Readman, CEO of Ride25, joins us this week to share his insights into
successfully managing a business and the journey he’s travelled – and continues
to travel. John’s passion is cycling, and his aim is to help people change
their life through this pursuit, raising money for charitable causes along the
way. John recently appeared on Dragons’ Den, where he received the rare
validation that his business didn’t need extra investments. Here’s what John
had to share:
What’s your company story in a nutshell?
Ride25 all started when a few friends decided to cycle the world for
charity, starting with a London to Paris ride. The plan was to then do the rest
over the next 25 years; the bike rides became so popular we turned into a business – Ride25.com – and the ultimate
cycling adventure holiday was born! We give everyone the chance to cycle
all the way from the UK to Australia in 25 long-weekend cycling holiday adventures.
What has been your proudest career moment, so far?
We will have help facilitate over £2m of charity fund-raising this year,
which is pretty cool. Plus also we will recycle about 800 bikes to Africa for
people where cycling is a lot more than just a leisure activity.
Describe your workspace. Are you tidy, or do you
work in organised chaos?
Tidy-ish – if you asked the team they would say they are always tidying
the office up!
Facebook COO, Sheryl Sandberg, rips out notebook
pages once a topic has been covered in her meetings. How do you hold a
I love my Moleskine A5 books – I have one
for notes and one for actions.
Which office habit can you not stand?
People who make a random comment hoping you will
then ask them about it.
Tea or coffee?
Coffee – strong and black.
How do you plan your day?
I plan my weeks well in advance and am an early riser, always up by 5am
and working by 5.30am – I get more done between 5-8 than I think I do for the
rest of the day!
Who is your business idol, and why?
I like Branson, he seems fair and honest – and I love the fact it’s
always all about the brand! With Ride25 it’s all about building the brand.
What is the best thing that your
business success has allowed you to do or have?
I got an £8000 bike for free, which was a nice touch!
Which stationery item could you
not live without, and why?
I just love my shredder – there is something very satisfying about
How do you switch off?
I love to go
cycling with my 2 young children or a nice bottle of wine and a movie with my
What are you most looking forward to,
professionally, in the future?
Helping people change their own and other people’s lives through cycling:
getting them fit, creating amazing memories whilst raising millions of pounds
What’s your secret to success in one sentence?
Get up early (very early), work hard, employ lots of smart young
people, pay them well and be nice – it’s nice to be nice!