Many moments stand out from our recent cycle to Paris: riverside picnics, canalside cycling, champagne reception at Notre Dame (courtesy of our lovely colleagues).
But it’s the less glamorous moments that have stayed with us. Towards the end of our initial stretch from London to Dover, mid-downpour, ninety minutes till our ferry left, we got our sixth puncture of the day.
Huddled beneath a dripping canopy of trees, one eye on the clock, we swapped cereal bars and passed tools with shivering hands. Our developer patiently explained repair tricks we should probably have known as our design director clutched his aching ribs (a run-in with a puddle).
But what seemed like a low point became – after ferry wine and Toblerones – a symbol of the team’s resilience, our ability to power through whatever was thrown at us.
Aided by our trusty support team, punctures became fewer and quicker to remedy. On the flatter plains of Hauts-de-France, inhibitions fell away. Who chafes where? Who needs to poo? Why can’t you poo behind a tree? And nothing says teamwork like a director asking an elderly French couple if her colleague can shit in their toilet.
By the time we were gliding through the Parisian suburbs to the Arc de Triomphe in our charity yellow-and-pink cycling tops, we’d become a slick operation, responsive to each other’s needs, and with far too much knowledge about our colleagues’ nether regions.
There’s probably a moral in here around teamwork, but at bandstand we’re reluctant to get too cheesy about these things. Suffice to say, we’ve brought a lot of what we learnt back to the agency. And we don’t just mean wearing lycra in the studio.
We’d like to thank everyone who sponsored us. All donations have gone to the incredible Brain Tumour Research, funding long-term, sustainable research and providing support to families and communities across the nation.