Q: What do you get if 29 cyclists complete 240 miles across two countries in three days? A: £15,000 fundraised for charity!
Since joining BAM in 2012 I’ve been lucky to be able to support BAM’s national charity partners by undertaking the annual BAM Bikes challenge, that involves BAM employees from all parts of the UK pushing themselves to the limit (on their bicycles!) to fundraise for charity. This year was set to be the toughest challenge to date. The terrain wasn’t the issue – after all, the UK and Netherlands are both known for their flatness! But we were going to ride for three consecutive days, a total of 240 miles, from the UK to the Royal BAM Group office in Bunnik, and then the opening leg of le Tour de France for good measure!

We had two teams, one departing from our Leeds office and another from Hemel Hempstead along with their support teams. Both teams cycled over 100 miles in their first day to catch the overnight ferry to the Netherlands. We then met up in Rotterdam to continue our ride to Bunnik, where we were greeted by our Dutch BAM colleagues. CEO Mr Rob van Wingerden presented us with cheques for our charity partners the Alzheimer’s Society and Yorkshire Cancer Research, and shook all our sweaty hands. The next day we set off with some Dutch colleagues to complete Stage 2 of this year’s Tour de France which starts in Utrecht this week.

One thing that struck me in Holland, was the number of methods of transport available. We saw walkers, cyclists, people on rollerblades, mopeds, motorbikes, cars, buses and trams. The cycle network is truly impressive too and really made the ride. Of the 140 miles ridden in Holland, I would guess that 90% of the time we were on dedicated cycle paths, and these aren’t lanes shared with cars and used as car parking spaces (like in Britain). This is a mini road network, specifically for two wheeled transport, and the odd farm vehicle at times! Something the UK could definitely improve.

Here’s to another successful BAM Bikes challenge next year - £15,000 is our challenge to beat! Thanks to everyone who supported us and donated to these two great charities!

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