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Kimble Charity Bike Ride: London to Boston

By:  Ian Maddison-Roberts, Kimble’s Head of Operations

 

A group of Kimble employees and partners set out on a two-day, 160-mile charity bike ride to help raise money for research into the fight against brain tumors. In a nod to our US-based office in Boston, Massachusetts, we cycled from the Kimble Offices in London, to Boston in Lincolnshire.

All proceeds from the ride are going to the charity, Brain Tumour Research, a cause close to Kimble’s hearts, and we were motivated by the diagnosis of Carol Hayes, the wife of Gary Hayes, one of our Solutions Engineers. Following the news of the diagnosis, we decided to fundraise with fellow employees and Kimble partners (Salesforce, Elements.cloud, Garwood Solutions, and Select Technology) to show support and give back to an absolutely amazing cause.

The Trek from London to Boston

The eleven cyclists and three support crew set off from the Kimble office in Union Street London, heading to Cambridge, where we spent the first night in the University Halls of Residence (vacated by the students).

The contrast in scenery during the trip was striking. One moment we were in the busy roads in London, with Tower Bridge and the Shard in the background. A few hours later we were cycling through leafy suburbs in Epping Forest.

The fundraising also got off to a great start, when other visitors at the lunchtime pub stop, noticed all the matching cycle tops, and donated £50 to the cause. The team jokingly said that they should have just done a charity pub crawl and could have left the bikes at home!

Day one finished with an evening meal whilst watching the tourists trying their hands at punting on the river Cam. Because the pub was next to a low bridge, it made it tricky trying to propel the boats with a long pole. We were cheering hoping to see somebody capsize – so the more wobbly the boat the louder the cheers.

Day two consisted of another 80 miles from Cambridge to Boston, Lincolnshire, with a lunch time BBQ hosted by Andy Draper (Kimble’s Functional Solution Architect). Andy put on a great spread with the only rules from his wife being not to put anything on 1) a particular cocktail table or 2) the washing machine. Everything else was allowed … although we decided not to push the boundaries.

Cristina (Kimble’s UK Office Manager) also showed great spirit when Sean challenged her to cycle the last 20 miles (on the spare electric bike) if everybody made an additional donation for charity. We did, and to Cristina’s great credit she kept her side of the bargain, morphing from support crew to participant … also showing some great bike handling skills along the way!

With Cristina in tow, none of the group were going to moan about their sore legs, and everybody found a new lease of life. Chris Mitchell (Kimble Sales VP Global Accounts) even powered to the front, and captured some great web cam footage, incorporated into the Kimble video here.

All that remained after that was to find a sign with Boston on it (not as easy as it sounds) just to prove that we’d really made it, and then it was a quick change before heading out for a meal to celebrate. Tom also put all the blokes to shame by rushing off to buy flowers for his wife when we arrived in Boston. Having said that, it caused much amusement to imagine what sort of state they would be in after traveling back in the van, and then in his rucksack (as he had to cycle again after being dropped off on the way home).

Sean Hoban, Kimble’s CEO, commented

“It was a fantastic event, and my lasting memory was the camaraderie, and watching staff from different areas of the business gel together more and more as the trip went on. Usually on rides like this, participants separate into smaller groups, but we stayed as one team all working together and helping each other. It was great to see the Kimble Ethos continuing outside of work”.

Janice Wright, community fundraising manager for Brain Tumour Research in London, said:

“We were delighted to hear about the Kimble charity cycling challenge and thank all those involved for helping us to raise awareness. Sean and his colleagues have raised a fantastic amount of money, which will go towards our fight to find a brain tumour cure.”

If anybody would still like to donate, the just giving site has raised over £4k towards their £5k target, with about another £500 of pledges still to collect. Visit the just giving site here.

I also want to thank all the people who supported the event, as without them it would never have taken place.

  • Participants: Tom Crowley, Harry Fothergill, Sean Hoban, Paul Hutchinson, Adrian King, Ian Maddison-Roberts, Chris Mitchell, Richard Parker, Geoff Pople, Stu Thomson, Jasper Van den Huevel.
  • Partners: Salesforce, Elements.cloud, Garwood Solutions, Select Technology.
  • Saturday BBQ: Andy Draper
  • Support Team: Gary Hayes, Cristina Giura, Pia De Almeida
  • Tom Crowley: For all his hard work planning the route, and for leading everybody on the front for 90% of the trip.

Thanks again to everybody who has sponsored us so far, and our best wishes extend to Carol Hayes as she continues with her fight against the disease.

Oh and if anybody was wondering whether Tom’s flowers made it …