We were feeling the love at Tonic Towers’ Nottingham PR HQ recently, when a surprise proposal made a fitting finale to a charity bike ride undertaken by 40 volunteer fundraisers at Vision Express.

The ‘Ride4Sight’ was a gruelling two-day, 160-mile challenge, raising money for the Childhood Eye Cancer Trust (CHECT). With cycling not on Tonic’s list of sporting expertise, we helped by donating to the cause, and accompanying the ‘Ride4Sight’ cyclists to offer morale-boosting shouts of ‘keep going’ at opportune moments. Plus some PR assistance, of course.

The cycle was a fantastic event, which The Tonic is proud to be part of. Along the route we met with families who are CHECT ambassadors, each affected by a rare eye cancer called retinoblastoma. Starting from Stratford Velodrome, the cyclists headed to Nottingham via Huntingdon, Melton Mowbray and Rutland Water.

As the ride neared the Orchard Hotel finish, emotions were already high, with supporters gathered to cheer home cyclists who had been pedalling for more than 10 hours. So it was tissues at the ready when Vision Express PA Alice Jones was greeted enthusiastically by other half Michael Teft – who, it quickly became clear – had raced back to the finish line after proposing by dangling a sign over Nottingham’s A52 bridge to catch her attention as Alice rode past. It said ‘Will you marry me please?’ and a dedicated Alice didn’t stop pedalling, but gave Michael a thumbs up, shouted yes and carried on!

While Michael hasn’t divulged how many other acceptances he got as he waited patiently for over an hour on one of the city’s busiest roads, we’re sure he was happy with the most important one, from a smiling and shattered Alice.

Proving we’re a nation of romantics, the story of the proposal (along with an incredible £26,000 raised for CHECT) captured the imagination of the media. More than 35 articles were published about the ‘Ride4Sight’ finale, reaching over 750,000 people. The Press Association syndicated the story across the UK, and features appeared in the Nottingham Post and Nottingham & Long Eaton Topper, plus articles in a number of regional press, optical trade media, and cycling websites.

As the event is now done and dusted for 2014, with fond memories our attention moves to the next project. Does anyone know where we can buy a nice hat?