Join the ultimate cycling adventure for entrepreneurs, riding from London to Paris in September with Ride25, as part of The Founders trip
You’ll have heard it said, “cycling is the new golf”. For decades, deals got inked on lush green courses, connections were forged between members in the club house, and talk of handicaps, birdies and corporate trips to The Open were commonplace for those who wanted to get on in business.
There’s nothing wrong with golf as a sport, but it had an air of exclusivity. It also reflected the age of influence – the point in life at which power was achieved and sustained.
Cycling reflects an era in which a generation of entrepreneurs have scaled businesses fast and still have sufficient youth on their side to do a 50km loop or two at the weekend. Tech entrepreneurs will often take as much pride in their Pinarello or Bianchi as their designs on a Tesla.
And if you want to network while taking part in an activity, there is nothing quite like cycling. The hours spent in the saddle side-by-side are perfect for an intimate chat about life and work. The shared suffering on hills invariably creates a bond. And the coffee and cake stops to reward a depleted body are the time to reflect on a great day out.
So, if you like cycling, meeting other founders and investors, and enjoy a spot of adventure too, read on because there’s an unbelievable opportunity to be part of Ride25’s ‘The Founders’ trip, Leg 1, cycling 214 miles from London to Paris on September 22nd to the 24th, 2022. Starting at Home Grown, the private members’ club for entrepreneurs the ride will finish under the evening shadows of the Eiffel Tower three days later. And FieldHouse Associates is incredibly proud to be an official partner.
The ultimate adventure
10 years ago exited entrepreneur turned angel investor Rob Hamilton concocted a plan to cycle from London to Sydney in Australia – with over 100 entrepreneurial friends, while raising money for a wonderful charity, 1moreChild.
You’d think it barking mad and it would be, if undertaken in one go. Instead, he created Ride25, the ultimate cycling adventure. Like the adage about eating an elephant, which as well as being entirely unethical, would also be impossible in one go, Rob worked out a route that would require 25 exhilarating, tough, yet manageable legs – the first being London to Paris.
Fastidiously, he researched the perfect routes and stop-off points, finding great places to take lunch, stop for coffee and cake, and always a comfortable bed to sleep in at night. Around him, he assembled a support team that would take care of the every need of riders taking part – from bike mechanics to those handling the logistics of making sure suitcases reached the next hotel before the cyclists arrived.
From Pioneers to Founders
The original group were referred to as The Pioneers, the first to undertake each leg. In the years that followed the trips were recreated for others to follow in their stead. Entrepreneurs behind successful brands Skyscanner, Ella’s Kitchen, Pacific Direct, JBW Group, Instant Offices, Pod Point, Adzuna and Crowdcube became mainstays of The Pioneers. Combined, the value of their exits runs well over £1.5bn, with some yet to sell. 10 years on it’s the turn of The Founders – and there are still places. Here’s what Ride25 has achieved so far:
- Over £1m raised so far for 1moreChild, a charity set up to provide education for street children in Uganda – with some going on to study medicine or compete for Uganda in cycling world championships
- 100-plus participants every year – with the majority returning each year with designs on reaching Australia
- More than 40 deals done within the group – including investment in new start-ups
- 3,100 miles covered from the UK to Eastern Turkey across 8 legs – despite the inevitable Covid interruption
Be part of The Founders
Due to Covid, the charity 1moreChild is running low on funds, so Rob has decided to make The Founders ride not-for-profit. I can personally vouch for the sheer brilliance of being part of Ride25 trips, having taken part in The Pioneers rides, Leg 3 from Geneva to Milan (350 miles in four days) and Leg 7 from Thessaloniki to Istanbul (506 miles in 5 days), as well as a trip sponsored by Crowdcube from Bologna to Rome. And while needing a level of fitness, the delightful discovery was that Ride25 journeys are more than achievable for the vast majority, with mini-groups forming according to ability. If nothing else, the camaraderie and food will see you through. But don’t just take my word for it:
“I can honestly say that the experience of pedalling with fellow Ride25 Pioneers for over 3,000 miles over 8 years has been one of the most enriching experiences of my life. I’ve discovered new friendships, interests, fitness levels, counties, cultures, foods, wines and beers whilst also helping transform the life opportunities of those children supported by 1MoreChild.” Paul Lindley, Founder Ella’s Kitchen.
“The pride I feel from participating and therefore contributing to 1morechild is priceless. The pay back is every year I continue to pedal, work on my fitness and then have a gathering of friends with whom we shed sweat, tears and bags loads of laughter making this a top life experience I would never trade.” Lara Morgan, Founder Pacific Direct & Scentered.
“Making friends, finding new business partners, keeping fit, and exploring the quiet roads of Europe and beyond by bike, all whilst raising funds that I know are making such a difference in Uganda. So many great memories, and so many more to come. I can’t recommend Ride25 enough.” Bonamy Grimes, Founder Skyscanner.
START: 07.30 Thursday 22nd September 2022. Home Grown, 44 Great Cumberland Place, Marylebone, London, W1H 7BS. If you wish to stay at Home Grown the night before please quote Booking Code “RIDE25”.
FINISH: 18.00 Saturday 24th September 2022. The Eiffel Tower, Paris.
DAYS CYCLING: 2.5
DISTANCE: 214 miles
TOTAL CLIMBING: 9,757 ft climbing
MAX CAPACITY: 100 people
COST: £2,000 per participant – 50% invoiced on signing up directly from the charity; the remainder paid to Ride25 3 months before the trip
FIND OUT MORE: https://www.ride25.com/thefounders-leg1/