News: Bicycling for Dolly's Books

Rod's Bicycling for Books campaign to get books into the hands of children is complete!

745 miles in 90 hours to raise funds for Oxford’s Peep Imagination Library - he did it! 

We are delighted to announce that Rod completed his epic 1200km fund-raising bike ride from Paris – Brest – Paris within the allotted 90 hours raising over £6,000 in the process, including gift matching from Invesco! The oldest endurance race in the world, PBP attracts a worldwide line up of amateur cyclists who all want to push themselves mentally and physically. Dehydration, hallucinations, debilitating fatigue, injury and sleeping on the roadside next to strangers – all rites of passage of the PBP - we can see why Rod signed up!

Those who have been lucky enough to meet Rod will comment on his unflinching positivity, can-do attitude and bellowing, infectious laugh but we must applaud his mental strength the most. The physical toll of the qualification rides themselves would have been enough for most to be wishing for the back seat of a tandem, but Rod was quietly racking up the miles in his legs on his recumbent bike and powering through back problems and viruses.

Not only did he make it to the start line, he did so after contending with a broken saddle on arrival in France. Undeterred, he set off with 6431 international riders for the race of a lifetime. His twitter updates illustrated the mental and physical pain that he was going through, but he persevered and finished within the allotted time!

What was Rods motivation?  “For some parents who perhaps have to choose between heating or eating, or are simply just finding it hard to spend enough time with their young children, books can provide that magical moment - a shared space with just you and your child - that can make all the difference.  Some of my best memories from when my own kids were young have been the stories we shared at bedtime or in the car. Peeple are providing the books and the support to help create those moments, and to help fire children's imaginations.”  

All the money raised by Rod’s efforts will fund books for the Peep Dolly Parton Imagination Library, which gives books to children in the Leys, Littlemore, Rosehill and Berinsfield areas of Oxfordshire.   

Our favourite tweet from Rod during his cycle: “What am I doing? I've had approx 5 hrs sleep in the last four days. I'm sweaty and dirty and tired. My limbs are screaming at me to stop. The best decision would be to book in to a hotel, wash and sleep, but I'm not making good decisions.”

Rod, we are so grateful for your ‘bad’ decision. Thank you from us, and all the recipients of the Dolly’s Imagination Library books that you – and all your generous supporters and donors - have funded. We, and the Little Peeple Nursery peloton, can’t wait to welcome you back for a victory lap with us in Littlemore.

For further information or to talk about a fundraising idea, please contact

Thank you to everybody who has donated to fund more books for more children via Peep’s Imagination Library.  Please continue to spread the word to friends, family and colleagues. 

> You can donate via text: Text B4B followed by your donation amount to 70085        (e.g. B4B10 for a £10 donation).

Having books at home makes a real difference to babies' and children’s love of stories and books. This gives them a flying start in learning to talk and read, and extends their language - children's vocabulary at age five is the biggest predictor of how well they do later in life. 

 Read more about the Peep Dolly Parton Imagination Library, which has gifted over 50,000 books to children in Oxfordshire since 2014.

Man on recumbent bike talking to children