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NEWS Company

Mind does matter – R-Tour puts in the miles


Day four of the ten-day R-Tour charity ride saw a group of five riders arrive in Sheffield at the offices of Ceratizit UK & Ireland, where they were welcomed with a hog roast by the Spitting Pig Company and bike service by Bicycle Buddy. Day five saw a larger group depart from Sheffield City centre heading to Leamington Spa via Derby and Leicester. Throughout the ride one rider was equipped with air monitoring equipment as part of Ricardo Energy & Environment’s ongoing research.

R-Tour began as an Idea from Ian Behling an employee at the Ricardo Energy & Environment division in Harwell and quickly grew into a group-wide event, even generating a spin-off tour by Ricardo employees in Detroit. As someone who suffered depression and received support from mental health charity Mind, and his employer, Ian wanted to give something back. Given the strong link between physical and mental wellbeing a cycle ride between all of Ricardo’s UK sites, with riders from all of the sites taking part seemed an obvious choice. The ride, over ten days, covered 900 miles starting in Glasgow and finishing in London. Along the way some 70 riders will take part, encountering over 45,000 feet of climbing along the way.

The target is to raise £50,000 for Mind and by the time the R-Tour arrived at Ceratizit UK & Ireland’s office in Sheffield [who are sponsoring the event] on day four over half of that total had been pledged. Ceratizit UK & Ireland became involved due to its own involvement with cycling and as a long-standing supplier to Ricardo Midlands Technical Centre in Leamington Spa. In addition to a financial contribution it also provided each rider with a goodie bag containing WNT Rotor Pro Cycling accessories and on arrival at Sheffield a welcome refuel with a hog roast and, a mobile service centre to make sure riders and bikes were in top condition. The following morning the Ricardo employees were joined by Tony Pennington and Adrian Fitts from Ceratizit UK & Ireland for the next stage leaving from Sheffield and visiting Derby, Leicester and Leamington Spa.

“Unlike a physical injury or illness, it is not easy to see when mental health is fixed. In truth, it probably never is fixed, it is just better managed,” says Ian Behling. “With the help of Ricardo employee assistance and Mind I am now in control of my mental health and part of my care package was to get cycling again. Myself and a few colleagues will complete the full 900 miles, with others stepping in to tackle individual stages of the R-Tour, along with support from employees across the group and sponsors, such as Ceratizit and Cycle2Work we can make a difference for others in the way that I have been supported.”

The support from Ceratizit UK & Ireland fits perfectly with its own involvement with cycling as the Group is the owner and title sponsor of WNT Rotor Pro Cycling a UCI Women’s World Tour team, and cycling is encouraged throughout the group as part of its corporate values that include Team Spirit, Fighting Spirit and Sportsmanship. “A high proportion of our employees are involved in cycling in one form or another,” says Tony Pennington, Managing Director, Ceratizit UK & Ireland. “Therefore, we were happy to become involved with the R-Tour and support Ian and his colleagues along the way in order that they can achieve their target.”