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Flamme Rouge - ​the Manchester to London Cycle Ride 2017​ \

Raising money for charity is supposed to be hard work but while cycling 425km is tough we all had the best of times doing it. Great camaraderie and a huge sense of achievement.

I’m pleased to say we all made it back in one piece, with no spills but lots of thrills. Many people had never ridden the sort of distances we were doing each day, never mind three days in a row. We cycled in three groups: Team Hawkins, Team \ and Team Brown. Each day Team Hawkins would leave first, then Team \ half an hour later and Team Brown half an hour after that. Timings worked well and we met up for lunch each day at pretty much the same time. 

Day 1 took us from our Manchester Studio in Tariff Street, through the Peak District, passing the famous Cat & Fiddle pub (sadly now closed). The scenery is awesome but the weather left something to be desired. So the slog up to the 500m peak was challenging in the wind and rain. The ride back downhill was amazing though! Buffeted by the wind we navigated narrow, gravel-laden country roads, across cattle grids and finally on a super-fast descent into Bakewell for lunch, which of course included the famous Bakewell puddings (apparently it is a ‘pudding’ not a ‘tart’).

From there we went on to Nottingham where we stopped for the night, taking the opportunity to visit Hawkins\Brown’s New Art Exchange, whose staff kindly kept it open late to accommodate us. Thank you!

“And perhaps most importantly of all we raised over £10,000 for the two charities we were supporting, For Jimmy and the Alzheimer’s Society. So a big thank you also to all our sponsors who gave so generously. ”

Nigel Ostime Project Delivery Director

Day 2 took us from Nottingham to Cambridge via Corby, where we stopped for lunch and had a guided tour of Hawkins\Browns’s Corby Cube (thanks Roger). This was the longest day at 165km so some tired legs were resuscitated by a cold beer or two on arrival at the hotel in the late afternoon. 

Day 3 was the final leg from Cambridge to London. Having stopped for lunch at the famous Blue Egg café in Braintree (a 50km detour but well worth it), the three teams met at our ‘Flamme Rouge’ - the Olympic Velodrome - and cycled together as a peleton of 24 riders, through Victoria Park and on to our new ancillary studio at Pear Tree Street, did a quick photo shoot, then on to St John Street for celebrations and prize-giving. Prizes included most improved rider (there were some proper ‘Rule #5’ performances by some of the less experienced in the group); most stylish (style always important in cycling!) and most considerate rider. Yours truly won dodgiest manoeuvre for cutting up a coach on a roundabout (apparently). 

We had amazing support from our van drivers Howard and Rob and our mechanics Jim and George. A big thank you guys; we couldn’t have done it without you. 

And perhaps most importantly of all we raised over £10,000 for the two charities we were supporting, For Jimmy and the Alzheimer’s Society. So a big thank you also to all our sponsors who gave so generously. As they say in cycling ‘Chapeau’! 

We all enjoyed it so much we fully expect to do it again in 2018 and hope to invite some friends from outside the practice to join us. Watch this space ….

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