Nick Livesey, one of the founding riders, explains the story behind the name and our famous logo.
“In 2001 when we departed for the first time from Geneva to Cannes, Adrian Moat, Jake Scott, Tim Page, Chris Haworth and myself called ourselves ‘The Lions Ride’ because we were riding to the Cannes Lions festival. As we left the jetty at Lake Geneva in heavy rain we thought it was a one-off crazy thing for charity. However, once the alpine air oxygenated our arteries it took us back year after year to rediscover the same highs.”
“In 2002 we had almost doubled to 9 riders. Towards the end of the alps crossing, we were descending Col du Turini in the evening at about 10pm without any lights. We were all shattered after 3 mountain passes (Cols) that day, and we were met with the most amazing sight, thousands of Fireflies hovering over the warm switchbacks in the cool night air. It was very disney-esque. Fireflies of all colours glancing off the helmet of the rider in front like sparks and tracer fire. It was a frenzy. We were screaming for joy in the night air like lunatics. Dink! Dink! Dink!”
“We arrived at the hotel in Sospel at about 10:45pm. The kitchen was closed, but the manager kindly warmed up some rabbit stew for us which we all ate heartily. We raised our glasses to our new name baptised upon us by the mountains. The Fireflies.”
“Later that summer Jake Scott sent Adrian and myself a graphic rendition of Tour De France legend Fausto Coppi, as seen on the left here in 1949, climbing the Col du Galibier, (one of the most legendary climbs on our Fireflies route) and said we should use it as an emblem for our new name. I studied the outline of the rider and decided to take the wheels off Coppi, redrawing them above the figure at an angle to appear like his wings. I faxed it back to Jake and the logo took flight. I think Adrian has the original artwork pinned on the inside of his barge.”
“Tim Page coined the term ‘For Those Who Suffer We Ride’ which we typeset in a circle around the Firefly. This logo has stayed with us ever since and become the brand which is owned by everybody who has ridden the Fireflies since.”