Steven Floyd will swap his office for the French Alps in July to ride a stage of the Tour de France – a feat most of us could only dream of attempting.
Having been a keen cyclist for more than a decade, Steven – the Financial Executive and Company Secretary of the University Club – is looking forward to the immense challenge.
“This is the only official stage of the Tour de France open to amateur cyclists. The 170km route travels from Annecy to Le Grand Bornand and includes 4000m of climbing,” Steven says.
“Along with 14,999 other cyclists, I’ll ride the stage nine days before the tour competitors do. The roads will be closed so it will feel like being in the actual race.
“The whole registration process was easy - there was a $150 fee plus some basic questions on my fitness and health. It’s now up to me to do some serious training working on my fitness and stamina, as the length of the climbs and the altitude will be the challenge on the day. ”
While Perth’s hills only climb 300m, Steven is getting in plenty of practise. You can find him riding in the hills most weekends, cycling to work 3-4 times per week, cycling between Perth and Bunbury once a year, and last year he embarked on a 1000km, three-week mountain bike adventure along the Munda Biddi Trail from Albany to Mundaring through bushland and state forests.
“Spending three weeks alone in the bush was a test of character, as well as a good way to clear my mind,” Steven says.
“I was carrying 30kg of food, clothing, bedding and tools and often didn’t see anyone for days (unless you count wild pigs, emus and kangaroos!). It was a real challenge, but the isolation and simplicity of daily life on the trail also gave me a lot of time to think about the purpose of life.”
The purpose of life, it turns out, involves travel and getting away from the daily grind of city living. Steven recently cycled along the Mekong Delta in Vietnam with his teenage son, sparking an interest in Vietnamese history and a wish to return to the communist country.
Hospitality and travel have been enduring themes throughout Steven’s life. In 1995, upon leaving England, Steven spent the last of his money buying a container of beer to bring back to South Africa. It proved to be the start of a beer import and microbrewery business, which soon expanded to include a restaurant with retail outlet and brewery on site.
When he arrived in Perth in 2005, continuing in the hospitality industry seemed a natural step. He now enjoys leading his young team at the University Club and helping with the business’ decision making.
The University Club encompasses the main club as well as the Business School café, Uni Hall catering and University Theatres, making for a diverse portfolio.
“I’ve reached a point where I can answer questions that might have been daunting for me when I was younger and less experienced,” Steven says.
“While it’s rewarding to run the finances for the University Club’s business units, I’m looking forward to sitting on a mountain in France for three weeks and enjoying the wine and cheese.”