Supporting the hospitality industry

Hi, I'm Pete Stevens, Head of Marketing at Clockwork Marketing.Recently I took part in a fund raising bike ride for Hospitality Action - The Cotswold Cycling Challenge.

Working in the hospitality industry for over 8 years has made me aware of the impact the tourism industry has on people and the environment, both negative and positive. Hospitality Action helps people working in hospitality by providing financial support and advice to those in extreme poverty or those who are dealing with physical or mental health conditions. The charity provides direct financial support for people who are homeless, or suffering from terminal illness, as well as in-the-moment support for mental health. legal and debt management. 

Photos supplied by Ben & Terry’s images ©

Cotswold Cycling Challenge

Hospitality Action run many fundraising events throughout the year. The Cotswold Cycling Challenge was started 10 years ago, but had a covid break and is now back. This year, it was limited to 125 riders of any ability, with options for 20 mile, 40 mile, 60 mile and 100 mile routes. Collectively we targeted to raise £30,000.

The riding part is organised by a professional company who provided ride leaders and split entrants into small groups. There were 12 in my group riding the 60 mile route, we set off at 0830. Some had ridden over 100 miles a few days before, others had never done over 25 miles. All worked in hotels or were suppliers to the trade.

Calcot Hotel and Spa

The ride starts at Calcot Hotel and Spa near Tetbury in the middle of the Cotswolds. A beautiful 4 star spa hotel, that the owner Richard Ball bought in 1984 as a 7 bed hotel. Dating back to the 1300s, this stunning old property had been lovingly restored and expanded and now includes a large spa, fitness centre and exceptional dining.

The night of the ride, Richard hosted his famous pasta supper, for 50 people. It’s a three-course dinner starting with charcuterie board and sourdough bread, followed by generous amounts of lasagna and potato salad and followed by Bakewell Tart with wine accompaniment.

The route

I did the 60 mile route which used mostly back roads and lanes to wind from pretty village to pretty village. The roads were very quiet with few cars and the occasional tractor or cow. If you didn’t know, the Cotswolds are incredibly picturesque in every direction. As a resident of Devon, I found the course not too hilly with 2000 feet of elevation.

We were given a brief to highlight any hazards and advice for the ride. There were ride leaders who guided groups around, but as we had the owner of Calcot Hotel in our group we relied on his local knowledge and a few Garmins. There was a well-stocked break at The Castle Inn, Castle Combe at 34 miles. We had a rest, tea and cake or sandwiches and other treats.

The finish

The ride continued over rolling hills and through the market town of Tetbury. 4 ½ hours after the start, we arrived back at Calcot Hotel. At the finish, we were presented with a glass of Taittinger champagne and offered fresh BBQ food, pizza from their woodfired oven and fresh salads. The coffee bar was also open making exceptional drinks with Origin coffee beans