London to Paris on two wheels in three days. Infor is hosting its first charity cycle ride Sept 17-19.
"We gave our ride the name Cycle INFOR Heroes because we are raising monies for Help for Heroes, a nonprofit charity that supports wounded UK veterans," explains ride mastermind George Czasznicki, SVP, Finance, in Infor's Farnborough, UK, office. "The inaugural Invictus Games in London in 2014, which is a world-class athletic competition for wounded military service members, inspired many of us."
"Many of our family and friends have been impacted in some way by wars past and present," Czasznicki said. "It's definitely time to give a little something back."
"It has become a global activity," said Cal Dubresson, Infor EMEA marketing vice president. "What started out as a group of riders from the UK has now spread, so there are Infor employees from France, Germany, The Netherlands, USA, and Canada who are making this a truly international event."
Riders will depart from London's Horse Guards Parade on Sept 17, and ride 230 miles to finish at the Eiffel Tower in Paris on Sept 19. A celebration meal at a classic French bistro will cap the experience.
"I have been a little cheeky and tried to invite Prince Harry to the start," Czasznicki admits. "He is a patron of H4H, and I figured that Horse Guards was just down the road for him, but no success yet."
The first training ride was held July 18 - 50 miles up and down England's Surrey Hills. "Serious riders say we went up two climbs; I counted at least ten!" Czasznicki quipped. "It was great to high-five with some folks that I don't normally work with. I can only imagine how strong that bond will be after London-to-Paris, plus the added capers in between."
In addition to Czasznicki, the Cycle INFOR Heroes ride is being organized by Andy Oldroyd, Infor Europe head of sales operations, and Philip White, CEO of Syscap, with a professional event cycling company called Ride25. The ride is open to Infor employees, customers and partners. There are 11 sponsors: Cycleurope, Syscap, Volkswagen, Mobius, SHI, Erevena, Boyes Turner, One Pension Consultancy, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Bank of America Merryll Lynch, and Infor, of course. The goal is to raise ?50,000. Infor is donating £10,000.
Infor customer Cycleurope "has been massively supportive and is providing red-and-white helmets for all the riders and sponsoring us with £5,000," Czasznicki says.
Some Infor offices have organized additional fundraising activities. The Solihull, UK, office hosted a dress-down day, name-that-bear contest, softball and barbecue, and a cake sale. The Farnborough office will host a barbecue, and a cake sale. Lottie Nowne, a contract analyst in the Kent, UK, office who is going on the ride, got her whole office behind her and has raised ?2000+.
Caption: Riders prepare for the Cycle INFOR Heroes ride with a July 18 training exercise 50 miles up and down England's Surrey Hills.