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RIDE ACROSS BRITAIN

15 July 2014

Six members of the IP Global team take on the UK's ultimate cycling challenge in aid of international disaster-relief charity ShelterBox

The Deloitte Ride Across Britain is a marathon cycling challenge spanning 969 miles across the entire length of Britain. The course begins at Land's End and travels north to John O'Groats with a duration of just nine intense days of grueling effort and spectacular scenery.

The IP Global team was up for the challenge and completed the race between 6th-14th September. Read below to find out more their journey from the months of preparation, through the event itself and their thoughts on the experience once finished. We hope you take the time to follow their stories and make a contribution to their efforts to raise much-needed funds for ShelterBox. The race may now be over, but you can still donate on the team's JustGiving page here. Dig deep for the amazing work done by Shelterbox and to celebrate the fantastic achievement by our hardworking Ride Across Britain boys!


14 OCTOBER 2014
REFLECTIONS ON THE RIDE ACROSS BRITAIN

Michael Fisher
Account Manager

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It has now been a month since the event and I have finally been able to reflect on the ride. Only now has the gravity of the task sunk in. During the event itself, I didn't really have the opportunity to think about what I was actually doing, which might have been a good thing. I simply got into the routine and cracked on with it. 

Completing the Ride Across Britain gave me a great sense of achievement and I met some amazing people along the way. It was easily the best event I've ever taken part in and the best all-inclusive holiday! 

A typical day started with a 5am wake-up call to the sounds of Take That’s not so greatest hits. After 5-10mins of pondering if I should leave the comfort of my tent, I unzip the door only to be greeted by the cold and damp. My tent looked like a bomb site. And the amount of times I packed and re-packed my backpack in search for gloves and socks isn’t even funny. I would look over to the main marquee where the food was served but even more appealing were the warm heaters in there. I kept telling myself “I can make it.” There were hundreds of other zombie-like figures walking around the campsite, clearly not used to the early starts either. Once breakfast was out of the way, the team would regroup at 7am and off we went… 

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We cycled on average for 10-12hrs each day, with checkpoints at 35miles and 65miles serving food/water. When we arrived back at base camp I would park my bike and head straight for the showers. Dinner was served at 6pm and everything you could ever want was on offer. But let’s be honest, after cycling that long I could've easily eaten anything that was put in front of me. After dinner, I would go straight to sleep.

The most difficult: Without a doubt it was the first and second day. The hills we climbed on those days were militant. I’d even go as far to say that even the most experienced Sherpas would have had a hard time cycling up them. 

The most enjoyable: Cycling through Scotland was amazing. Some of the scenery was absolutely stunning. Another highlight was having a cheeky pint here and there through the course of the 9 days (and maybe having a little too much on one occasion). 

I’d like to thank all of those who supported me and for those who didn't you still have chance to do so by visiting JustGiving here.


01 OCTOBER 2014
PHOTO HIGHLIGHTS

Caspar Dixon
Consultant (Singapore)

My initial apprehension about the Deloitte Ride Across Britain turned to massive excitement once I was on the amazing journey and cycling exciting new roads (I have cycled almost every road in Singapore worth cycling twice). My main focus was to not exert myself by pedalling too fast and burning out too soon. The weather was just so good and the scenery was so inspiring that I didn't actually feel tired until day six. Standing up, sitting down and trying to clamber out of my tent each morning hurt like hell but riding the bike was still easy and enjoyable. My favourite days were 1,2,3,5 and 8.

The IP Global team's Ride Across Britain journey from start to finish, told through Caspar's photographs.

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   I thoroughly enjoyed the nine days cycling -  it was a magical and amazing experience. Some of the places we visited only see sunshine a few days each year, but it didn't rain once during the whole nine day journey and the weather was perfect British sunshine most of the time. Thank you to everyone who has supported our journey and donated generously. With the help of my sponsors, I have raised SGD 9,321.42 for Shelterbox, which will have a massive impact on hundreds of lives around the world. 


DAY 9: 14TH SEPTEMBER 2014, THE HOME STRAIGHT!

Kyle of Sutherland to John O'Groats, 104miles

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The final day is long awaited by our hardworking riders – and it does not disappoint! This stage is an undulating ride through the remotest part of Scotland, taking in some of the best sights across Britain. Riders climb up from Kyle of Sutherland to the two highest points of the day – Cnoc Staign and Strath Vagastie – and then wind along the stunning Strathnaver valley before reaching the fierce North Atlantic coast. Finally, they ride their last miles to the finish line at John O’Groats. Well done, boys!

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'110 MILES is longer than it seems... but when the John O'Groats sign appeared around the corner... wow that was good!' 
Mike Hocking, Sales Director Asia & Europe (Hong Kong)

'The last day was a tough ride through open countryside, along a constantly undulating road with strong headwinds. When we finally arrived at John O'Groats it actually felt like I'd cycled the whole thing straight from Lands End.' 
- Caspar Dixon, Consultant (Singapore)


DAY 8: 13TH SEPTEMBER 2014

Fort William to Kyle of Sutherland, 111miles

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Today, our team rides through the Great Glen and past the memorial of the unknown soldier. The first pit stop of the day is at Fort Augustus. The route then follows alongside the banks of Loch Ness before cutting inland through Beauly to ride alongside the Cromarty Firth, ending at Kyle of Sutherland.

'For me, Day 8 was the best bit of the whole ride. Cycling next to Loch Ness on a gently rolling road with dappled light streaming through the trees was just magical.'
- Caspar Dixon, Consultant (Singapore)


DAY 7: 12TH SEPTEMBER 2014, TRAGEDY STRIKES

Hamilton to Fort William, 127miles

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This section of the Ride Across Britain is on a par with the first two days of the itinerary in terms of toughness. The day begins with our riders tackling the Glasgow suburbs in the East of the city, crossing the Campsie Fells, skirting the edge of the Trossachs and passing through Glen Ogle. After that, the route cuts across Rannoch Moor and the famous Glen Coe Pass before finishing for the night at Fort William. The final ten miles of the day may be flat however, this is the longest leg of the Deloitte Ride Across Britain at just short of 130 miles.

'Due to the lack of roads in Scotland, the Day 7 route ventured onto some commercial roads and you could sense the tension from the motorists crawling behind groups of riders. Sadly, there was a fatal accident with one of the Ride Across Britaincyclists and all the riders had to be taken off the road. The event organisers acted very efficiently, driving us and our bikes to the base camp via a detour as the road had been closed by police. Our thoughts are with the friends and family of the woman who passed, who was an accomplished triathlete.' 
- Caspar Dixon, Consultant (Singapore)


DAY 6: 11TH SEPTEMBER 2014

Penrith to Hamilton, 100miles

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Riding from Hutton-in-the-Forest, our cyclists pass through Carlisle, Gretna Green, Lockerbie and the Annan Dale, providing fantastic views of the Lowther Hills. Upon the approach to Glasgow and the Clyde Valley, our riders stop for the night at Hamilton racecourse on the southern edge of Glasgow.

'With 800 identical tents to choose from in the camps, it can be quite disorientating finding your bed for the night. Then, after a night's squashed rest in the "two man" tent, the Ride Across Britain's sense of humour kicks in with a 5.30am wake-up call to the tune of “I will walk 500 miles …” or should that be I will cycle 500 miles!'
- Mike Hocking, Sales Director Asia & Europe (Hong Kong)


DAY 5: 10TH SEPTEMBER 2014, MIKE HOCKING JOINS THE RACE

Haydock to Penrith, 104miles

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Our remaining riders, now joined by new teammate Mike Hocking, start the day cycling from Haydock Park through Wigan and Preston. The views stretch out across the Fylde coast to Blackpool Tower as well as inland to the edge of the Pennines. Ride Across Britain travels north towards Keswick before meeting the famous Shap Climb from the steep side. The stunning scenery of the Lake District provides some relief for the challenging ascent and the leg finishes at Hutton-in-the-Forest, Penrith.

'You have to think about speed, particularly the difference between pedalling 10 mph vs 15mph. Do I want to sit in this saddle for ten hours or seven? Guess I better go faster!' 
Mike Hocking, Sales Director Asia & Europe (Hong Kong)


DAY 4: 9TH SEPTEMBER 2014

Ludlow to Haydock, 104miles

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On the ride from Ludlow to Haydock Park, the route crosses the edge of the Stipperstones. Then, our team enters the Shropshire and Cheshire Plains during the middle part of the day. Day 4 has the least amount of climbing of the whole Ride Across Britain, so after an rolling start to the day, the route flattens out considerably before Knutsford. The approach to Haydock Park, at the end of the stage, is in slightly more suburban surroundings. Then, the road dissects the land between Manchester and Liverpool, passing over the Manchester ship canal via a toll bridge.

Unfortunately,Tim Murphy was forced to pull out during this leg of the race due to a bad knee injury, but the rest of the team journeys on to the next stage.


DAY 3: 8TH SEPTEMBER 2014

Bath to Ludlow, 99miles

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Our riders leave Bath via the southwest edge of the Cotswolds towards the superb crossing of the Severn Bridge into the beautiful Forest of Dean. A long steady climb up from the River Wye in Chepstow is followed by a ride into Herefordshire and onto another undulating run into Ludlow via Leominster.


DAY 2: 7TH SEPTEMBER 2014, MICHAEL FISHER CELEBRATES HIS 30TH BIRTHDAY

Okehampton to Bath, 110miles

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The ride from Okehampton to Bath provides even more significant steep inclines and descents as riders continue to skim around the edge of Dartmoor and then cross the Quantock hills. Described as one of the toughest legs of the race, a magnificent climb of Cheddar Gorge gives way to another grueling ascent up an extinct volcano to the base camp via Brassknocker Hill. 

Conquering the Cheddar Gorge wasn't the only cause of celebration at the end of Day 2. There were beers all round for Michael Fisher's 30th! However, after such a challenging ride, the exhausted birthday boy took himself to bed at just 9:15pm!

Happy Birthday Michael!


DAY 1: 6TH SEPTEMBER 2014, AND THEY'RE OFF!

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Land's End to Okehampton, 108miles

The race begins! IP Global's Tim MurphyCaspar Dixon,Michael Fisher and Tim Higgins push off, trailing the edge of Bodmin Moor and skirting around Dartmoor, mastering the short, sharp climbs and descents that Devon and Cornwall are famous for. This is a tough start to the Ride Across Britain, with some of the most relentless ups and downs of the entire route; but the views of St. Michaels Mount, the world famous china clay pits and the rugged coastline make it a fantastically scenic first leg. Good luck, boys!

'I can't feel my legs after that one and tomorrow's meant to be even longer. First day done - eight more to go!'
Michael Fisher, Sales Account Manager


12 AUGUST 2014

Michael Fisher's Radio 3 Interview

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Michael Fisher, a member of the IP Global team participating the UK's ultimate cycling challengeDeloitte Ride Across Britain next month, spoke to Noreen Mir on RTHK Radio 3 today about why he signed up, turning 30 during the race and training in Hong Kong. He is taking part to raise money for our Charity of the Year, Shelterbox, an international disaster-relief charity. Michael is joined in the studio by Martin Roeth, the COO ShelterboxClick here to listen to Michael discuss his epic journey and Shelterbox’s amazing work. To donate and support, visit Michael’s JustGiving page here.


15 JULY 2014
GETTING STARTED...

Michael Fisher
Sales Account Manager

It’s about time I faced a good challenge

Back in the UK I used to cycle to work each day, seven miles each way. Since making the move to Hong Kong, cycling to work every day seems a distant memory – until now!

I’ve never ridden anything like 100 miles in one day, let alone for nine days on the trot, so I’ve been thinking long and hard on how best to prepare for the event. The first priority is to look like a cyclist, so first thing on the shopping list was a bike. After a casual drink with some mates in LKF I told some guys about the challenge and that I was in the market for a road bike. Nothing fancy, just something that will get me from A to B, and lo and behold one of the guys told me he was flogging his 1990’s roadster at a bargain price, so I snapped it up. Result! Second on the list is the ridiculous apparel you have to wear. Now I look like a 6’1” luminous alien dressed in lycra. Great.

So for the training, or lack of it

I read somewhere that all you need to do is a 10/15-minute warm up followed by a 40-minute session twice a week, along with a longer session at the weekend. This is the plan I’ve been sticking to until recently. That was until the gravity of the task at hand set in.

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To put it bluntly, I’m bricking myself.

Now I’ve stepped it up a gear (pun intended) and I’m cycling for two hours, three times during the week, about 26miles/42km (that's a whole marathon!) and even longer during the weekends. Also hitting the gym and hiking to change it up a bit.

I’ve downloaded the MapMyRide app to record my training which is pretty cool, see the image to the left for an example of one of my recent training sessions or click here to check out my mapmyride profile.

I’ll also be posting my training route on this blog as well as  on my fundraising page.


Why am I doing it? 

Other than the fact that it's all for a fantastic charity? Well I’ll be turning 30 on the second day of the event. Like many people before me, hitting that milestone has raised questions about my ability to keep up with the youth of today and fight the inevitability of growing older. So this is the task I’ve set myself to prove I'm far from done yet and I plan to smash it.

What am I looking forward to?

Cracking open that bottle of Moet to celebrate my 30th without a doubt! Also the route. I’ll be cycling through some of the most scenic parts of the British Isles – through the rolling hills of Dartmoor, across the Seven bridge and up, down and around the beautiful Lake District to name a few.

But I’m particularly looking forward to cycling through the Manchester ship canal and seeing all the tramps bathing in the water...

Anything I'm not looking forward to? The hills. In total I’ll be climbing around 15,000 metres (gulp). I’m also kind of dreading the head winds and the traditional British rain.

I’d really appreciate it if you could visit my fundraising page here to sponsor my participation in support of the great work constantly being done by ShelterBox.

Thanks ever so much for your help – every donation, big or small, will make a huge difference to the many people ShelterBox are able to help around the world and will really encourage me to dig deep when facing those climbs! Thanks so much to everyone who has sponsored me for far – HKD50,000 is a big target but I'm sure I can make it with all your help.


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IP Global

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