Special Interest Lodge News Cycling Masons in the saddle for 3 charities

Having formed the new Special Interest Lodge for London Cycling Masons under the banner of the Citizen Lodge No 2911, Master W Bro Amo Basra, alongside his son Jodh (who will have been Initiated into the Lodge by the time you read this edition of Arena) decided to take up a challenge.


They have cycled from BrewDog Canary Wharf to Brewdog Nice in order to raise money for three charities: Prostate Cancer UK, Cancer Research UK and, of course, London’s Air Ambulance. The journey would entail 1000 miles of cycling through London, Paris, a short detour into Switzerland and then finally on to Nice, on the French Riviera.

The journey started with a pristine Canary Wharf postcard outside Brewdog – Bro Amo admits that they are not remotely affiliated with the ride but offer good beer. The promise was to deliver the postcard to the branch in Nice. Bro Amo says, “We were sure the staff thought we were just after some free beer…”

The Brethren rode through Blackheath, along some serious category 1, 2 and 3 climbs through Kent, across the channel into France, deep into the Alps in Switzerland and then back into France and lower territory until finally emerging onto the beach in Nice and the Mediterranean Sea. The pair were also joined by other Masons from several other Lodges, who rode along for different parts of the journey, including Brethren joining in Paris and Switzerland who had not met each other before, all happy to contribute their time and effort.

Says Bro Amo, “As with a Masonic initiation for a new candidate, the brain still struggles to process what happened on the ride: there was laughter, pain, climbs and epic scenery. It takes quite a lof of mental and physical trauma to get over 6000ft of climbs per day up a mountain pass, to get to the other side only to find more majestic mountains awaiting your arrival. But cycling 1074 miles over 12 days, we felt like we always had the choice to stop, whereas the patients we are trying to help don’t. They just have to carry on. They were very much our inspiration.”

By the time the father and son team arrived at Brewdog in Nice, the Canary Wharf postcard was on the brink of disintegration. The staff were in a fair amount of shock at the two visitors and they were quickly rewarded with what Bro Amo calls “a good few pints” to thank them for their efforts.

Says Bro Amo, “In 12 days of pain, I think the most memorable moments were the spectacular scenery being above the clouds at Col de Corbyn; and about a mile from Nice beach where I emotionally turned to my son and said ‘we made it!’ We thank everyone for their support in donations to Prostate Cancer UK, Cancer Research UK and London’s Air Ambulance. We have so far raised £3500, but we would like to reach a much higher target. We gave it all we had, and we’ve gained a lot of pain, but also the pleasure of helping those who want nothing more than to come home and return to a normal life.”


This article is part of the Arena Magazine, Issue 54 April 2024 edition.
Arena Magazine is the official magazine of the London Freemasons – Metropolitan Grand Lodge and Metropolitan Grand Chapter of London.

Read more articles in the Arena Issue 54 here.