A team of 19 cyclists from law firm Withy King has cycled 230 miles from Bath to Paris in just three days, accompanied by two support crew, raising more than £5,500 for charity.
The ride followed hot on the heels of the Bath Half Marathon and marks the start of a six-month programme of sporting activities to help raise as much money as possible for Withy King’s three chosen charities for the next two years: Dorothy House Hospice, Prospect Hospice and Yellow Submarine.
Highlights included cycling among New Forest ponies on day one, lunch for the whole team at one of the cyclist’s parents’ houses, glorious French sunshine and catching first glimpses of the Eiffel Tower.
Challenges included spending the first night on a ferry bunk bed, battling up the steep Pont du Normandie in punishing winds with HGVs for company, and inadvertently cycling around the treacherous Arc de Triomphe.
Commenting on the cycle ride, Ali Cloak, a solicitor in Withy King’s medical negligence team, who was one of the main organisers, said: “The support we’ve received has been overwhelming. The firm really got behind us and we had a great send off from our colleagues in Bath on the first day.
“We also received a lot of support from local contacts, such as Green Park Bike Station and Iconic Cycling Events. My personal highlight was cycling into Paris on the final day, as the city came into view and we got glimpses of the Eiffel Tower getting closer and closer.
“We were all pretty emotional when we finished underneath the tower!”
Mark Hambleton, an associate in the firm’s personal injury team, said: “The camaraderie was great, other than the odd wrong turn, the route we’d planned was fantastic and everyone made it to Paris without too many dramas.
“Cycling through the beautiful French countryside and spending time with colleagues I don’t work closely with on a day to day basis were definitely the high points. I would do it again without question. On the way home, talk turned to what our next challenge might be – so watch this space!”
Abigail Sutcliffe, a conveyancing assistant in Withy King’s residential property team, said: “I enjoyed every moment of it. As I’m not a natural born cyclist, I found the prospect of 230 miles quite daunting, but very quickly relaxed knowing I was riding with some very experienced and eternally patient fellow riders!
“We left Bath to a brilliant send off from colleagues, family and friends, wound our way through beautiful rural countryside on both sides of the channel and had the excuse to enjoy (sans guilt) some delicious French carbs!”
She added: “So long as there is a willingness to push yourself, then almost anyone can cycle to Paris. This is made all the more possible with a supportive team, and in every respect the challenge is as much a test for how the individual works within a team as it is for the individual.”
Withy King continues to fundraise via its Just Giving page at: http://tinyurl.com/wksport16.
You can read more on their blog page at https://wkbath2paris.com/.