Image description

The Brest2Ars idea

You may think there are few mysteries in the conversation of pink-faced, middle aged men in the pub after a midweek 5-a-side football session. The great moves, the comedy of the missed open goal and didn't Jonathan play well considering he's not getting any younger.

Its true that after a few pints of London Pride, IPA and Shiraz, it can get a little philosophical; work is not getting easier, issues at school, where are you going on holiday? And as the bar staff start to collect empty glasses and pork scratchings bags, new ideas are conceived. Plans for new careers, joint holidays, keeping kids out of trouble. Ideas that are swilled around and progressed over the one for the road. Ideas that invariably get left behind in the pub like Rob's sweaty training top.

But something curious happened two year's ago at the Compton Arms and at the Highbury Barn. Ideas managed to escape from the pub. And they've thrived outside. As a result, at least one new career has been started, holidays have been taken with new friends, and the middle aged men have cycled across the UK on the Coast2Coast route in the North of England followed by lots of families having fun in the Lake District. 

Somewhere in the aftermath of C2C, we discussed how we could extend the fun to more audacious events - perhaps we could take C2C international? Having spent holidays recently in Île de Ré in France, I knew it would be an ideal place to spend time with our C2C families. There is a town called Ars on the island which always makes by chuckle so the idea of a trip to Ars was raised in the pub.  But cycling from London to Ars is too far and we needed a more sensible start point. Paul was already planning a Brittany holiday involving a trip to St Malo. So it wasn't long before Steve, Paul and I looked at the maps and stumbled across a wittily named port town in Finisterre about 500km from Ars. The Brest2Ars idea was leaving the pub and developing legs.

Image description
Image description

It may have started as a purile joke in a pub but it does have a serious angle. Most of us will know someone who's been hit by breast cancer or by prostate cancer. So building awareness around this event is something we take seriously. Brest2Ars 2013 was the first ever joint cycling fundraiser for Breast Cancer Care and Prostate Cancer UK It raised over £15,000 for both charities and we hoped the idea would flourish into an annual event. And so it has. In 2014 a slightly larger group of men and women departed Brest on Thursday 22nd May, arrived in Ars on Sunday 25th and raised a further £10,000.

In 2015 B2A took a holiday so the dutiful parents could stand over their teenage kids witha large wooden stick and make sure they passed some GCSEs but we are hoping it will be back in 2016, bigger, better and Brestier than ever.

Thanks anyway for giving the idea some thought.