THINKING BUSINESS
a blog by Chris Barrow

On being back after a life-enhancing experience

Good morning – it really is good to be back after the FivegoForth Land’s End to John O’Groats charity bike ride.

I’m already getting the “how was it” questions and the challenge is knowing where to start in articulating an answer.

15 consecutive days of cycling without a break.

Seeing 1,000 miles of England and Scotland from B roads, cycle tracks, canal tow-paths and disused railways lines.

Sweating up the hills of Cornwall and Devon in September sunshine.

Battling through storms across Scottish mountain passes with hands and feet so cold that all feeling was lost.

The camaraderie of the riders and support team and the fun and laughter in the evenings.

The interviews and conversations with those affected by our chosen causes.

The generosity of our supporters, from the dental professionals and industry members to anonymous donors who simply handed us cash in supermarket car parks and hotel bars.

One of my best decisions was to keep a hand-written journal, waking at 06:00 most mornings (and a couple of times earlier) to make coffee and jot down the highlights of the previous day.

If I hadn’t done that, the whole experience would morph into a continuum of pedalling and pub dinners.

It’s Tuesday morning and I have the inevitable catch-up to face this week – emails, conversations and business travel from tomorrow morning.

As I write this, we have passed £33,000 in fund raising for Cancer Research UK, Bridge2Aid and BrushUpUK. However, we don’t intend to stop there and a conversation is taking place right now about extending our fund-raising beyond the ride itself – watch out for us at the BDIA next week and forgive us in advance if we continue to rally support for our causes for a few weeks more.

You can still donate at www.fivegoforth.co.uk

I’m very grateful to my clients, my support team in the business and my family, who allowed to me to get completely away from the business for 2 weeks so that I could immerse myself in the ride without having to think about anything else.

I return rejuvenated and ready for action – here goes.

Apart from that little voice in the back of my brain, asking “what next?”

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