Normally, it is the work that the people produce at Playgroup that makes me proud of the company. Last week, it was something completely different that did it for me.
Seven intrepid folk, clad in Lycra, with a collection of quite impressive looking bikes, set off from our Farringdon office, aiming to cycle to our Lymington office over two days. A ride of 110 miles in aid of a great charity, Tommy’s (http://www.tommys.org), which raises funds for research into stillbirth, premature birth and miscarriages. It also provides support and information for parents-to-be.
None of the riders are particularly experienced on a bike, so the training in advance of the ride was important – although I got the impression that some of them took the training more seriously than others!
My role was an easy one – driving the support vehicle, which was loaded with bananas, energy drinks, snacks, puncture repair kits and an impressive looking pump.
Day one seemed to me to be the hardest. Firstly weaving through the streets of London, then the open roads of Surrey and Hampshire, ending at a hotel in Winchester. An eight an a half hour, 70 mile ride, which they finished together in one group. The evening meal and few drinks were very well deserved.
Day two started at Winchester Cathedral and the first challenge was the long, steep climb out of Winchester towards Romsey. A tough start, but no complaints from the team. Linda’s knee was causing her pain and I was impressed by the camaraderie, with the whole team making sure Linda was OK and that the team could stay together. And after a four hour ride, the team cycled together to the final destination in Lymington. Their next task was to answer reporter’s questions and pose for pictures, before enjoying a well-deserved late lunch.
We set a fund raising target of £2,500 – a target that was achieved 30 minutes before the riders reached the finishing line at Lymington. Donations can still be made here: https://www.justgiving.com/tourdeplaygroup
Congratulations to Paul, Steve, Linda, Jon, Dan, Tim and Jason. You are all stars.