Published on 24 July, 2008
On Sunday, 13 July, seven employees from CCTV specialist AD Group's subsidiary RemGuard took to the saddle in a 60-mile Manchester to Blackpool cycle ride to raise an impressive £1,000 for good causes including the Christie Hospital in Manchester - one of Europe's leading cancer treatment centres - and the Wigan and Leigh Hospice.
Many of the group were able to purchase new bikes for the event through a generous 'Cycle to Work' scheme run by AD Group to encourage employees to look after the environment and, importantly, their own health.
Those participating in the challenging event, which began at Albert Square in the centre of Manchester and finished on Blackpool's Promenade, were Craig Aspinall, Peter Bamber, Dave Colquhoun, Simon Jenkins, David Melvin, Steve Orr and Andy Saile. Of the seven, only Peter Bamber was already an experienced cyclist for the others there was a much steeper learning curve.
Steve Orr, RemGuard's Technical Support Engineer, who persuaded everyone to take part, said: "This was really the first time I have been on a bike for over 20 years and, aside from Peter, most of the team was in a similar situation but we were determined to put the effort in to support such worthy causes."
According to Steve, given their lack of experience, they knew early on that they would have to put together a proper training plan. "We wanted to make sure that all the guys would be able to finish so we started some two months ago with old battered and borrowed bikes, beginning slowly with six to seven miles, then every week increasing this and even giving up a Sunday to ride what seemed like all day up and down hills in the area. The most we ever managed was about 43 miles but this included some quite serious hills and we all agree this - and our new bikes through the 'Cycle to Work' scheme - really helped us complete the 60 mile course without too many physical issues."
Thankfully for the riders, the weather on the day was ideal for cycling, calm and sunny with no rain to dampen their spirits.
Added Steve, "We certainly enjoyed the experience while raising funds for the Christie Hospital and the Wigan and Leigh Hospice, and are aiming to enter a 100 miles challenge next time. During the Manchester to Blackpool event we tried to stay together as a group as much as possible. As far as pace was concerned, we kept pretty much to time, thanks to our training, with my bike's computer giving four hours and twenty minutes for the actual ride time. In total, it took us six hours to reach Blackpool Promenade once all the stops and puncture repairs were added-in."
Commented Nigel Petrie, Chairman, AD Group, "I would like to congratulate everyone on their efforts. As a company, we take our social responsibilities very seriously and are extremely supportive of employees who take part in fundraising events like this which puts something back into the community. It was also encouraging to see many of the team using bikes from the 'Cycle to Work' scheme in the challenge."