Metropolitan Staff Hit the Saddle in Aid of Colleague

This summer saw a group of Metropolitan employees raise more than £27,000 in sponsorship to help fund the recovery of a seriously injured former workmate, Steve McGregor. To achieve this, 19 members of our team undertook the challenging London to Amsterdam cycle ride.

We’d had the pleasure of working with Steve on many projects over the years. He’s a fantastic guy – both professionally in his role as a mechanical design specialist and in person.

But in June 2017, Steve was involved in a serious accident at work. Steel fell from a hoist above him, fracturing his skull and leaving him with brain damage. Were it not for the quick response of his colleagues, the incident could have been fatal.

By the beginning of this year Steve was preparing to leave hospital, something that represented remarkable progress, given the severity of his injuries.

At that stage though, he was still unable to move his arms and legs. In terms of therapy and rehabilitation, the 29-year-old still had a long road ahead.

When news of what had happened reached Metropolitan, Steve’s friends were keen to arrange something practical to support him and his family. And so the action plan came about: a four-day, two-wheeled fundraising ride from London’s Blackheath right through to the heart of Amsterdam.

The reaction within the company was amazing – and the final Metropolitan team sheet comprised Rob Warner, Lester Morgan, Doug Williams, Phil Collier, Dave Bushell, Stefan Chapman, John Badham, Gavin Lingham, Chris Ellis, Russell Davey, Kevin Tucker, Mark Snooks, Lewis Ryan, Graham Halls, Alex Fairlie, Daniel Frost, Josh Ballard.

A trip to Amsterdam might sound like a bit of a jaunt – but this was certainly no cycle-in-the-park.

Setting off bright and early on Thursday 14th June, the first day involved heading across Kent to Dover for the crossing to Calais. Day two saw the team ride to Bruges, and days three and four involved our guys making their way to Rotterdam and finally, on the Sunday, the bright lights of Amsterdam.

This was solid riding, with the team averaging more than 70 miles a day with precious little time to enjoy the local scenery.

And while the group had a small handful of experienced cyclists in its midst, the majority were made up of what event organiser, Chris Ellis, candidly described as those “unfit sparks and plumbers”.

Especially for the more fair-weather road-bikers, the run-up to the trip saw weekends given over to early morning starts and more than a few saddle sores.

Chris explained that this was a bit of a wakeup call for many of the lads: “A few 65 milers at the weekends and I think it has dawned on us less seasoned riders what we have let ourselves in for!”.

Aside from some minor brushes with the tarmac, we’re pleased to say that everything went smoothly, bikes and riders got to Amsterdam in one piece - and the team spirit was fantastic.

The team raised a staggering £27,751 for Steve’s rehabilitation. This will go towards the specialist private physiotherapy he is currently receiving, the cost of which Steve’s mum was covering. Without the money raised, she was faced with selling her home to meet the ongoing costs. This isn’t the end though – Chris and team are already planning a return trip for next year.