(Pictured above: Paul Reynolds, left, in training for the upcoming Bums on Bikes challenge)
Though not quite as dashing as a suit and tie, for Paul Reynolds donning lycra in aid of the Bums on Bikes challenge is of equal significance, writes Alex Foster. The challenge is in support of Bowel & Cancer Research, a charity committed to funding research which will help eliminate the third most common cancer in the UK.
For Reynolds, director of family office Thamesis, his involvement with Bowel & Cancer Research (of which he is now chairman) and the Bums on Bikes challenge was born from his own personal struggles with bowel cancer.
‘10 years ago I was diagnosed with stage three bowel cancer aged 42, to say it was completely unexpected is an understatement,’ says Reynolds. ‘I was one of the lucky ones, I’m here to tell the tale, but more importantly to help do something about it.’
Reynolds’ road to full recovery made him aware that he needed to create a healthier and fitter self, which led him to cycling, something which he now adores.
‘I began cycling and fell in love with it – I’m now a full time MAMIL (middle-age man in lycra).’ A spectacular image I’m sure we all agree.
All jokes aside, the Bums on Bikes challenge is no walk (cycle) in the park. Spanning the length of Britain, the riders will be tasked with riding from Land’s End to John O’Groats. When put in figurative terms, the cyclists will be pedalling across 1,000 miles, over a period of 12 days, and a gradual climb of 55,000ft – nearly double the height of Mount Everest.
‘It’s only 603 miles as the crow flies, but that would mean pedalling across the Irish sea!’ says Reynolds. Hopefully Reynolds and his fellow cyclists won’t have to discover if lycra is waterproof.
Bowel cancer is one of the biggest hidden killers in the UK, with around one in 18 people being inflicted with it personally. It accounts for 10% of all cancers, and is the second biggest killer in the UK.
‘With stage four bowel cancer you have a 95% mortality rate, with stage one bowel cancer you have a 95% chance of living,’ remarks Reynolds. ‘Research will help identify the symptoms and signs earlier and ultimately save lives. I think it’s great that we can support great scientists in potentially making great discoveries.’
The wealth management world is already in huge support of the Bums on Bikes challenge, both on and off the saddle.
‘In regards to sponsoring us, we have already had incredible support from the wealth management community – companies like Fundsmith, Eaton Vance, Lansdowne, JO Hambro Capital Management and Sandaire have been major contributors already.
‘We have one guy from a family office and we’ve got another from Quilter Cheviot cycling with us. It’s really inspiring when people in our industry see what you want to do and are so eager to get involved and be there every step (pedal) of the way.’
With a target of £100,000, of which they’ve nearly reached the half way point, Reynolds is confident that with the further support of the wealth management world, they can raise far in excess of that amount.
The Bums on Bikes challenge starts on 10 June 2018. If you’d like to donate to this fabulous cause, please do so here