|Who is this for?||Anyone in business who enjoys cycling|
|What is it About?||Networking|
|Reading Time||60 Seconds|
As an avid cyclist, I like to seize any opportunity to get out on the bike but this is normally after I finish work at the studio. So when I discovered I could mix business with pleasure I was eager to find out more. I was invited along to join a group of local business people on something a little different – the ProAktive Pedallers networking ride.
The group meet every month or so and the meeting point is usually a pub on the edge of Sheffield. On arrival, we have a coffee before our ride out and have a chat with the other riders in attendance. The people who attend have two ride options, one long ride or a shorter ride. The longer ride is usually around 30 miles and the shorter route is around 20 miles, so whatever your ability you can choose a route that is pre-published on Strava that suits your ability. The two rides normally set off at the same time and at a certain point, the groups split. I ride in the more experienced group which is a really good group of experienced riders who also like to mix business with pleasure. Rides always take in the Peak District and our group is headed up by Ian Stephenson who is a Claims Manager at ProAktive. Ian is a life long cyclist and he often picks the route for the afternoon. Once out on the road, we stay as a group and gather at the top of climbs to take a minute. This is a great chance to strike up conversations with like-minded people who are from all backgrounds.
If the 30-mile loop is too much for your legs, Peter Ryder heads up the group for the shorter loop of around 20 miles. The average speed of this group is a little more leisurely and perfect for those wanting to take in the views of the Peak District at a steadier pace.
On our return, we are greeted by Natalie Wilson who coordinates the groups and the group is offered plates and plates of fresh sandwiches and a well-earned drink. Once we have replenished ourselves there is an opportunity to network. We normally go around the room and introduce ourselves and give a short elevator pitch to the rest of the group. This is very informal and there is no pressure to produce a hard sell or pay a membership fee, just simply turn up and enjoy the ride. I have been riding with the group for over 2 years now and it really is a good way to reach out to people that you wouldn’t normally meet.
If you share a passion for cycling and someone who doesn’t normally do networking then this might well be the group for you. If you would like to attend future rides, contact Natalie and she will send you out the details and arrangements for the next ProAktive Pedallers networking ride.