Ride of a lifetime

Mike Mitchell, Head of the Property hub Asia, talks about his recent charity bike ride.

In January 2009, a group of 17 riders – and among them Mike Mitchell, Head of the Property hub Asia – jumped on their bikes and pedalled from Bangkok to Khao Lak in Thailand to raise funds for Australian based charity Hands Across the Water which runs orphanages for the victims of the December 2004 tsunami.

To help rebuild the lives of those little ones who are fighting against some pretty big odds, each rider was required to raise money with a target of AUD10,000. Mike succeeded in getting AUD10,000 donated by individuals, and exceeded the goal thanks to an additional donation from Swiss Re. Still touched by people’s generosity, Mike sends his sincere thanks to all the clients, brokers and colleagues (and maybe even a few competitors) who dug deep for this cause.

Of course, much remains to be done to help these children, and the Bike Appeal is still open – donations can be made via the “Hands” website link above (ref. “Ride – Mike Mitchell”).

Making a difference is the spice of life, according to Mike Mitchell.

Mike, what made you ride almost 800km over 9 days?

“I am property underwriter in a business dealing with natural disasters, yet I felt that we weren't much use to the tsunami victims as so few had insurance. So this was a small way to make a difference in my personal capacity. Besides, I am a keen cyclist who loves Thailand with its beautiful beaches and delicious Thai food. So what a great way to spend the days and do a bit of good at the same time.”

How did you train for the ride?

“I set myself a practice goal of 100km per day, but often only managed some quick 50km morning rides. You can’t imagine how saddle sore you get! My strategy to acclimatise for Thailand was by eating plenty of spicy food and drinking cold beer. Of course, this came to me much more naturally!”

Would you do it again?

“[Laughs] I am still raw from the last ride. But ask me again in a few months, and I’ll probably say yes. “Hands” certainly has plans to repeat this exercise.”

January 2009

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