Cycle Challenge - blog
On the 18th September the Lavendon Cycle Challenge will begin! Employees from the European countries of the Lavendon Group will be completing a 790 km ride in a relay event that will travel from Germany, passing France and Belgium and finishing in United Kingdom.
The teams will be raising money for charities based in each of the four locations following employee nominations and votes.
Follow the progress of our peddling heroes as they cycle from Germany to the United Kingdom!
Our employees will allow GPRS to track their progress between Alpen, Germany and Lutterworth, UK, allowing you to get closer to the action as funds are raised for worthy causes!
|News & Updates|
An evening of celebration
Posted 28th Sept 2012
After the emphatic seven days of the Cycle Challenge, participating cyclists from across Europe came together for an evening of reflection and celebration!
Lavendon Group Cycle Challenge organiser Emma Dicken (Learning and Development Consultant - Continental Europe) receives flowers for her central role in the success of the event.
As the only female cyclist taking part in the Lavendon Group Cycle Challenge 2012, Diane Grundy received the "Most Brave" award from Nationwide Platforms' Managing Director Mike Potts.
Cycle Challenge Finale!
Posted 25th Sept 2012
After seven days and nearly 800km, the Lavendon Group Cycle Challenge is complete! At around 3.15 GMT today, the final five riders made their way to the international headquarters of Lavendon Group plc, located in Lutterworth, Leicestershire (UK).
With around 40 employees taking part in the whole event, including cyclists, drivers, organisers and more, the 2012 Cycle Challenge has brought together employees from the European countries of the Lavendon Group to achieve a truly remarkable feat!
Look out for a full report coming soon, including information on the final funds raised for worthy causes across Europe!
In the meantime, why not look back on the events of the last seven days by reading the blog below?
The end is nearly in sight!
Posted 25th Sept 2012
The end in sight for the Cycle Challenge participants!
The last leg of the cycle challennge takes the cyclist around the outskirts of London, via Luton through to Lutterworth. The cyclists are joined by Nationwide Platforms' Managing Director Mike Potts!
This morning the car park of the Travel Lodge hotel looked like a swimming pool - unfortunately not one that could be enjoyed by our team!
The cyclists made a quick visit to Luton depot. Today's cyclists are Mike Potts, Ritchie Jones, Bert Himpe from Belgium, Michael Jesierski from Germany and Gilbert Almeida from France.
The cyclists have stopped for a quick refreshment refill and bike checks before setting off past Milton Keynes via the A5. All okay and back on the road again. Lots of smiley faces in this sunshine; a stark contrast from yesterday. Cyclists are in high spirits.
On the A5 the five cyclists pass the support vehicle. The team is down to 4 cyclists now as Michael has a bit of a sore knee so is taking a break for now, all other cyclists going strong...
We stopped at the pub for a quick bite, only 20 miles to go! Cyclists all fed, watered and refreshed for the last part of the cycle challenge leg.
The skies have opened and a cloud has burst it seems, but fortunately the rain is not to stay. So, despite the downpour - we still have smiling faces. On the A5 on the way to Lutterworth finish line!
Less than 10 miles to go now!
Rain takes its toll for cyclists
Posted - 24th Septemeber 2012
Team 4 day 1 setting out from Gravesend to Luton, with a quick change over from Team 3 to team 4.
Left to right Bert Himp (Belgium) Richard Jones (Manchester) Gilbert Almeida (France) Will Temple (RSD midlands) Michael Jesierski (Germany)
It looks like there is a slight delay as Will has had to put his bike back together
The team make a quick visit to London East depot...
Gilbert mananged to survive a puncture!
Will Temple enjoying the wet weather, but there was so much rain that Michael had to wring out his socks on the way.
The traffic in London has meant that the cycle team have been separated from the support vehicle! Emma Dicken has resorted to using her phone as a Sat Nav to keep on track!
Rain has is slowly stoppiing but the Team are all cold, wet and shivering. They have all made it through the London Traffic unscathed and are now negoiating through Elstree and Harpendon.
Bert Himpe smiles despite the rain!
The cyclist have had a quick bite to eat - typically English - yes you guessed it, hot sausage rolls at the ever so glamorous petrol station. The team are reflecting on the sights they have seen so far which included the Gerkin and Wembley stadium.
Now back on the road and luckily the rain has now stopped with a glimmer of sunshine (blink too fast and you may miss it!) the riders are wet through, however this has not put a dampener on the spirits.
Cyclists are calm and collected despite ferry confusion
Posted - 23rd September 2012
The white cliffs off Dover welcome team 3 on their 2nd day of cycling to the UK.
It was a 3.30am wake up call this morning for the ferry, everybody is really tired. However there was a slight issue, - when the team arrived at the ferry terminal, the ferry company had booked the wrong date so there was a bit of a panic - Luckily the team managed to find the email confirmation of theor booking and the ferry amended the date and thankfully let the team get on. Sam Hutchings joined the team yesterday in Calais to swap over the equipment from the German and it was like challenge Anica trying to find him in his van. Karen Moulds is joining the team in the UK as the car driver.
With the ferry crossing complete and the cyclists now in UK they are well on their way with three days of the challenge remaining. The grey skies of Kent aren't dampening any spirits as the team battle on and take on the hills of the A2 dual carriageway!
With approximately 90 km long cycling stage from Dover to Cliffe be tackled. Hopefully the weather will hold out...Brits Geoff Garner and Diane Grundy gave comfort to their continental counterparts, remarking: "this is a typical English autumn"!
The afternoon brought more rain and the cyclists were challenged with flooded pathways - Luckily all cyclists have passed through unscathed and secure.
Look out for the Lavendon Group pedalo
Posted 22nd Sept 2012
Stage three of the challenge began on Saturday with six newcyclists navigating 120 km from French villages and continental sunshine on route to Calais!
Day 5 first day for team 3 Avelin to Calais. (Picture 1) Left to right - Dianne Grundy (Nationwide Platforms), Andreas Jacobs (Gardemann), Thierry Brun (Lavendon France), Flavien Lachaise (Lavendon France) and Geoff Garner (Nationwide Platforms).
So far the team have traversed scenic fields, country fetes, the legendary skills of French drivers, strong winds and more - and we're only around two hours in!
UK rider Diane Grundy conquers the hills as the team moves within 30km of Calais
Some translation tales from the table here in France. When an appetising fish called "place codback" was presented to the team, alternatives were quickly sought! Unfortunately, the other option was generic "meat", a faux-fillet translated as "wrong-thread"!
In reality though, this pleasingly turned out to be a rump steak, to everyone's relief!
Dianne Grundy brought her mascot 'Monkey' with her. When asked how she was doing whilst riding the response was "I'm alright but Monkey is spitting flies."
In breaking news from the UK, we've learned Industrial action in Brittany poses a potential threat to timings of the ferry crossing tomorrow, but never fear! The team have been pulling ideas together to resolve the situation, resulting in a suggestion from Hula-Hoop fuelled cyclist Diane Grundy which takes"peddling" home to the next level.
Its with that in mind that you'll be able to Look out for the Lavendon Group pedalo making waves towards the white cliffs of Dover tomorrow(perhaps)!
Luckily all arrived safely in Calais, the last stop for the crew in Europe, before setting upon Dover (England) tomorrow morning around 6:00 clock.
Iron man challenge for cyclists
Posted - 21st Sept 2012
Just arrived in Charleroi depot to a warm welcome, coffee and refreshments. Already 30km into day 4. The guys are like iron men! I think they believe this too if you look at the photo.
Check distance travelled via our Twitter feed
Lunch at the side of the road in France, surrounded by beautiful landscape. 98km down only 22km approx left of day 4.
Ralf Fassbender (Picture 1) a driver from Germany is on the way to the Avelin depot not far now...
Flor Machyergaele and Graham Sharp (picture 2) whistling as he cycles along, makes it look easy!
Christophe Scherpereel (front) sales rep from France, meant to driver has got into the cycle challenge and put on spare clothing and jumped on a bike. Andy Parker (middle) ralf Fassbender (back) (see picture 3)
The cyclists have arrived Safely at Avelin Depot local Time 16.44, but all was not what it seemed as the route was slightly under estimated - they ended up cycling approximately 140km!
The cyclists are all together for an evening meal in the hotel in Avelin on day 4, they are joined by the next team who will take over in the cycle challenge.
(left side - Dianne Grundy, Geoff Garner, Michael Jesereski, Gerhard Reinders,) (right side from the far end Andreas Jacobs, Ralf Fassbender, Andy Parker, Flor Nachtergaele, Graham Sharp, Flavien Lachaise and Thierry Brun)
The team have travelled 260 km in two days, which has been very demanding but also very beautiful and successful without any technical problems in Avelin.
A great achievement for all the cyclists.
Cyclist go the distance in challenge
Posted - 20th Sept 2012
After a big breakfast, team one hand over the cycles to team two, which has two UK riders Andy Parker and Graham Sharp. who are fresh and raring to go for their journey to Liège. But there was minor setback - It was really cold! The cyclists were all freezing so had to put their coats on for the first 3 hours of the ride.
However it brightened up from about 11am and turned out to be a really nice day, allowing them to take their coats off and show off their Lavendon tops.
The first leg is a steep up hill climb so they need as much energy as they can get.
The city traffic of Liège made the challege for the cyclists that much harder, at one point the team were stuck in traffic (Picture 2); fighting the pollution, cobbles and pot holes.
In the region of Liège, it was then up high where several hundred meters in altitude had to be overcome. a huge challenge for all involved which did not allow release phases. (Picture 2) Fortunately, the escort vehicle was well equipped and Gerhard Reinders provided the athletes with water, snacks and motivational words!
Paul Bauer commented 'Top of a big hill - a little tired - however a felt it was a good opportunity to show off the sponsors on the back of the shirt - honest ;)'
Over 86km in and Graham Sharp (Picture 3) is still smiling having cycled the whole day so far along with Andy Parker, Flor Machtergaele, Ralf Fassbender.
After about 114 km the group finally arrived at Charleroi today's destination, healthy and happy at the finish.
The team celebrate with an evening meal, Howvwer they are all exhuasted from the days challenges but ready for tomorrow's journey (Picture 4).
Cyclists wear their white lavendon jerseys with pride
Posted - 19th September 2012
The cool and bright weather kept team spirits high, even with the tiring legs and uncomfortable seats, which were not helped with the padded shorts.
After the first 25 kilometers, in Ruricher Weg.the crew finally confronted with the first technical problem, the first puncture of the trip! Thankfully the very well-equipped escort vehicle came to the resue and the puncture was changed quickly and the ride continued onwards and upwards.
The team came together for dinner, followed by an early night in preparation for the 107.3 km ride to Liege. It is the final evening of the first group. as four new faces will take the stage from Liege to Charleroi under the wheels.
Andy Parker was panicking a bit after only having 1 week to prepare for the hardest leg of the challenge, but it looks like his wife's flowery suitcase will give him the boost he needs for the trek!
Cycle challenge starts with happy landing
Posted - 17th Sept 2012
Good news! All equipment for the cycling challenge arrived safely in Dusseldorf with no extra charges! All cyclist will have cycle jerseys and shorts to wear.
Count down begins for the Cycle Challenge
Posted - 14th Sept 2012
With only a few days to go to the start of the cycle challenge, team spirits are on a high and cyclists' are making last minute preparations! With Andy Parker standing in at short notice as well as Diane cycling to and from work on her mountain bike, taking spinning classes at her local Gym together with Circuit Training and Bootcamp to work up her endurance.
Cyclists gear up for the challenge
Posted - 11th Sept 2012
Our five UK cyclists have been revealing their training techniques ahead of the Lavendon Cycle Challenge which begins in less than a fortnight! Diane Grundy, who will be cycling between Avelin, France and Cliffe,UK, has been peddling to and from work and combining "boot camp training" with spinning classes in the gym.
Meanwhile, it looks like Paul Bauer, who will be cycling between Dusseldorf, Germany, and Liege, Belgium, is taking a different approach to preparing for the test - focussing on gaining "optimum hydration" of an unconventional kind!
The UK Cycle team is raising money for Cancer Research UK
Posted - July 2012
Nationwide Platforms will enter all who sponsor the event into a free prize draw* for one of the high-spec Specialized bikes being used by the volunteers. Once we have reached a target of £700 we will enter a second bike into the free prize draw.
The draw and announcement of a winner will take place after the completion of the cycle challenge.
Our sponsors give us a push in right direction
Posted - July 2012
Thanks to all our sponsors for supporting us as part of this year's Cycle Challenge.
Easy Start Batteries