September 2008: taking an idea and making it into a reality
Threshold’s mission is to get more people, more active, more of the time – so what could be better than creating a mass participation challenge cycling event for individuals and relay teams from John O’Groats to Land’s End over nine days. After hours swotting over maps, and discussing the ins and outs of a cycling event around the kitchen table, the Threshold directors (including Olympic gold medallist James Cracknell) revealed that there is so much stunning scenery in the UK that people have not seen, and what better way to view this than on a bike pedalling this iconic route . Ride Across Britain was born – 1008 miles in 9 days.
The start of something remarkable
With our fantastic title sponsor Deloitte (and benefitting charity ParalympicsGB) on board, Deloitte RAB 2010 was launched in the Telegraph on 24th July 2009, and by 13th August 2009 the ride was fully sold out. We were confident with our offering, and this was a really motivating start on the Deloitte RAB journey. We ensured a team of experts were in the wings supporting the event, including Prof. Greg Whyte as ‘Training Taskmaster’, and we were ready to meet the riders who had signed up to this epic challenge.
After a collection of training rides, and corporate webinars, we began to meet the Class of 2010 who could not wait to get cracking. On 12th June 2010, 472 solo riders and 63 relay teams set off from an incredibly windy John O’Groats. After a rather exciting first night under canvas (a few tents didn’t make it through!), riders were nervous but this was surmounted by excitement…their Garmin’s were set southwards, and their minds were engaged. Destination…Land’s End.
The route took cyclists through some of Britain’s most stunning scenery from the banks of Loch Ness and Lake Windermere to the revered climb of the Long Mynd and Bodmin Moor and on Sunday 20th June 94% of riders completed the inaugural Deloitte RAB.
Success – Let’s do it all again!
Deloitte RAB 2010 raised over £380,000 for ParalympicsGB which has already made an enormous difference to the preparations ParalympicsGB can offer the British Team ahead of London 2012. Deloitte were happy as over 1,200 Deloitte employees engaged with the event through riding, volunteering or working to support the event. We owe huge thanks to our sponsors and partners namely, Deloitte, ParalympicsGB, adidas, Halfords, Boardman Bikes, SiS, BMW, IHG, BP, Telegraph and Cycling Plus for helping us put on an event of this scale and making it such a success in its first year.
It was tough yet inspiring, and following the ‘glow’ riders experienced on the finish line we received lots of positive feedback, so we got straight back on it to start planning for Deloitte RAB 2012…