The Path Less Pedalled: What it takes to complete the Ride to REACH Fundraising Challenge

Stephanie Babinczky, Agency Stack


The following heartfelt post-ride reflection has been written by Rider #32: Stephanie Babinczky, who represented our long-term corporate partner Agency Stack on the ride. Steph has been working alongside Agency Stack’s CEO, our Advisory Board Chairperson Dan Copsey, to support our digital marketing needs since our inception. This event marked the first time Steph had step foot in Cambodia, and was able to finally see first-hand the impact of all her hard work. Prior to the event, Steph would not have considered herself a cyclist, and through this blog, she hopes that she can break down psychological barriers for people who have been considering joining us, but are concerned about their cycling ability.

In the world of charity endurance challenges, where the spirit of adventure meets a profound sense of purpose, there exist many tales of determination, camaraderie, and unexpected self-discovery. This time, it is a story that unfolds not on the well-trodden paths of seasoned cyclists but rather on the uncharted roads of a ragtag group of people (ok, some were avid cyclists) fueled by an unwavering belief in the transformative power of a few dozen selfless individuals to do good.

Steph & our Cycling Assistant Sey on Day 1 of the ride.

I stand as a testament to this narrative, a young woman whose pedals had seldom pushed a bike over pavement before embarking on a monumental journey: cycling 650kms in 8 days across Cambodia to fundraise for the community of REACH Siem Reap, hosted by Ripple Effect Rides. I was honoured to represent Agency Stack alongside Dan for this challenge.

Our Chairperson Dan Copsey, Computer Literacy Trainer Veasna, and Steph, proudly representing Agency Stack who are our long-term corporate partners.

To say I was a cycling enthusiast would be a stretch; in truth, I had never had such inclinations. Yet, driven by a profound belief in the cause and an insatiable curiosity for this adventure, I found myself eagerly committing to the challenge in early 2023 after Dan Copsey and Amanda Champion shared their experiences of their first Ride to REACH 2023 event.

With a spirit of audacious spontaneity, I ventured (rather naively) into the unknown, armed with little more than goodwill and a willingness to embrace the unexpected. The journey was not without its hurdles; each day presented a new lesson, a fresh revelation about both the terrain we encountered and the depths of resilience hidden within.

The 2024 Riders closely grouped together as they cycle across Cambodia with a shared purpose and common goal.

What truly set this experience apart, however, was the extraordinary assembly of people that made up our team of REACH Riders. From seasoned cyclists to novices like myself, we formed an incredible bond, united by a singular purpose: to champion the cause for the children and families at REACH Siem Reap.

15 selfless humanitarians on their final day in the temples.

As we pedalled our way across the sun-drenched Cambodian countryside, navigating potholes and evading wandering livestock, the true essence of solidarity revealed itself. In the face of physical exhaustion and individual challenges, we found solace in each other’s unwavering support, propelled forward by the tireless efforts of Ripple Effect Rides, who ensured our well-being every step of the way

Sreyny from Ripple Effect Rides seen smiling at every stop.

The most poignant moments came from our interactions with the local community as we rode alongside representatives from the school and witnessed firsthand the impact of our collective efforts. These encounters, imbued with warmth and authenticity, offered a profound perspective on the country we crossed, leaving an indelible imprint.

To me, the greatest challenge each day wasn’t how far we had to go but the courage to start pedalling. Getting the wheels turning was a triumph of will. Determination and community took me the rest of the way.

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A big thumbs up from Ride #09 and #39 John Mansfield on the final day exploring the magnificent temples.

Together, we not only conquered the arduous roads that lay before us but also achieved something far greater: a testament to the boundless potential of human compassion. Crossing the finish line at the REACH Siem Reap school, surrounded by the jubilant celebration of families and team members, underscored the magnitude of our accomplishment—a triumph of spirit, unity, and unwavering resolve.

As I reflect on this transformative journey, I am filled with a renewed sense of purpose and an unyielding desire to continue championing the cause that brought us together. To those who may hesitate, doubting their cycling ability or the magnitude of the challenge that lies ahead, I offer my journey as reassurance: you do not need to be a strong cyclist to make a difference.

Coffee break in the Cambodian countryside.

With a positive disposition, loads of compassion, and a willingness to embrace the unknown, the ride of a lifetime awaits, beckoning all who have the courage to embark on a path of impact and discovery.

Are you interested in joining the next Ride to REACH and making a difference in the lives of children and families with REACH Siem Reap?

Register your interest for the 2025 event by emailing Emily Williamson at emily@reachsiemreap.org

⬇️ Steph’s Video Interview ⬇️

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJG3Ui11jxM

Steph sharing a nutritious meal with the kids at REACH!

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