“Bicycle, bicycle, bicycle! I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my biiiiike” said a bunch of cycling-enthusiast Xero accountants!
When we get together with our accounting and bookkeeping community, we’re not typically dressed head-to-toe in lycra. However, for a dedicated group of Xeros and Xero partners last week, that was exactly what they did.
We were thrilled to host our first ever Xero cyclosportive in and around the beautiful English countryside of the Chilterns on Friday, 16 September.
Why a cyclosportive?
For those of you like me, who before this event, had no idea what a cyclosportive was and why Xero would host one, let me tell you. A cyclosportive is a mass participation cycling event, and according to a recent Ride London survey, ‘accountant’ was listed as the top occupation for participating riders in both the 50km and 100km distances.
We loved the idea of getting some of our partners together to do something they love outside of the office, so that’s exactly what we did! As it turned out, some of our accounting and bookkeeping partners really are undercover lycra lovers, and we are here for it!
British sports journalist and TV presenter, Ned Boulting was too. Ned joined us at our pre-ride dinner at Pendley Manor and there he treated our riders to a Q+A session with our very own Cara Brooks, Xero Partner Team Manager – who just so happens to be a keen cyclist herself and the driving force behind this event.
Ned also joined us for the ride that started and finished at the well-known cyclist hotspot – Musette Cafe, in Aldbury.
While the option to do either the 50km or 100km was enough for some, we spoke with Peter from Abacus, who cycled 200km from Norwich to Aldbury for the Xero cyclosportive. Peter made the 7-hour journey from home and got to Pendley Manor just in time for dinner and to hear Ned’s talk.
“Originally I’d planned on getting the train,” Peter explains, “but when I heard there might be train strikes, I decided I’d commit to the bike and get my own way there.”
Without an overnight bag, and just the lycra on his back, Peter turned up the next morning for the 100km loop. What a legend.
Reconnecting our partner community
Come Friday morning, the grins were big and morale was high. This group of accountants and bookkeepers, whether cycling the longer or shorter route, were clipped in and ready to ride! With two stops along the way depending on the distance, the group were able to refuel and connect over their shared passion for road cycling. We cannot confirm, nor deny that anything accounting related was discussed. That wasn’t the point.
Whether it be a standard issue road bike or an e-bike with all the bells and whistles (yes, e-bikes were welcome too), this Xero cyclosportive was about getting our community together – to make new connections and reconnect with familiar faces too.
Alasdair McGill from Ashton McGill, traveled from Glasgow for the ride and summed up exactly why we do events like this:
“We were talking out on the ride… what makes Xero special? It’s community. Community is a big part of what you create, and you bring us together and enable us. We’ve had some great conversations today as accountants, which we wouldn’t do if Xero didn’t make this happen.”
Unashamedly, this from Alasdair was the cherry on top to a pretty awesome day. Happy partners with sore legs and new friends is all we could’ve asked for.
Thank you to all our partners who joined us at our first cyclosportive . If we weren’t already your biggest fans, we’re even more so now that we’ve seen you out on the bike.
For those who didn’t join us this time, and like the thought of giving the Xero cyclosportive a spin, why not ditch the turbo trainer and join us out on the road next year! Register your interest and we’ll be sure to let you know when registrations open for our next ride. As someone who’s never road cycled before, even I’m considering it!
To view the day in pictures, check out our cyclosportive gallery here.