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Catching up with cyclists

As the Straumann Charity Bike Ride 2013 draws closer, we catch up with the cyclists and the sponsors

From 19-24 September, 30 bike riders are taking part in the Straumann Charity Bike Ride 2013 – a 600-mile cycling challenge to raise funds for The Cleft Lip & Palate Association (CLAPA) and Bridge2Aid.
Both charities work tirelessly to provide help and support to those in need. CLAPA provides support for all those with and affected by cleft lip and palate. It also runs confidence-building camps for children and distributes bottles and teats for babies born with the condition. Bridge2Aid delivers dental care, education and training programmes in Tanzania, and provides a community development programme for those living on the streets of Mwanza.

Close to heart
Ultimately, riders are taking part in the challenge to raise at least £1,000 each for these worthwhile charities. However, everyone has his or her own personal reasons for undertaking the challenge. For example, this is just a small element of a much larger mission for dentist, Ross Cutts, from Cirencester, who is also taking on another 17 fundraising events to raise money for Breast Cancer Care and support people affected by the disease.
His goal is to raise £18,000 by competing in 18 challenging sporting events over 18 months (with a target of raising £1,000 per event). With his first two challenges – the 60 mile Blenheim Cycle Ribbonride and a 100k Nightrider Cycle – already under his belt, he is now setting his sights on the next three – the British 10k London Run in July; the Cotswold Triathlon in September; and, also in September, the Straumann Charity Bike Ride.
He said: ‘Breast cancer is a scourge of the modern day with many families tragically affected by it. My family and friends seem to have been surrounded by it of late – some with tragic consequences. I have spent all of my working life talking to patients and have often listened to stories of inspiration, but I have never felt compelled to act upon it. Until now!’
Ashley Watson from Smile Centre, in Canterbury, annually participates in fundraising activities. Last year, he completed a charity bike ride for Bridge2Aid and earlier this year volunteered to provide dental care to those in need in Ghana.   
He said: ‘I have a passion for cycling, so it doesn’t take much to get me on a bike! But if I can raise worthwhile funds for charity by doing so, then everybody wins!’

Cycling adventure
It’s no mean feat riding 600 miles cross-country in six days, which requires a 14mph minimum pace. So in the lead up to the big event, the riders have dedicated much time to not only raising funds but to also ensuring they are physically ready to take part.  
To help make sure they were all on the right track, organisers of the bike ride, Ride2Raise, recently held a training weekend, which saw the cyclists ride more than 55 miles over two consecutive days around the Surrey hills. This not only gave an insight into what participants should expect in September, but it saw personal and professional records set!
Richard King, director of Ride2Raise, said: ‘The group of 30 were split into two, and, without a doubt, Group A was the quickest and the most cohesive we’ve ever had on a training ride, while Group B broke all kinds of personal records in the distance that they completed. Despite it being a tough weekend, spirits remained high as everyone remembered why they were taking part.
‘This is sure to be an epic ride from Basel back to Crawley. The historic Ballon D’Alsace on day one is the ‘key’ climb of the event and what everyone’s either most looking forward to, or most dreading! It’ll be tough, yes, but it has “cycling adventure” written all over it; even us hardened cycle event organisers are looking forward to this one!’

A word from the sponsors
The bike ride is kindly being sponsored by NSK, FMC, Working Psychology Ltd, Closerstill Media, Consult Search, Scotworks, and Manan Ltd, who are each making a significant donation. Below, each company explains what motivated them to get involved:

• NSK is a market leader in high-quality turbines, handpieces and small equipment. General manager of NSK UK, Alex Breitenbach, said: ‘I am delighted to support this extreme challenge and I wish all the riders good luck.’

• FMC is a multi-award winning publishing and communications company. CEO, Ken Finlayson, is sponsoring the event because it’s important to help Bridge2Aid and CLAPA continue the excellent work they do. He said: ‘As a strong supporter of many of our publications and events, I am delighted to be involved in Straumann’s mighty efforts to raise funds for CLAPA and Bridge2Aid.’

• Working Psychology Ltd offers executive coaching, commercial mediation, talent development, recruitment and management training.

• Closerstill Media specialises in professional events mainly in the healthcare and technology markets. Its portfolio includes the Dentistry Show and Dental Technology Showcase. Event director, Chris Brown, is delighted to support the cause. He explained: ‘Straumann has been a loyal supporter of The Dentistry Show and DTS for a number of years, so we didn’t have to think twice when asked if we’d sponsor this incredible challenge, especially as we’ve also enjoyed working closely with the Bridge2Aid team on various projects.’

• Treetop is a family run, highly experienced printer, based in Crawley, West Sussex and are delighted to sponsor this effort to raise extensive funds for two very deserving charities.

• Consult Search and Selection Ltd is a market leading recruitment consultancy dedicated to offering client and applicants alike the highest levels of service. Director, Michelle Lally, commented: ‘We have been a partner with Straumann for over 10 years in recruitment and are happy to support their efforts raising money for a fantastic cause. We wish the team all the very best with their venture!’

• Scotworks is the largest independent specialist negotiation skills development company in the world, with an established and experienced licensed network of 35 offices across the globe, delivering over 1,000 courses per year in 24 languages.

• Manan Ltd, is a full service marketing and creative company, and is proud to support its client, Straumann, so much so their director, Sue Karran, is also taking part. Sue said: ‘Every year, Manan Ltd sponsors various fundraising activities in the hope of making a huge difference to different charities. We wholeheartedly support Straumann in their tremendous efforts to raise huge amounts for two very worthwhile charities to help them continue the excellent work they do. I decided to take part because as well as raising funds, the completion of this challenge would also be a great personal achievement.’

Delighted with the immense amount of support received, Steve Booth, managing director of Straumann, said: ‘We’ve certainly set ourselves a task, but I am confident that we can meet and exceed our target of £30,000 and raise much needed funds for Bridge2Aid and CLAPA.’

The Straumann Charity Bike Ride 2013 takes place on 19-24 September 2013, starting at the Straumann headquarters in Basel, Switzerland and finishing at the head office of Straumann UK in Crawley, West Sussex.

Straumann is ultimately aiming to raise more than £30,000 for Bridge2Aid and CLAPA. Donations can be made online via http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com.

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