Isabella Bertold: cycling to raise awareness
Riding 1100 km in five days for ocean health
Wanting to do her part, Isabella decided that she would convince her teams to work toward becoming carbon neutral, which InstaFund Racing has managed to do for 2022. Finding ways to run a cycling team without single-use plastics is a challenging operation, requiring a lot of planning. But she is not stopping there.
To raise awareness of just how dire the pollution issue is for ocean health, Isabella will ride 1100km in five days between Saint Tropez and Cadiz. Her ride will be bookended by two SailGP events taking place in these two locations.
Love it when a plan comes together
Once Isabella decided to do this extensive ride to raise awareness, she approached her sponsors and partners to add a fundraising element to the project. It will give people a chance to bid for items provided by Isabella’s sponsors as well as the option to donate directly, the proceeds of which will go to Ocean Wise, the nonprofit organization committed to finding solutions to the world’s plastic problem.
“I’m trying to link that whole narrative in a way that is compelling, rather than just being someone saying, ‘stop using single-use plastics,’” Isabella said. “Engaging with partners like Factor meant that I could add a fundraising element to it.”
Factor Bikes will be providing Isabella with a specially designed Factor OSTRO VAM for her ride as well as a frame for her auction. “The money from the Factor bike is going to Ocean Wise to promote their programs. Particularly they have a large innovation lab around plastics and finding natural replacements for plastics,” Isabella explained.
The time and place
Isabella will be racing the SailGP event in Saint Tropez, which takes place on September 10th and 11th. The morning of the 12th she will then set off on her ride in the direction of Cadiz. Though obviously an accomplished athlete, the types of daily distances she will have to cover will definitely be a challenge for Bertold. “I know 350km in one day may not be that long of a distance for some people, but all of these days are going to be my longest days ever on the bike!” Isabella said.
With a challenging week of riding before participating in the SailGP Cadiz event, Isabella is certain to have some pretty epic tan lines by the time she finishes. “Since SailGP teams act as the racers and the pit crew, we have to be there to take down and set everything up again at the next location,” Isabella explained.
To celebrate this project, Factor has been pleased to design a very special OSTRO VAM for Isabella to ride. The special edition OSTRO VAM Oceanic Edition design has been inspired by flow and movement. The colors represent the ocean water and the sky. The ocean reflects light from the sky and at the same time reveals its own color and texture from below its surface. This design is meant to represent that harmonious connection.
Though more accustomed to the fast-paced racing of the women’s professional peloton, Isabella is looking forward to using her OSTRO on this endurance-oriented challenge: “ The geometry of the bike is really a perfect fit, and I am incredibly confident on the frame. Cornering, descending, climbing. I know that anything I require the bike to do, it will excel at.”
You can learn more about her project and make a direct donation to Ocean Wise by visiting her website here
Follow Isabella to get the full flavor of the ride