For Opportunity International, the charity behind City A.M.’s Christmas appeal, one brave Lloyds Banking Group trader decided to tackle a 200-mile bike ride in less than 24 hours.
What made the challenge particularly gruelling was that interest rate trader Lindsay Williams decided to make the trip on a Boris bike – one of those far from light and streamlined bicycles available for Londoners to use.
Lloyds is sponsoring our appeal, and its wholesale and international banking division has partnered with Opportunity since 2005 to help raise money for its projects worldwide.
One Friday evening in September, Williams swapped his suit and comfy weekend at home for a flat-out tour of the South East with friend Lee Bartholomew. The two started pedalling in Greenwich after choosing their Boris bikes in central London, tackling both the 2012 Olympics marathon and men’s road race courses, deep into the night.
At 4.30am Lindsay and Lee arrived at Box Hill, Surrey, to face the biggest challenge of the route; nine vertical zig-zag ascents of the hill.
The heavy frames of the bikes tested their strength to the limit. With just seven miles to go and almost no energy left, they battled through the afternoon traffic in Fulham to cross the finishing line in the Mall 22 and a half hours later.
Lindsay was thrilled to complete the course within 24 hours, raising more than £2,000 for Opportunity.
He said: “If anyone uses Boris bike 18282, please be gentle with it. It deserves a rest!”