Last Thursday around 50 brave marketing, digital and creative professionals set off on bike. Half to ride to Brighton in one day and the rest to push on to Paris over another two days. Around 250 miles in total. 

This was the inaugural Marketing Cycle hosted by Centaur Media plc's marketing, digital and creative brands (including Marketing Week, Econsultancy, Design Week, Creative Review, The Profile Group, Celebrity Intelligence) and organised by Ride25.  

Following are some photos and links as a roundup of an excellent trip and memorable adventure.

Firstly I'd like to say a big thank you to everyone who sponsored my ride. Over 130 of you kindly donated money which has raised £3,900 (or £4,600 including Gift Aid) for Centaur's company charity this year which is Great Ormond Street Hospital. I'd love to get past the £4,000 mark (£100 to go) so would appreciate any last minute donations

Unfortunately I can't figure out a way to thank each of you individually as donor contact details aren't provided - but thanks to all of you! And I was not the only person raising money for charity. Others were raising money for their own chosen charities and the trip overall must have raised more than £10,000. 

Secondly, I would like to thank the organisers Ride25. John, Rob, Smudge, Steve, Roy, April, Emma and probably others I have forgotten. Go and have a look at their website. A fascinating concept and, I'm pleased to say, some very well executed multichannel marketing on their part - as I'd expect from a business led by a former digital marketing expert. 

Thirdly, we're starting to think about next year. Possibly both a repeat of the London-Paris leg for those that haven't done it and the second leg Paris-Geneva for those who fancy that...? In June? Interested? Get in touch with Ride25 to let them know you might be crazy enough to contemplate taking part and we can form a plan.

In the meantime here are some links and imagery from the trip:

I had a play with Instagram's Hyperlapse app - probably not to be recommended whilst cycling - and created this 6X speed footage of some of us cycling through a village in northern France just outside Dieppe. It makes us look a lot faster than we were of course!

And a few photos...

Team photo on Horse Guards Parade at the end of The Mall before setting off:

Riding down The Mall towards Buckingham Palace in London rush hour:

Richmond Park. Angus (in the middle, Design Week Editor) is smiling but it poured with rain and the wind lashed us here:

Two marketers happy to have made it to the end of the first day after 82 miles of pedalling:

Day two and we pass the white cliffs of... Newhaven:

Boarding the ferry at Newhaven bound for Dieppe:

Early morning cycling in northern France:

Open roads and rolling countryside as we set off for Paris:

Very little traffic. Just the winding road heading south:

First glimpse of Paris and the end of our odyssey from Parc de Saint-Cloud:

Under the Eiffel Tower - we made it!

John Readman, CEO of Ride25, cracks open the champagne:

And respect to the second group who arrived in the dark after over 12 hours in the saddle... held back not by being slow but all sorts of mechanical challenges that they overcame along the way:

Ashley Friedlein

Published 15 October, 2014 by Ashley Friedlein @ Econsultancy

Ashley Friedlein is Founder of Econsultancy and President of Centaur Marketing. Follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.

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