Every year, our great client, Steamin’ Billy, picks a charity to raise money for. In 2015 it was Hope Against Cancer – this year it’s the Matt Hampson Foundation. One of the key events in the charity calendar is the Charity Bike Ride – a cross Leicestershire tour involving dozens of cyclists all travelling between 25 and 40 miles to raise a bit of cash!

Being the good Samaritans that we are, Arch sent five representatives to tackle the gruelling 30 mile slog. A few of us are accomplished cyclists, but most are relative novices, so it was with a bit of trepidation that we set off from The Parcel Yard. Five of us started out: Directors Joe, Luke, Darren and minions Steve and Joe. How many would return?

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After a shaky start (Steve got a puncture in the Parcel Yard beer garden) we headed to our first destination. A massive 1.2 miles later and we were at The Western. A Snickers bar and a quick drink  (water, obviously) later and we were off again – this time on the more daunting route to Syston – which Google maps tells me is 8.5 miles on a bike!

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We took the scenic canal-side route and, despite being split up thanks to Luke’s tyres, arrived, unscathed, at The Dog and Gun. A well deserved pint later and we were back on the bikes – to Sileby!

A bit of food at The Horse and Trumpet, and a brief respite before we traversed a massive 11.7 (let’s call it 12) miles to get to The Cow and Plough (local pub for a couple of the lads!). A triumphant beef baguette and a well earned couple of pints later and the tired legs, the aching muscles and the tear streaked cheeks were replaced with an overwhelming sense of pride (mingled with feeling a bit sick).

All in all, the Steamin’ Billy Charity Bike Ride is a fantastic day out. We saw parts of Leicestershire some of us had never even seen before, had a laugh, got some exercise and raised some money for a great cause. Keep your eyes peeled for the Arch Cycling Club, which is 100% going to be a thing after this weekend. 100%.

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