As a partner in BDO’s corporate finance team, I have enjoyed many years working in the mid-market across many sectors and with some great management teams, investors and advisers, a lot of whom I would now regard as friends. For most of us business is about people; we thrive on finding connections and building relationships. In BDOVELO, I saw a fantastic opportunity to bring people together and create something different – a sustainable business community, based around two wheels.
For me cycling is a passion –some would say obsession but I’m not prepared to admit that just yet! My cycling pre-dates the recent Wiggo-inspired craze, which is probably how I’ve managed to accumulate a number of bikes (“too many” to quote Mrs G) from the 1970s steel-framed Eddy Merckx of my youth, to the Bamboo bike I rode from John O’Groats to Land’s End in 2012. It’s hard to pick a “favourite” but the bike of the moment is probably my Trigon RCC11.
As a regular sportivist, I’ve followed wheels around the UK and Europe, having ridden the Liège – Bastogne – Liège Challenge last year and followed it up with the Amstel Gold Race this year (don’t believe anyone who says the Netherlands are flat!). There have been many “defining moments” but few come close to riding the 23 hairpins of Alpe d’Huez in advance of the Tour de France in 2011. This year, I’m aiming to complete some unfinished business with the Ride London 100 after Hurricane Bertha curtailed last year’s event. Then there are the challenges of Velothon Wales and the Revolve 24, a 24-hour relay event at Brand’s Hatch, and the end of season finale, the Legs of Steel.
Next year it’s one from my bucket list: Mont Ventoux, where my cycling hero, Tom Simpson, ran out of road in the 1967 Tour de France. I just need to work on my pitch to the family…..
At home I’m desperately trying to stay ahead of the pack although they have caught up and in most cases already overtaken me! On the bike I can just about hold my own but despite all the training, as Greg LeMond remarked: “It never gets easier, you just go faster.” Well that’s the plan!
“You can’t buy happiness, but you can buy a bicycle and that’s pretty close.” Anon