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Diary of a cycling CEO

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Kinly’s cycling CEO, Tom Martin, is today [Thursday 6 July] embarking on a 1600km journey through Europe in an effort to raise funds for The Children’s Cancer Society, who support children with cancer and their families.

Starting in Denmark and making his way to Paris, Tom will spend a gruelling nine days on the bike, with Team Rynkeby – a European charity cycling team. Founded in 2002 with just 11 cyclists, the team has grown year on year, and now has over 2000 members many of whom will be joining Tom as he cycles through five different countries during this physical and mental challenge. And of course, Tom’s Kinly colleagues will be encouraging him on every peddle of the way.

Tom is going to be sharing daily updates on his highs, lows, and everything in between in this frequently-updated blog. So, if you’re interested to find out what keeps a CEO motivated during a challenge unlike any he faces in his day-to-day role, keep reading.

Good luck Tom, over to you!

Tuesday 4 July

4 July packing

09:51: Have started to pack 🙈

Wednesday 5 July

09:38: Will be loading the gear with rest of team this evening. Tomorrow is the official send off, expecting pretty large crowd there so that's going to be fun. Take the ferry, then the madness begins Friday morning!

5 July combined

18:10: Packing done! 26 cyclists, 8 service team personnel and 4 vans ready to make the journey to Paris 👍

Thursday 6 July

07:04: Official send-off with the local mayor later, meet & greet for family and friends, a visit to the children's cancer ward we are fundraising for and a police escort en route 

14:34: Can't back out now

6 July with sons

17:05: Tom's family is there to wave him off. Youngest is worried whether Dad will eat enough on tour. Eldest can't believe anyone would want to cycle that far of their own free will 😅


6 July bikes

6 July group photo

Friday 7 July

7 July breakfast

10:07: Breakfast 06.30. Broken sleep, four middle-aged hairy men in a small room with no windows on a Ferry… Today's stage is in Denmark; Hirtsals to Silkeborg. 190km nice and flat. Weather forecast is dry but plenty of wind from the west.

15:11: Quite an emotional day yesterday, seeing everyone involved that makes things like this possible. We spent quite a bit of time with the children’s cancer society hearing about their work and what these donations mean for their work and future research capabilities. We also met families of those previously and currently affected and being treated. It reminds us all why we are doing this. If kids that are currently undergoing chemo can come out and cheer us on like they did yesterday, then we can make it to Paris no matter what.

Cycling team resting

15:16: Food break… good break.

18:09: Day 1 done. 192km and 7hrs 40 minutes on the bike. Smooth and pretty uneventful apart for some minor technical issues. Ready to onboard some serious calories in the restaurant/bar now 👍

Saturday 8 July

Day 2 map

06:49: Stage 2. Another 192km. Beautiful weather, if all goes well we will be through Denmark and will be sleeping in Germany tonight.

8 July group

18:53: Loads of positive response from the Danish public (where Rynkeby started). Flags, people cheering us along the route and a standing ovation when we arrived and left the hotel. Now it’s German beers in Germany! Have completed the Denmark part of the trip, now 4 days getting through Germany before Belgium. Warm day 192km in 7.5 hours, but all good. Team in high spirits so far 👍

Sunday 9 July

9 July route

05:56: Relatively short stage today (180km) before some longer ones early next week. Biggest challenge today will undoubtedly be the heat, it’s going to be 32 degrees by mid-day. 

12:02: Plan for tackling today = Drinking approx 1 litre fluids per hour when cycling, adding electrolytes and carbohydrates to replace salts etc lost through sweat. Loads of sun screen and eating constantly. Other than that, grin and bear it…I think it’s important to be thankful that I'm physically capable of doing this challenge, and to remember why I'm doing it in the first place.

9 July cake

12:16: And, there’s always cake! 

Monday 10 July

06:08: Long day planned today, over 200km. Weathers very changeable, and we will be trying to avoid the forecasted thunder and lightning storms in Bremen this morning. Many tired bodies after a sapping day yesterday in very hot conditions, but morale still high!

09:37: Tough morning. Started off with thunder/lightning and serious rain. Still 160km to go today, so the weather will make it a psychological challenge in addition to the miles ahead.

Tuesday 11 July

11 July am stop


11 July mid morning

10:03: En route towards our last stop in Germany before heading to Belgium tomorrow. I’m very impressed how well the team is working, everyone stepping up for each other. Good team meeting last night to discuss the events of the day. Several areas of my body have started to make their presence felt and have started to protest… 180km today, 30 degrees in the shade.


Wednesday 12 July

12 July Netherlands

08:50: We've made it to the Netherlands 👍

18:07: Relatively easy and slow paced day today, travelling from Germany to Belgium via the Netherlands. Tomorrow will be different, with a long and hilly stage from Liege in Belgium to Semeuse in France, including going up the infamous Mur de Huy, often affectionately known as “the longest mile in the world” due to the steepness of the climb. Strangely looking forward to some mountains areas after it being mostly flat the last few days.

Thursday 13 July

13 July combined

19:16: Brutal day on the bike, over 8.5 hours in total. Mur de Huy was quite a lot of fun, people everywhere cheering on teams coming up the hill. Some of the worst road surfaces I’ve experienced in Europe made Belgium quite a bone shaking and relatively unpleasant and slow experience. We are so lucky to have a wonderful service team that look after us, ensuring we get food/drinks every 60km or so. They sort our luggage and transport between hotels, they have a service car behind the team if things need fixing/changing etc. The logistics are nuts… I honestly don’t know what we would do without them! We are now in France, so we are starting to feel the end is in sight now.

13 July Mur de Huy


Friday 14 July

14 July map

05:52: Today we will be celebrating Bastille Day by cycling from Villers-Semeuse to Compiègne, a stage of almost 200km. Hopefully we will get to partake in some local festivities this evening, before heading for Paris tomorrow. Quite a few tired bodies and minds here now, but spirits still high. 80km today is through the Champagne region, so that will be nice 👍


Saturday 15 July

15 July finish line

13:21: Paris 👍

15 July medal

It’s been quite a journey that started back in September 2022 and ended up in Paris yesterday. It was great to arrive safe and sound into a packed park in the centre of the city with 2500 cyclists and support personnel. We have managed to beat last year’s fundraising efforts and are the team in Norway that has raised most of all teams. At the end of the day, the whole point of this event was to raise as much money as possible to support children with critical illnesses. I’m immensely proud of what the team has achieved, and its just a massive bonus we created memories to cherish along the way.



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