Get on your bike

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When we introduced the Giro d’Capitale cycle ride last year we had no idea how much it would inspire our staff, clients and friends. Not only did we manage to raise nearly £3,000 for the Wooden Spoon children’s charity, we also succeeded in sparking a passion for cycling among many participants who had not previously had any interest in the sport.

Our managing partner Elin Pinnell, for example, has become a member of local cycle club the Wenvoe Wheelers, along with several other members of our team. She’s gone from having to be coaxed up Caerphilly Mountain to loving the challenge of a good hill – and she’s even completed the CARTEN 100 cycle ride from Cardiff to Tenby.

The ride inspired me too: I bought a bike especially so I could take part and had to be talked through the gears by one of the race leaders. I ended up loving it – not least because of the amazing team effort that went into the day. Whatever your level of ability, it was possible to take part and have fun in the process.

This year, as last year, there are three routes – 70 miles, 50 miles and 30 miles, with the shorter two routes including a refreshment break at a pub. We have ride leaders to make sure nobody gets lost, and people bringing up the rear to ensure nobody gets left behind. At the end of the ride we all come back to our headquarters for refreshments cooked by our excellent chefs in Cegin, our in-house restaurant.

Besides the buzz of completing the race, the participants also get the satisfaction of raising money for an inspirational charity. One of Capital’s partners, Chris Agius, sits on Wooden Spoon’s board, so we are familiar with the enormous impact the charity has on disabled and disadvantaged children.

During the past 35 years it has distributed more than £26 million to more than 700 projects, helping over one million young people. The charity funds a range of projects, including respite and medical treatment centres, sensory rooms, specialist playgrounds and community-based programmes. Some one in 10 children in the UK and Ireland have a disability and over 3.5 million children are living in poverty, so there are always more children who could benefit from the charity’s efforts. We hope to raise even more money this year towards its work.

Giro d’Capitale really reflects what Capital is all about: we take our work seriously, but we all lead full lives outside of work too. That helps us keep our approach fresh, individual and down-to-earth. A surprisingly large number of us are accomplished sportspeople: not only do we have lots of cyclists, we also have runners, triathletes, team sports players and more. It made sense, then, for us to add a sporting event to our calendar.

Last year’s Giro d’Capitale had 62 participants; this year we are hoping for more. Our race leaders are currently out recceing the routes, to ensure everyone has a great experience on the day. You don’t have to be linked with Capital to join the ride – you just need a sense of adventure and a bike. So, don’t hesitate to sign up – we’d love you to join us!

Giro d’Capitale takes place on September 21. Sign up here.