After thirty years working as town planning consultants in London we (Jen Ross and Claire Treanor) have decided to take a sabbatical to cycle the pacific coast of the USA!
The timing is good. For the last five years I (Jen) have been working with my other founding directors on planning the succession in our company, Tibbalds Planning and Urban Design. As part of the journey we have become an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT), I have stepped down as a director and we have appointed two new directors to carry on the work of the practice.
Claire stepped down as a Partner in DP9 five years ago, set up her own practice Treanor Consulting and has been working with a wide range of her own clients ever since. It also freed time for other things such as going to college and local volunteering. Ongoing work has been put in the hands of a few trusted colleagues and as a result we can both leave knowing our clients will all be looked after when we are away.
So to the adventure ahead. We fly with our bikes and a (very) small amount of kit to Vancouver on 12th July 2018. We plan to ride some 2,500 miles, mostly down the west coast, taking a diversion inland to Portland (also tempted by Montana) and ending up in San Diego sometime in early October 2018.
We have read many accounts of people who have done the ride before us and so know we are going to see and experience some amazing things. In short it is a great opportunity to combine riding a bike with visiting some great cities, towns and landscapes along the way.
In part it will be a bit of a busman’s holiday BUT having the opportunity to visit and see how places like Vancouver, Seattle, Portland and San Francisco plan for and manage their cities is going to be fascinating and invigorating and we are sure the lessons learned will find their way back into our planning work when we return.
And finally why pacific coast pedElle-ing? Well in 2013 we set up a charity cycle ride for women in the property industry in the UK: the pedElle. Its purpose was to get women riding bikes, to provide an opportunity for networking and building up industry contacts and to raise a lot of money for charity. Six years on and six rides later, we have visited 8 European countries, 2000km have been cycled, 200 women have taken part and around £200k has been raised for charity. The ride is now a well-established part of the UK property cycling calendar and is run by the legendary Club Peloton.
Having done this we thought let’s take the pedElle to the US and make new connections with women who ride bikes stateside and if possible raise a bit more money for charity. It’s never too late to get on your bike.
So over the next few months we invite you to follow our adventures. We will attempt to tell our story through this blog, tweeting and Instagram (all somewhat alien to the middle aged, but we will try!) and if you feel inspired and should want to contribute to our two charities for the ride: CORAM and Altzheimer’s Society that would be amazing.
Both organisations do an enormous amount to help people (young and old) deal with life changing challenges. Thank you!
You can donate here: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/PacificCoastpedElleing