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Kirk Rice Blog

Kirk Rice Team in The Halow250 Charity CycleWritten on May 10, 2018 by Kirk Rice LLP

Kirk Rice Team in The Halow250 Charity Cycle

Last weekend, the Kirk Rice team completed the Halow250 mile, three day bike ride from London to Guildford, via France in support of The Halow Project, which is dedicated to supporting young people with a learning disability aged 16-35.

The firm had previously agreed to be a sponsor of the Halow250 Cycle, but Kirk Rice Partner and Accountant, Graham Jennings, volunteered the firm to go one step further and to put a team together to take part in the charity cycle. A team of five riders was duly recruited, most of whom had some competitive cycling under their belt, with the exception of Partner, Peter Sharratt , who stepped up despite the fact that he didn’t actually cycle as a hobby or even own a road bike!

This is Peter’s account, of how he prepared for such an ambitious undertaking as a non-cyclist and how the team fared over the 250 miles from Roehampton to Goldaming (via St Malo through to Caen!).

“As someone that hadn’t cycled for years, my first step was to buy a bike! Via Vitality (our PMI provider) I get up to 50% off a new bike at Evans Cycles subject to a maximum of £500. I explained in store that my budget was accordingly £1,000 and left having spent £1,800. Lesson number one  – overspending is apparently a common hazard associated with cycling!

We then embarked on a programme of practice rides, both as a group and individually. A couple of weekends before the main event we did a 100 mile ride around Berkshire on a Saturday and then joined a ride organised by the charity on the Sunday, covering 60 miles across the New Forest and the Isle of Wight.  This really knocked my confidence as I struggled and wondered how on earth I would complete 250 miles in a few weeks’ time?  The main issue I realised, however was that I didn’t eat enough during the ride – lesson number 2, food is your fuel!

The ride started on Star Wars day; May the 4th (you know the rest) with an early start from Roehampton. Day one took us 80 miles from Roehampton to Portsmouth, a tough day with lots of hills. We arrived in time for a quick drink, food and a shower before the bikes were stored and we boarded coaches for the ferry to St Malo.

Following an overnight crossing, day two was a trip of 119 miles from St Malo to Caen. It’s tight on time as we had to get to Caen in time to get the ferry back to the UK. During the first leg, we ended up cycling with another rider called John, who was doing the ride in support of his son who has benefitted from the Halow Project.  Talking with someone who had experienced firsthand the good work the charity does provided an extra boost to the legs, however and reminded us all what a good cause we were raising money for.

The three things that were really noticeable about riding in France were the quality of the roads compared to the UK (so few pot holes), the lack of traffic and the fact that there are great long stretches of cycle tracks well away from the main roads that are just a joy to cycle along. The UK could do to take note!

Former racing driver, Damon Hill, is a patron of the charity and he was on the ride, so you’d often find yourself riding alongside him and he’d also come and have a chat during the breaks – a very nice guy and easy to talk to.

Day three was the shortest ride at 51 miles, but not one I was looking forward to, as I was aware we would be facing the same hills as on the first day but in reverse!  On the plus side, we had plenty of time and so the pace was not as frantic.  Near the end, we all converged at a pub so we could depart en masse for a sedate two mile ride to the finish, followed by a welcome home party and well deserved BBQ. 51 miles on the hottest May Bank holiday for a long time was quite gruelling but arriving in a big group to lots of cheering and clapping from friends, family and of course supporters of the Halow Project really was something that made the welcome home special and the pain of the hills were soon forgotten.

To date we have raised nearly £5,200 and we are hoping this will continue to increase and in total the event has raised an incredible £73,000. All this money goes to the charity and its good work.

If you would like to donate, Kirk’s Rice’s justgiving page link is as follows: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/KirkRiceTeam

From left to right the Kirk Rice team was made up of David Ansell, Michael Powell, Peter Sharratt, Wayne Carter and Graham Jennings.