Welcome to the WS Team MIPIM Cycle Ride 2018 blog. Andrew Bedford and James Mackay, partners in the firm’s Real Estate team, having completed MIPIM Ride 2017, are back for more punishment and will be taking part in the annual 1500 km charity ride from London to Cannes one more in March 2018, to help raise funds for Coram, the UK’s oldest charity supporting vulnerable and disadvantaged children and young people.
Having learnt a lot about the ride (and themselves!) last March, they are determined to complete the challenge again for the good of the charity (and their waistlines….)
Our blog is dedicated to their efforts as they train through the cold winter months in preparation for the arduous six day cycle, 1500 km from London, via Portsmouth, to the world famous surroundings of Cannes, the home of the annual MIPIM Property Conference. Check here for updates, photos and (possibly) even videos of their progress up to March.
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Sunday 11 March 2018
Day 4. 5.00am alarm call. Shove breakfast down and on road by 6.00am. Very, very wet….torrential in fact. Not a nice experience but only 42k. Coffee and a croissant awaited at the rest stop. Got through that. Now onto Stage 2 for the day.
Did stage 3 (35 miles) and just got in before the heavens opened.
I was asked if I was doing the next stage – I said not if it’s raining.
It was and l am in the bus! Jim is on the road – and since he left it has bucketed it down – I am sitting very happy on my decision!
This is a real war of attrition. Not only have we had very wet stages at the beginning of each day which has kept our clothes damp all day, but we have been battling a vigourous head wind all the way which is batting us back.
Unlike a circuitous route around Surrey when you will at least get some wind behind you for part of the way, when you are heading south and against 20/25mph winds constantly the fun starts to wane- unless you are on the bus of course!😂
Saturday 17 February 2018
With the MIPIM ride now just over two weeks away, (with two weekends left for last minute training!) all the worries and flashbacks to last year’s toil and strife are now starting to reappear!
I managed 100 miles last week – just! With the help and assistance of Dougal Hartley (Asda) Ben Littman (Hammerson) and Graham Wilson (McDonalds). Dougal and Ben are themselves training for a hike up the Italian Alps and Graham for an Iron Man in the summer. They joined me for a very pleasant 45 mile ride round West Surrey, starting and finishing at the Black Swan in Ockham, and passing the now familiar sign at Blackheath (see below).
We haven’t had many great weekends weather-wise this year, but last Saturday was a picture and most enjoyable. Let’s hope it continues.
Saturday 3 February 2018
In view of Jim’s numerous training updates, I thought I ought to contribute to this blog as well!
We are now less than 5 weeks before the ride to MIPIM begins and I’m starting to get that ‘OMG what have I done?’ feeling and ‘have I done enough training and is there still time to do some if I haven’t?’
As for my training, I somehow managed 300 ‘alcohol fuelled’ miles in December but bad weather and a ski trip took its toll in January, where I could only muster 265 miles. So I am very much in the ‘last chance saloon’ to try and get some mileage under my belt over the next 3 weeks.
This all started last weekend, commencing with the Club Peloton organised ride around Sevenoaks (65 Miles) on the Saturday. A chilly ride, but I managed 45 miles in a temperature of 1 degree, completely soaked, cold and it was quite unpleasant.
Sunday was a 40 mile ride around East Surrey and apart from a few mechanicals and a spot of snow, 178 miles completed this weekend out of a monthly target of 400. So far so good- until the next week…
Friday 2 February 2018 – Club Peloton Ride in North Kent
Andrew and I both signed up for this one – a fully supported Club Peloton ride around the north Kent towns of Sevenoaks, Westerham and Edenbridge. Confronted with the bitter cold at 6.15 a.m, I made my way to Oxsted by train for a 7 am rendezvous at the Grasshopper Inn. As expected, there were a number of other cyclists on the train down to Oxsted and we all joined forces to get ourselves along the busy road from the station to the meet point.
Bacon rolls and coffee beckoned together with saying hellos to a good number of people who I already knew through rides of this type – saw Andrew engaged in chat with a couple of the Vectos chaps, Mike and Anthony – before we were ushered outside into the cold to start the ride. The great thing about the Club Peloton rides is that everything is provided for – food and drink, a ride captain to ensure you don’t get lost, mechanics who will fix your puncture by swapping your wheel out, Tour de France style – and the fact that they really research their routes and put together really interesting rides.
The weather was dry but really quite cold, with a fairly strong wind – thick gloves and balaclavas were plentiful, together with cyclists’ usual cold weather complaint of dripping noses. The route itself was a very good mixture of flat and bumpy terrain – the first hill caught me by surprise – I was in the wrong gear and couldn’t afford to change down because doing so would have meant that I would have had to stop, so I had to really pump the legs to get up in a high gear. It did at least warm me up considerably.
After a brief stop for coffee, we took on Toys Hill, which I have done many times but it never fails to surprise me how it seems to go on and on at a steeper and steeper angle. I made it up in good time, although no polka dot jersey for me!
Made it back to the Grasshopper Inn after a nice round trip of some 70 odd miles, a very nice chilli con carne awaited for lunch, after which I made my excuses and got back on the bike to go home – conference call at 5 pm, couldn’t be missed.
See photos from the ride here.
Friday 26 January 2018
This was a monthly ride organised by John Forbes, a well-known property finance expert and extreme/endurance cyclist. At a very civilised hour (9 am) I started to make my way to Crystal Palace for the 9.45 am rendezvous at Cadence Cycling Shop and Café. There were a couple of people I had already met on previous rides plus a few that I hadn’t. Introductions and a quick double espresso later, John appeared with a number of other riders who had come from London Bridge. Quick gear check and we were off down Crystal Palace hill, making our way through West Wickham towards north Kent. The weather was quite cold and overcast but not bad in cycling terms. Having done this particular route a number of times before, I found myself at the front of the group with John and we talked about a couple of his cycling escapades, notably the fact that he was currently the Cheshire Endurance Cycling Champion – 240 miles+ in 12 hours over lumpy terrain.
We made our way to Westerham, Brastead and other picturesque Kent towns whose names escape me. We took on the lengthy Toys Hill on this occasion (not the dreaded York Hill) plus a few other little surprises that John had up his sleeve! The ride was at a good speed and definitely got the blood pumping. Only one mechanical malfunction – my chain came off on a particularly steep incline – wasn’t easy to get restarted!
A round trip of 50 miles, we made it back to Crystal Palace and it hadn’t rained – surprisingly on this occasion I made to get up Crystal Palace hill in double quick time – clearly the training is working its magic. Bring on MIPIM!
Back to Cadence Café for a well-earned lunch courtesy of Mr Forbes – thank you! For the property geeks amongst you, see if you recognise anyone in the photos below.
Sunday 14 January 2018
Training ride out towards Maidenhead with about 40 other riders starting at Richmond station at 7.30 on a very dark morning – apart from the very grey sky, the weather was fine: no rain and not particularly cold. This was to be a 90 mile jaunt through the Thames Valley, out to Windsor, Slough, Reading, Maidenhead and Henley (possibly not in that order!) Lots of new faces on the ride, many of them doing the MIPIM ride this March, so great to meet some fellow riders. The route was very flat, so very accommodating to all levels. First stop was the Obelisk in Windsor Great Park, where we told to cycle slowly for fear of getting into trouble with the park’s Wardens! Sadly the coffee van was not open, so we would have to go hungry/thirsty until about 60 miles. Some lovely countryside was passed before we reached our lunch stop – a café called Velolife in Warren Row, clearly a bit of a cycling Mecca – very well kitted out to take care of cyclists and I heartily recommend it. One delicious “ham-n-cheese” toasty later (Miguel Induran swore by them) and we were back on the road for the remaining thirty miles. However, not long later I suffered a mechanical malfunction – one half of my right shoe cleat tore away meaning that I could do nothing other catch the train home – from Wargrave, which is on a branch line from Twyford. Three trains later, I was back in London, looking for a branch of Evans so I could buy a new shoe cleat to get back home. Unfortunate end to what was a great ride, but at least I got 60 miles under my belt.
Saturday 16 December 2017
Early(ish!) solo training ride out to Box Hill and back on Saturday morning – just me, the bike and the frost! Surviving a few slippery corners on the way out to Carshalton, where the duck pond was completely frozen, I headed towards Epsom Downs, following a well-worn route known to many cyclists. On this particular morning, I found myself very alone on the road. Despite being cold and frosty, the sky was clear and blue, and the sun was shining; and I could still feel all my fingers and toes. From Epsom Downs on to Reigate and from Reigate on to Dorking.
When in Dorking, got to take on Box Hill, which ordinarily holds no fear, but on this morning because of the frost, the trek up the hill was actually quite terrifying, as the cars passing on both sides kept sliding on the ice – only one near miss and I made it to the top for a cup of coffee in the deserted café. Quick photo at the view point for posterity and the then back home through Leatherhead, Ashtead, Oxshott, Esher, Surbiton and Kingston – 49.3miles in total – if I’d known before I stopped, I would have cycled around the block a couple of times to get to 50!
Sunday 10 December 2017
Proposed training ride to from Box Hill to Brighton and back, with Andrew Bedford leading the charge. However, decent snowfall and icy, windy conditions put paid to the whole event. Better luck next weekend.
Friday 1 December 2017
Training ride in the Ashdown Forest, Kent with Club Peloton. Up at 5 am to get the 5.54am (!) train to Hever in Kent for a 50 mile canter around the Kent countryside. The start of the day was not promising with severe cloud coverage and rain imminent. However, a pre-cycle breakfast of bacon rolls and coffee at the meet point of the Hever Hotel with the 30 or so other riders were well received. Andy Bedford clearly enjoyed his – see pic! The ride was a slow-ish one, designed to suit all comers, but just what we needed to ease us back into the saddle; and through some lovely scenery. One (almost) lung busting hill climb and a fast descent later, the clouds disbursed and the sun came out to make for a bright, if cold, day where the 50 miles disappeared beneath our wheels with relative ease. We saw some old faces met some new ones, some themselves doing the MIPIM Ride in 2018 and others not. The social highlight of the day was being in the company all day of one of Santa’s elves – photo to prove it – you should have seen his ears flap in the wind! He was clearly working on an alternative for when Santa’s sleigh breaks down. A successful ride for all involved and as ever, really good fun. The only down side was that Southern Railways decided to cancel all trains running out of Hever Station back to London – for those of us without a car, it was another 15 mile cycle to the nearest train station where trains were running – still, all good exercise!