Thursday, 22 December 2011

A Triumph in Paris

Our second Travellers' Tale sees Head of Corporate Development, Max Livingstone-Learmouth heading off on his bike...

[caption id="attachment_1325" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="Max and Sarah celebrate at the L'Arc de Triomphe, the traditional finish for the Tour de France"][/caption]

Max is clearly not a man whose dream holiday consists of a sunbed and a good book. Along with his wife Sarah, Max realised a long-held dream by cycling the exact Tour de France route in July, two days ahead of the professionals.

We cycled a total of 2,085 miles in a total time of 146 hours and 56 minutes! That’s 21 stages at an average speed of 14.2 mph, with 107 miles on average per day. We didn’t make the podium at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris with the pros, but as they say of all riders who complete the Tour: now we are ‘Giants of the Road!

We don’t consider ourselves hardcore bike racers, we like to go for more old school touring, with panniers on the bikes, nice hotels and plenty of French food at night, although we did put the panniers in a support van on this particular trip as the distances were so long.

The mere mortals among us would probably classify 143 miles on a bike (the longest day) or a 2,744 metre climb in snow and sub-zero temperatures (the highest ascent) as pretty hardcore, but Max and Sarah have had plenty of practice over the years! Over the past decade they have both run more than 10 marathons and cycled over 10,000 miles.

Max joined Smiths News in March and is particularly grateful to his boss Jonathan Bunting for allowing him to take to the road as planned:

Needless to say, I wouldn’t normally take so much holiday so soon in to a new job, but I had been planning it for over a year before I joined Smiths News, and Jon was great about it. He might think I am crazy, but life is all about dreams – personally and professionally – and he insisted we didn’t cancel.

So will it be a more relaxing sun, sea and sangria vacation for Max and Sarah next year?

Unlikely! We have a challenging but very exciting corporate development agenda for the year ahead, and as far as holidays go, we are planning to run a marathon in San Sebastian later this year, and having cycled from John O’Groats as far as Venice over a number of previous trips, there is plenty more of the globe to continue our journey!

1 comment:

  1. So next year's community week bike ride should be easy for you Max. We'll expect to see you on at least one leg of the journey.