The Angus Soft Fruits Berry Bikers are taking part in the Doddie Cup 500 on 10th February, along with 100 other cyclists, they will leave Murrayfield Stadium with the match ball for the Doddie Weir Cup.
Their main aim is to get to the Principality Stadium in Cardiff in time for the KO of the Wales v Scotland match.
Our strong team comprises of Darren Schlosser – Technical Manager, Neill Finlayson – Head of Supply Chain, Richard Lawson – friend of Angus Soft Fruits and James Porter – East Scryne Farm. Each of them has been put through their paces while training for this event since November 2021 – Even on Christmas Day you would find them clocking up the miles on their Turbos… Whilst enjoying a sherry or two of course.
Meet the Team!
Hi I’m Neill Finlayson and I am head of Supply Chain at Angus Soft Fruits. I ensure that our fruit travels from our farms around the world to arrive in tip top condition on time every time.
Since starting training in November, it has been going well. I find that the only hours I can squeeze out of the day are in the morning. I get up at 4:15 every day and try to do between one and two hours on my bike in the garage. I have found the event to be an amazing motivator for regaining my fitness after losing a significant amount in 2021 after cancer treatment.
I’m pretty stubborn and don’t give up easily. But knowing I am doing it for a really great cause will help keep me going through the 3am stints.
I am Darren Schlosser – 50 years of age, been in berries for the last 14 years now and I have been at Angus Soft Fruits for 4.5 years as the Senior Retail Technical Manager based at the Salford Priors site in Evesham, Worcestershire.
I have always been a rugby fan and to see how MND has affected Doddie is terrible, so trying to raise as much money as I can to help find a cure is an honor.
I have always biked – just not this far in a short space of time, I have always been into endurance sports (18 marathons, 3 Ironman Triathlons, 1 ultra marathon) to date so this is another huge challenge.
The best or most fun part is getting fitter and having a great focus point – team work and camaraderie between the 4 of us, sharing stories, experiences and helping each other along the way.
Hi I’m Richard Lawson. Nickname Larry. Friend of Angus Soft Fruits and long-time friend and sporting activities buddy of James Porter.
Doddie Cup 500 us an awesome challenge and I was really chuffed to be invited to be involved with this event. What Doddie Cup 500 has done to raise awareness of MND and the challenges it poses is fantastic and I’m proud to be able to be associated in some small way.
Open water swimming, running, cycling, skiing, wing foiling (google it way harder than it looks) and stand up paddle boarding are my main sports. I also run my boys under 15’s football team (although I have zero footballing ability!) football restricts my time to exercise myself so training for this event has felt very self-indulgent (in a good way).
The hardest challenge throughout the training has to be getting into the routine of 5am starts twice a week for training.
I’m James Porter from East Scryne Farm – I grow strawberries and blueberries for Angus Soft Fruits.
I lost a brave friend Richard Selley to MND in 2019 (his blog Moments with MND is both moving and at times hilarious) so have seen at close hand what a terrible disease it is, and the incredibly positive way Doddie has faced it has been hugely inspiring to so many people. I’m so proud of our team for taking this challenge on and making our own small contribution to that.
Training has been tough, particularly as my teammates are clearly posting fake performance numbers to freak me out.
I am hoping for a strong tailwind, throughout the event and of course cycling in the other guy’s slipstream!
The challenge ahead of them is not for the faint hearted, with the aim to complete the 500-mile journey in just 50 hours, in the very unpredictable February weather.
We are wishing them all of the luck and weather throughout the duration of the event! If you would like to support The Angus Berry Bikers and donate to the Doddie Foundation, you can do so by clicking here Angus Soft Fruits Berry Bikers fundraising for My Name’5 Doddie Foundation on JustGiving