Re: Winter 2013/14 - Page 34

Legs Eleven the Dirty Dozen So, the first question was generally along the lines of, “what on earth made you want to do this?”, or alternatively, “on what planet is cycling a vertical mile up the side of a windy mountain in Provence a good idea?” Then I got into a conversation with some mates, as you do, about taking on a bit of a challenge. I am not sure if it is better or worse to record that no alcohol whatsoever was involved in these discussions – but that is nevertheless the case. Well, when you put it like that it is quite a difficult question to answer. But when you factor in the other details it is actually really simple. Anyway, to summarise, a group of us who are all old enough to know better decided that our common interest in cycling meant that it might be fun to do an event on bikes. Plus, if we were going to take something on we reasoned it might as well be a real challenge to work at. A few ideas were thrown around and someone said why not take on one of the iconic Tour de France climbs? Great idea we agreed. Let’s add the logistical challenge of setting the thing up in the south of France as well as doing a physical challenge that none of us really knew for sure that we could actually complete. As Chairman of Mayo Wynne Baxter I have the privilege of representing the firm at a number of charity events. Many of those events have been ones which we have sponsored for Chestnut Tree House. I am proud to say that those events have raised many hundreds of thousands of pounds. I am also very conscious of the fact that the need for funds continues the next day, and the next and so on, and that the need for the brilliant services they provide not only continues but is greater even than they can meet. So fundraising continues to be not just necessary but essential. Whilst I am proud to represent a firm that has done so much for the charity I also felt that it was about time that I personally stood up to be counted, or rather in my case sat down to be so. Added to this mixture was an approaching milestone birthday. Generally I am not too fussed about these numbers, but the half century seemed to be calling out as an excuse for something special. 32 To make it worthwhile we should get some sponsorship for charity for doing it, someone said, and then to make it interesting someone added, we should set a target of raising £10,000 between us. With what became a true feature of the enterprise all of this was easily agreed, as was the choice of charities – Help for Heroes as a national charity, and Chestnut Tree House as a loc