On Tuesday this week, I completed my first London to Cannes cycle ride, participating in the Legal and General Cycle to MIPIM 2019. Raising awareness and funds for Coram and organised by Club Peloton, this was a tremendous experience riding with a bunch of great guys and girls 1500km from London to Cannes.
Cycling that distance involves a number of challenges, from early starts, to late finishes, mechanical trouble, the way your body reacts and recovers, dealing with the weather (strong winds and extremes of -4 to highs of around 18), and how you collaborate with the other riders and work as a team.
The latter is an underestimated and misunderstood aspect of group cycling. The strong must support the weak, but constantly adjust the support, as every rider has bad moments or bad days and the strongest on one day might not necessarily be the strongest the next.
Colloboration in the peloton was from riders across the whole real estate industry, from the power of the investors, to architects, planners, engineers, contractors, advisors, managers, insurers, to the lawyers, journalists and funders (sorry to anyone I have missed)!
Collaboration was the theme of the UK Government "Invest in Great Britain and Northern Ireland" morning sessions at MIPIM yesterday. The events at Westminster mean the timing was imperfect, a bit like awaking at 4:45am and knowing you have to cycle 250km in heavy headwinds, it chucking down with rain, being freezing cold and your bike puncturing frequently once you start. However, I took away from it that the need to collaborate, and the need for the stronger parts of the UK to support the weaker parts is critical for the UK to power forwards - no well organised peloton should leave a rider stranded by the side of the road.
I left that session feeling somewhat inspired (despite being a beneficiary of the so called London or M25 bubble). But as I returned to the conference this morning, it did seem somewhat at odds with the message of collaboration that I had heard the day before, that as well as the UK Government marquee mentioned above, there was also a London marquee, and stands/marquees for each of Bath, Bristol, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, the Midlands and Scotland (and I have probably missed some). Collaboration and competing for investment is a tough problem to fix, unlike a cycling event, there is no fixed start and finish point - but the ride is great with some wonderful scenery! Let us hope there can be some swift resolution of the political situation to ensure that investment in the UK and business generally will pick up quickly, in the meantime let’s all keep pedalling.
If you have made it this far, congratulations, as this is longer than a tweet, and if you have not donated towards my cycle to MIPIM, a final link to donate is below, we are raising money for a great cause. Thanks for reading.