Top new businesses of 2014: Ride25
The tour operator with a 25-ride plan to get cyclists to Australia
Founders: Rob Hamilton and John Readman
Launched: April 2014
Cycle the world, one amazing leg at a time. That’s the promise entrepreneurs Rob Hamilton and John Readman made when they set up Ride25 earlier this year.
And their cycling holiday operator has experienced an incredible first year.
Recognising a great business opportunity after organising a charity cycle ride, hundreds of enthusiastic – if not always serious – cyclists have now pedalled their way to some of the greatest cities on earth, while feasting on the glorious landscapes that break up Ride25’s journeys to Paris, Geneva and Milan.
The formula sounds brilliantly simple, but don’t be fooled into thinking anyone could do it. Four day tours with cycle-friendly routes of 70-100 miles a day. Pre-booked hotels, authentic cuisine, logistical and mechanic support, personalised branded cycling tops, a celebratory meal and the option to complete the challenge for a charity of choice.
It’s why blue-chip customers such as Google, HP, Vodafone, and 50 top names from the marketing industry, including executives from Sony and Direct Line, signed up with gusto.
It’s why the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain will be commemorated with riders pedalling from London to Paris for the Royal Air Force Benevolent Fund on Brompton bikes. And it’s why Dame Kelly Holmes and other world class athletes will take the same tour alongside fundraisers for her Trust.
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Partnerships with Strava for mapping software, Brompton Bicycles for bespoke tours and support bikes, Wiggle (the world’s largest cycling website) for marketing across European territories, and the fact more than £250,000 has been raised for charities, make Ride25’s first year in business pretty stellar indeed.
As Readman says, “We’re giving people that big hairy goal that gives you a reason to get out of bed.” What’s not to like!