch Foundation, which combats the gender pay gap in professional sports, and enables underpaid women to continue their pro cycling careers. In its first year, Homestretch Foundation assisted 30 athletes, across 5 different sports. Homestretch is a non-profit after our own heart, providing room and board for professional & elite cyclists in Tucson, Arizona (USA).
If you’d like to support Homestretch financially and ride with Kathryn, whilst benefitting from the experience and insight of three pro coaches, in beautiful Girona, sign up for one of the Above & Beyond camps here.
Our charitable work for Women’s Cycling started in 2015 with in-kind support for women’s teams – offering our facilities and catering at cost for training camps in Girona, to the less / non-remunerated side of the sport. We continue to use a proportion of the profit from our high-season work, to cross-subsidise training camps for women’s groups in the off-season. It’s what Robin Hood and Maid Marion would do, if his tights were lycra, and she were an aspiring racing cyclist.
Keep following us for updates on the evolution of this initiative. And do get in touch if you’re a from a group who’d like to take advantage of this offer, or have ideas about how we can help to grow the women’s side of our unequal, but otherwise beautiful sport.
Wanting to turn our pedal strokes, and those of others into direct benefit for good causes, the Halo Cycling Project co-founded the annual, and now infamous Wolf Pack ultra endurance ride in 2017, and continues as lead sponsor this year.
In our first year, our headline charity was Save the Children. We were deeply moved by the suffering of child refugees and wanted to support STC’s great work, being one of the few charities actually working at the geographic front lines of the refugee crisis. We were humbled to raise more than £10,000 pounds in our first year, and aim to do a lot more in 2018.
The challenge of the first Wolf Pack was simple: To ride from Geneva to San Remo in a single go, between sunrise on Saturday August 12th, and sunset on Sunday August 13th, 2017. The route was over five hundred kilometres and took in some of the most iconic and terrifying mountains in cycling – Télégraphe, Galibier, Vars and the Cîme de la Bonette. This represented two vertical kilometres more than the climbing of Mount Everest. In order to succeed, the inaugural Wolf Pack rode all day, all night, and all day again, over the highest roads in Europe.
This year we are riding to get people to act, rather than donate. Whilst we support the aims of charity, direct action seems to be one of the few remaining levers we have as a species to combat some of the big issues of our time. Wolf Pack 2018 will focus on Climate Change.
Climate Change is pretty overwhelming. You’re probably hoping that our governments are on it and a tech solution is going to come along that solves it. We hear you. The sad truth is that the measures in place have already failed, and a technological solution is not coming in the tiny timeframe left. We, as a species, are in a very bad place.
The good news is that the answer is clear, and we can make it happen. We have to stop fossil fuels. It’s that simple. Read on below, to see how environmental sustainability is in our blood at the Halo Cycling Project – but one company converting its training centre to renewable energy simply won’t cut it.
So we’re not asking for your money. We’re riding for your minds. We hope to inspire you to take action to avert disaster.
We’re riding for 350.org, a global grassroots campaign to help people like you find ways to pressure your governments – local and national – to take real steps to stop the use of fossil fuels. That means getting public money out of companies who profit from fossil fuels, and making them pay a just bill for their impact.
So we’re simply asking for riders to sign up to 350.org. Oh – and there is the added matter of riding from Pau (France), to Barcelona (Spain), over seven Pyrenean cols, adding up to around 525km, and almost 13,000m of climbing. But you didn’t think it was going to be easier than 2017 did you?
Environmental sustainability is just as important to us as our social and economic contributions. We have spent our first two years in Catalonia upgrading the systems and infrastructure within our estate, to minimise our environmental impact, and ensure that those who visit La Bruguera, can work on their own improvement, at little to no cost to the planet. Our 10kw array of 40 solar photo-voltaic panels provide the estate’s electricity almost all the time, and our excess energy production goes into a stack of lithium-ion batteries in our basement. Our three air-source heat pumps are one of the most efficient ways on earth to produce heat and hot water, and also heat our pool. The pool now uses a natural salt water purification system, without any need for nasty chemicals. Our drinking water comes directly from two deep on-site wells, and is thus low in embodied energy. Tested regularly, it is as clean as it comes, and has some of the highest mineral values the local labs have seen.
We grow fruit and vegetables on site, make preserves, wine (for the brave) and spirits (for the foolhardy), and we manage to do most of our business car travel using power from the sun, thanks to our plug in-hybrid electric vehicles.