With such a strong background in sports, particularly rugby, My Name’5 Doddie is a charity that has always been close to our hearts at P+B. Therefore, we are delighted to support the upcoming “Doddie Cup – Ride to Rome” challenge by providing logistical support to a dream team of hospitality figures from Edinburgh and beyond.

From 1st to 8th March, the group of seven friends – including wine experts, owners and chefs from some of the UK’s best restaurants – will cycle over 2700 km from Edinburgh to Rome, climbing over 27,000 meters in altitude, all in aid of Motor Neurone Disease charity ‘My Name’5 Doddie Foundation’.

James Snowdon, Davy Żyw and James Porteous. Credit: Tim Edgeler
James Snowdon, Davy Żyw and James Porteous. Credit: Tim Edgeler

The cycle will begin at Edinburgh’s Murrayfield Stadium, continuing through London, rural France and trailing the Apennine mountains of Italy before descending into the group’s final destination at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico. Riding in a continuous relay, through the night, elements and mountains, the team aims to complete the cycle by 5pm on 8th March – which will require maintaining an average speed of 17mph.

Brought together by a mutual drive of raising vital funds and awareness of this degenerative, incurable disease, the team includes Edinburgh native and Berry Bros. & Rudd Senior Buyer Davy Żyw, who was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease (MND) five years ago aged 30. Despite progressive onset of the condition, Żyw, a passionate cyclist, will join the team for the last leg of the journey from Sisteron to Rome. This is just one cycle undertaken by Żyw since his diagnosis: in 2020 he completed the North Coast 500 in just four days, and in 2022 he cycled the ‘High 5’, a 275 mile route over the five highest roads in Scotland, raising over £150,000.

Joining Żyw is his childhood friend James Porteous, owner of Edinburgh’s Electric Spirit Co; James Snowdon, owner of The Palmerston and Lannan in Edinburgh; Seamus Sharkey, Head of Beverage at JKS restaurant group; Shaun Searley, Executive Chef at London’s Quality Chop House; Davy’s colleague at Berry Bros. & Rudd, Matt Jones, who has planned the entire route; and Dubai-based Greg Shevill who will be flying over to complete the challenge.

The cycle forms part of My Name’5 Doddie’s wider All Roads Lead to Rome campaign, with over 50,000 participants expected to take part throughout the year.

My Name’5 Doddie was set up by Scottish rugby legend Doddie Weir who was diagnosed with MND in 2017, and later passed away in 2022. The charity is committed to a world free of MND and has already raised over £11m to support research projects and treatments – and ultimately work towards finding a cure. They also focus on raising awareness of the disease and being a voice for people with MND and their families.

Details for how to support the cycle can be found at justgiving.com/team/cowboystew.

You can follow the group’s journey live at @rideformnd.

The team are also welcoming riders to accompany them on their ride, or to help provide further logistical funding to help fund essentials like fuel, toll roads etc. If you’d like to support in any way, please get in touch with the team here at P+B and we’ll put you in touch.