When finance partner, Nicholas Clegg, first suggested a cycle ride taking in all eight of Porter Dodson’s offices over two days, the idea was met with considerable enthusiasm and a small working committee was formed. The RNLI was identified as a charity the firm wanted to strengthen their relationship with and with the support of their fundraising team, the Porter Dodson Great British Bike Off was born.
Being lawyers, the committee studied insurance implications and risk assessments, deemed the ride achievable and set a date. There was just a minor change to the original plan – the ride would take place in one day, not two!
With a core group of ten cyclists agreeing to take part, including member of Sherborne Chamber, Barnaby Baker, training sessions began, starting with a relatively short 20 mile ride climbing nearly 2,000ft and testing everyone’s fitness and endurance levels. The cyclists hail from Devon, Somerset and Dorset, so planning training rides that suited everyone was challenging to say the least. With one main ride including all but one of the team to practise riding as a peloton, most weekends (and some evenings after work) a smaller number of the team can be seen training around the Somerset and Dorset countryside in their distinctive yellow jerseys.
Dave Hooper of Synergy Sport and Remedial Massage Therapy has helped the team prepare for the ride, hosting a maintenance evening and showing them how to protect themselves from injuries.
Sunday 18th August saw Robyn Greenway, Laura Roper, Anusheh Burcher and Scott Bowley join Stephen Wray in the Porter Dodson 100 mile club, climbing a gruelling 2,461 feet. With this accomplishment under their belts, 121 miles seems less daunting and infinitely achievable.
The Porter Dodson Great British Bike Off takes place on Thursday 5th September, leaving the Wellington office at 6:30am. The first stop is at Porter Dodson’s Bridport office at 10:15am. All being well, the tryhard ten will arrive at Taunton at 8:30pm where staff at that office will be waiting to celebrate their success.
Scott Bowley, head of the firm’s Bridport office, said: “I’ve only recently caught the cycling bug, having bought my bike in April after some “encouragement” from colleagues, so this has been an extraordinary challenge for me. After our 100 mile training ride, we think we are all now prepared for the big bike ride”
Steve Law, Philanthropy Manager at the RNLI, works closely with Porter Dodson and commented “We at the RNLI can only continue to save lives with the generous support of the public. My thanks and best wishes to those undertaking the cycle to support our crews and to all those sponsoring them. Behind every life saved on our coasts are those giving their time, energy, and money to enable the RNLI to continue and the team at Porter Dodson are a vital part of this.”