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Events Wednesday 22nd April 2015

Time to get on your bike?

Time to get on your bike?

Cycling has become the property business's favourite recreational sport. We have two great opportunities for you to get involved.

Not that long ago, if the property industry had a weekend sporting pastime then it was probably golf.

But today as the number of second-hand golf clubs on eBay rockets so does the sale of bikes of every description from basic mountain bikes through to the Specialized S-Works Venge Di2 2014 Road Bike which will set you back somewhere in the region of £7k.

Brought into the public eye by the extraordinary exploits of Wiggins, Hoy, Trott, Cavendish and their medal-laden compatriots, cycling has become the property sport.

It is, in many ways, a sport for the 21st century: it accommodates all abilities and all sexes whilst promoting health and – in the context of business – a chance to bond and network.

When Completely Group staged its first Completely Amazing Bike Ride last year, we were amazed by the response and we’re now backing another major ride this year: the cycle to November’s MAPIC retail property show in Cannes.

Following the success of the annual Cycle to...MIPIM,the Cycle to...MAPIC is now also establishing itself in the property industry’s cycling calendar.

This year the distance of the ride has been extended and will take participants on a four-day endurance ride of approximately 750km on a route from Barcelona to Cannes arriving in time for the start of Europe’s biggest retail property exhibition.

For the first time, the Completely Group will be sponsoring a team in the ride. ‘Fresh’ from taking part in the Cycle to...MIPIM, Completely's Managing Director, Dom Millar, explains: “The ride to MAPIC is about half the distance of the London to Cannes ride, so it's quite approachable and should be considered by anyone in retail who has a road bike and is en route to MAPIC anyway”.

Millar was one of more than 100 riders who completed the 1,452km ride from London to Cannes. He reports: "Averaging 170km per day over six days, The Cycle to...MIPIM was the most physically demanding challenge I'd ever taken on.

“However, with the camaraderie and encouragement from fellow riders, the flawless organisation and support and the knowledge that we were raising so much money for such deserving causes, the days flew by and I loved – almost – every minute of it.

“Being part of a 105-cyclist peloton riding down the Croisette in Cannes with our motorbike escorts in glorious sunshine was just one of the many memorable experiences of the ride."

This year’s MIPIM ride has so far raised £253,000 for charity beneficiaries: Coram, the UK’s first dedicated children’s charity, which receives two-thirds of the money raised; along with Article 25, Emthonjeni Trust, Multiple System Atrophy Trust and Tom’s Trust. It brings the overall total raised by Cycle to…, organisers of the annual multi-day ride, to more than £2m.

Nick Hanmer, Chief Executive of Cycle to..., commented: "It's hard to believe that it's the tenth edition of Cycle to...MIPIM since Peter Murray and 16 fellow riders made the journey completely unsupported, beginning the Cycle to... history of a fundraising cycle challenge.

“In that time, we've seen the property industry weather some serious downturns but the support and generosity for the ride has never waned and we're extremely grateful for all the support we've received during our ten rides to MIPIM."

More details of the MAPIC and MIPIM rides can be found at www.cycle-to.org

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Looking ahead to November, Dom Millar comments: “These endurance rides seem to be very addictive and I have to admit I'm hooked. So I'm delighted that we’ll be sponsoring a team. I just hope I'll make the grade for one of the places!".

If you’d like to discuss the opportunity to join the Completely team, please contact Rhian Fletcher at Cycle to... on 020 7520 0380 or email rhian@cycle-to.org

And for those who fancy something a little less rigorous, don’t forget the annual Surrey Hills Completely Amazing Bike Ride in September... See page 17 for details.

“Four hours sleep and I can't face breakfast. Must have been ‘something I ate’ the previous night. Maybe.

“I head out into the dark hotel car park and am faced with a tough choice: get on the coach and fester, or do stage one on the bike and get some fresh air. I opt for the latter.

“The pace is fast as we go through the relatively flat roads to our first stop at St Bonnet en Bresse. I opt to get close to the front of the peloton and after a few kilometres I take the wind at the front for a while with John, one of the excellent ride ‘captains’. I discover this is a great way to get rid of a hangover.

“I do a couple more 50km stages and they are also pretty flat and fast. I'm losing a battle with a sharp pain in my left shoulder, so one of the physiotherapists attempts to fix me. The three of them are busy, all the time. This kind of endurance event pushes the body to the limits, and there are about 30 people attempting to ride all the stages and all 1,500km. Hats off to them.

“The reception we've received across France has been so warm and supportive. They love cycling and cyclists. On one stage we pull into a village and the lead vehicle steams up a residential road. A group of about 10 locals cheer and take photos as we pass. We wave back like pros only to pull up quickly about 50 metres past them. We've taken a wrong turn. The whole 80-strong peloton, motorbikes, support vehicles all turn around clumsily and we go past the same crowd, who are killing themselves laughing at our blunder!

“Stage 5 is hilly. Really hilly. The group breaks up pretty quickly as the hills really accentuates everyone's differing abilities. This is where the really good cyclists come into their own, both on the quick ascents and the steep descents. It's awe-inspiring to watch the best riders cope with these conditions.

“Overnight is at another Novotel in Valence. At dinner, awards are handed out to those who have done the Cycle to...MIPIM ride more than seven times during the 10 years it's been going, and there are many! One chap has done all 10! The newbies like me are definitely in the minority.

The reception we've received across France has been so supportive

“I'm off to bed early to get a proper night's sleep. We have the luxury of an hour more in bed tomorrow – the wake up call's at 5:45am! Almost there: just two shorter days and 400km to Cannes…”