T. Rowe Price - Pedal to Paris 2016
T. Rowe Price associates in London, Baltimore, and Copenhagen are gearing up to cycle from England to France for the Pedal to Paris 2016 annual charity bike ride.
From September 1 to 4, a total of 350 riders—including the team from T. Rowe Price—will cover 460 kilometers (285.8 miles) by bicycle from London to Paris. The ride supports the Royal British Legion, which serves men and women in the armed forces, veterans, and their families.
This is the Legion’s 21st annual Pedal to Paris event, and it is the only charity ride that is escorted into the French capital by police outriders. The ride culminates in a memorial service at the Arc de Triomphe, which is closed for the event. The only other cycling event that receives this honor is the Tour de France.
T. Rowe Price is an official corporate sponsor of the event. “Pedal to Paris offered a unique opportunity to support an important cause that is bringing our associates together globally,” says Renee Christoff, head of Corporate Social Responsibility. “Our sponsorship complements their efforts and furthers our commitment to supporting organizations that help veterans, which is important to associates across the firm.”
Twenty-four riders from both sides of the Atlantic are signed up for the event (see the list below). Team Captain Toby Baker, a senior Fixed Income trader based in London, says the geographically diverse team is a reflection of the evolving global nature of the business.
Riders from London include (left to right) Andy Carter, Rob Thomas, Toby Baker, Helen Hardaker, Jay Moggridge, and Alistair Gilmour.
“We are a global company but very rarely get the opportunity to combine our international sporting prowess,” Toby says. “I knew we had keen and enthusiastic cyclists from both sides of the pond, as I cycled with the Baltimore colleagues during an offsite near the Chesapeake Bay. It’s great to have the opportunity to get to know our colleagues better while supporting the Royal British Legion.”
Toby says he rode around Portugal and Spain in his early teens and is “hoping that the hills in Europe have flattened some 25 years later.” Like most of the riders, he has started light training and intends to extend his rides as the weather gets better.
Peter Preisler, head of EMEA in GIS, also is an avid cyclist. He normally rides 50 km to 100 km (30 to 80 miles) a couple of times a week (weather permitting). And in April, he attended a seven-day training trip in Mallorca, Spain, with his 15-year-old daughter and her triathlon team that had them cycling between 70 km and 150 km (43 to 93 miles) every day in very hilly terrain.
“I did not enjoy it and was about to die every day—but I said to myself that, if I could do that, I would definitely be able to do London to Paris,” he says.
Be Careful What You Agree to in the Pub
Not all the riders are as experienced. “This will be a first for me, says Helen Hardaker, a senior production support analyst in Global Technology. “I think that became pretty obvious to the (very patient) man selling me a bike.”
What convinced her to join?
“The very persuasive people at T. Rowe Price, who assure me it’s mostly downhill,” Helen says, although she notes it was a “potentially questionable use of the word ‘mostly.’” Still, she’s glad to have signed up. “It looks like a great ride, for a great cause, and I love having a challenge to work toward. Plus the weather will be lovely in September, right?”
So far, Helen has tackled clip shoes, a bruised knee, some dubious tan lines, a puncture, some nettles, and a hill big enough to have a name. “I’ve stopped falling off, and I got up a hill with a name, so that’s a start,” she says.
Day 1: London to Calais 80miles (129km):Leave the capital bright and early and head south through some of Kent’s finest scenery.
Day 2: Calais to Abbeville 75.12 miles (120.9km):Through the beautiful fields and open countryside of the Pas de Calais region.
Day 3: Abbeville to Beauvais 66.5 miles (106.9km):From the town of Abbeville through the Somme and Oise regions of Picardie.
Day 4: Beauvais to Paris 62 miles (100.8km):The final stretch from Beauvais to Paris
Eight of the 24 riders are based in Baltimore, including Jane Rivers, a credit analyst in Fixed Income, who sees the event as a way to meet new colleagues, get fit, and visit France for the first time.
“I’ve been doing spin classes, and now that the weather’s nice, I’m looking forward to more outdoor rides,” Jane says. She and fellow teammate Angel Jia have ridden together once and are looking forward to more rides together and with the rest of the Baltimore crew.
Like most of the riders, Jane depends on help at home to allow her time to train. “My husband, Bill, has been picking up the slack at home so that I can train and also helps with bike maintenance,” she says. “He and my kids will come to London to cheer on the T. Rowe team.”
Working toward a common goal
In addition to a beautiful ride for a cause they believe in, the riders also value the camaraderie that comes with working toward a common goal.
“The team has been so encouraging and welcoming,” says Helen. “I was new to the company and new to cycling and the attitude from the start has been ‘how’, not ‘if’ I’m going over that finish line.”
The riders all agree that they are looking forward to their arrival in the French capital at the end of the ride.
"I knew we had keen and enthusiastic cyclists from both sides of the pond. It’s great to have the opportunity."
Head of Global Buy-side Research