- Three automotive leaders cycled over 171 miles on the River Thames, raising over £202,000 so far for charity, Ben
- The trio cycled from Thames Head to London with a fundraising target of £300,000
- Water-cycling challenge has raised money to support automotive industry people going through tough times
Three automotive industry leaders have completed the Epic Thames Waterbike Ride, raising £202,000 so far for automotive industry charity, Ben, but this amount is set to keep rising.
Tim Tozer, CEO of Allianz Partners UK & Ireland; Jon Wakefield, who heads up Volvo’s Swedish national sales company and Darren Guiver, Managing Director of Group 1 Automotive, literally cycled on the River Thames from its source to London during 4th-7th July.
The challenge was over 171 miles long, with an average of around 12 hours cycled each day, with just enough time for quick comfort breaks and snacks! The challenge, which started at Thames Head in Gloucestershire, was a true test of strength, fitness and stamina from start to finish. The longest day consisted of a gruelling 13.5 hours in the saddle – from Folly Bridge in Oxford to Caversham Lock in Reading. They cycled on water alongside boats and through a total of 45 locks.
To donate: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/benilc2019
The trio cycled on water on self-propelled Schiller waterbikes until they reached the tidal Thames at Teddington, where they continued the last leg of their journey cycling on land until they reached the Thames barrier – the finish point.
On their journey, they took in many iconic sights such as Folly Bridge, Bisham Abbey, Windsor Castle, Hampton Court Palace, Teddington lock, the Houses of Parliament and Tower Bridge. A particular highlight was cycling next to the boats at Henley Royal Regatta. Using TRACKER technology fitted on their bikes, supporters were able to follow their progress in real time online.
All funds raised through this challenge will help Ben to support automotive industry people through life’s toughest challenges.
Tim Tozer said: “This was such an incredible challenge – I’m so pleased I was part of it. It really was extremely epic and we’re all exhausted now, but it was worth every moment in the saddle. We saw some incredible sights, tested ourselves physically and mentally and, most importantly, raised money for our automotive industry charity. A heartfelt thank you to everyone who has donated – we couldn’t be happier!”
Darren Guiver said: “What a truly amazing event to be part of – it’s definitely something I will remember for the rest of my life! I can’t believe I’m still smiling after 171 miles in the saddle – it was completely exhausting but an unbelievable experience. Thank you so much to all who have donated and helped us along the way, we couldn’t have done this without your support.”
Jon Wakefield said: “I can’t even put into words how it felt to be part of the Epic Thames Waterbike Ride. It really was the experience of a lifetime but also the toughest thing I’ve ever done. We pushed ourselves harder than ever before to complete this and raise as much money as possible for Ben. Huge thanks to everyone who donated, your support means the world to us, to Ben and to everyone that Ben supports.”
Matt Wigginton, Business Development Director at Ben, said: “We are in complete awe of Tim, Jon and Darren for taking on such an epic challenge to raise money for Ben. Cycling on water for over 10 hours a day on one of the busiest rivers in England is extremely tough! We really appreciate the support from all at Volvo Car UK, Allianz Partners UK & Ireland and Group 1 Automotive. I would like to say a heartfelt thank you from everyone at Ben, you guys are all amazing! The next Industry Leader Challengers (for 2020) have big shoes to fill that’s for sure.”