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Riding to MIPIM - Training

By Stuart Wilks, posted 17 January 2018

Stuart thinks the best way ever to get to a work conference could be riding his bike across France, for charity. But he needs to get training first.

Contact on twitter @justridethebike

So we’re riding to MIPIM...


We’ll save the various views on MIPIM (the international property conference) for another time. Suffice to say they range from it being only slightly less respectable than a trip to the Mos Eisley Cantina to the best business event anyone can possibly attend...


Anyway - having chatted to a few people, I concluded the best way to go to MIPIM would be to join the crazy cyclists. Each year, a team cycle down to the sunshine to raise a ton (a big ton) of cash for the children’s charitable trust, ‘Coram’. For me, that’s the important bit. If it helps the business, brilliant, but if we can help out someone else too then that makes it worthwhile.

Paying to Ride?

The event comes with some formidable financial commitments. It’s £2k to enter, plus £3k fundraising. Which isn’t so bad if you’re working for Legal and General or British Land. But a bit different if you’re starting up in business!


We start in London on 8th March and end up in Cannes on 13th. I’m not sure that riding every day for six days is a good idea, but there it is! The group’s split in two, as there are 150 riders in total, so I’ve opted for the leg that runs via Portsmouth. My theory being that the group going via Folkestone are running down the right hand side of France. Last time I looked, the right hand side was where the French keep their mountains.


So I bit the bullet and entered the ballot. Slightly disappointingly(!) I got myself a place, and so the hard work begins. Not only did I have to part with a few thousand of my hard earned, I now need to get training and fundraising...

Getting Training and Fundraising

Luckily I retained quite a lot of my fitness last year by being made redundant - I got a lot of miles under my belt in 2017. Or at least, a lot more than in previous years. I topped 2,000 miles - squeezing in the final ten on New Year’s Eve.  

Training through the winter is no picnic though. It’s cold, wet, windy, and of course this year seems particularly miserable. But I’ve some good friends and have been out for a few rides. Probably not enough, but a few...

Then in December I took a bit of a wild decision, and bought a set of rollers. Not those kind of rollers! These kind of rollers.  


These are the type of rollers you stick your bike on, then ride and ride until you can’t ride any more. I’m trying to work out if I can connect the rollers to the national grid. It strikes me all that energy ought to be transferable in some way!


The rollers are intense. You see people at the velodrome and before races sitting on them warming up. They train up your core strength as well as your leg strength. And in the winter, you can ride indoors without the need for an exercise bike. Provided you don’t fall off (I did, a few times - it hurts!) then it’s a neat way of doing some extra training.


So it continues. I’m aiming to get a bit of time on two wheels in every week between now and the 8th March, then it’ll be off to France. Hopefully never to be repeated.

I say that. I said the same about the ‘Fred Whitton Challenge’ and I’m currently on the third year of entering that one. I have however retired Wiggins-style from the Prudential Ride London 100, as it’s far too easy! Pride comes before what?

Credit: Alzheimer's Society, 2018

Photo by Petr Stradal on Unsplash

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Watch Stuart riding the rollers, on his way to that start line

Stuart is MD of Limeslade Consulting., a Marketing and Business development consultancy for the construction industry.

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