Speaking to Exquisite, George, ex-rugby player, said: "The opportunity to raise funds for such important issues, and ones that are so close to my heart, provides me with such a deep motivation to undertake this adventure. Fortunately, over recent years, I’ve developed a passionate taste for the outdoors, particularly through struggling my way up mountains, including Mount Toubkal in Morocco and a week of wild camping & exploration of the Norwegian Fjords. Worryingly, bicycles have been rather absent during these escapades. However, the yearning for discovery is there, and what better way to see the world than from the saddle of a noble steel steed."
Ben, ex-military, added: "Asides from raising money for an incredible cause, cycling to Japan gives me the unique opportunity to meet people from different cultures and learn what makes them happy. Along with my distinct lack of cycling history, I’m also apprehensive about being unable to feed my ferocious appetite, as well as the inevitability of sustaining too many punctures."
Stephen Edwards, Chief Marketing Officer from Robert Walters Group spoke about the scheme: "The issue of male mental health and wellbeing has gone under the radar for far too long, and we want to remove any last stigma attached to this. Working with Movember and sponsoring the Hairy Handlebars is only the first step in us championing positive mental health in the workplace. We look forward to seeing the Hairy Handlebars stop off at some of our offices around the globe and showcasing what it means to #BreakTheCycle."
The Robert Walters Group have challenged over 4,000 employees to #BreakTheCycle by doing something fun, active and meaningful with colleagues to help improve overall wellbeing. The Hairy Handlebars will set the benchmark, sponsored by the global specialist recruitment consultancy group, travelling to their offices in Tokyo in aid of charity Movember.
The ride will begin at 11.30am - 12.45pm on Thursday 21st March in St Martin's Courtyard, Covent Garden.
Owen Sharp from the Movember Foundation said: "Men’s health is in crisis. Globally, every minute a man dies by suicide. In the UK, 75% of suicides are men and in England and Wales, suicide is the leading cause of death among 15-49 year old men. It’s great to see global organisations such as the Robert Walters Group taking responsibility for their work practises and employee wellbeing, and we wish the Hairy Handlebars the best of luck on their challenge!"
The #BreakTheCycle scheme has a 60* goal - 60 seconds, 60 minutes, 60km etc, in aid of representing the 60 men that commit suicide each hour.
George Cullen also said: "We are so grateful to the Robert Walters Group for the support they are giving us as we take on this epic challenge. The company’s commitment to giving back to local communities and investing in their own employees, means they reflect the message we are trying to spread by cycling from London to Tokyo.
"Men's health, particularly mental health, is something that is not addressed enough and the #BreakTheCycle campaign is an amazing initiative aimed at bringing people together to help each other out in the workplace. We are honoured to be the primary vehicle through which to spread the campaign and can't wait to officially kick everything off when we depart on our expedition on March 21st at their London HQ in Covent Garden. We will be finishing at the Tokyo office in Japan and hope to welcome employees along with us as part of their own #BreakTheCycle challenge."
The route will be as follows: England, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria, Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, China and finally, Japan.