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Monday28 July 2014

The Cycle Blog

Spot the starchitect

Posted by: peter murray, Wed, 5 Jun 2013

Who’da thought it? Minneapolis has more buildings by starchitects than you can shake a stick at. Frank Gehry, Jean Nouvel, Jacques Herzog - they’ve all got buildings in this surprising centre of culture on the edge of the mid-western prairies.

Herzog and de Meuron built the Walker Art Gallery extension in 2005, the Guthrie Theater of 2006 was Nouvel’s first US building and Frank Gehry designed the Weisman Museum, which opened in 2011.

Guthrie Theatre by Jean Nouvel (2006)

Source: Grant Smith

Guthrie Theatre by Jean Nouvel (2006)

H&deM’s gallery is one of their signature decorated rhomboidal sheds with aluminum-mesh cladding panels stamped with a pattern of creases, while Nouvel’s is definitely a duck, its cylindrical forms reflecting the concrete silos on adjoining sites and its industrial detailing referencing the mills that once lined the Mississippi River at this point and created the wealth of the 19th century city.

A gymnastic cantilever projecting out over the river provides spectacular views to St Anthony Falls. As he did in London at One New Change and Reina Sofia in Madrid, Nouvel has delivered a popular new public space that enhances the visitor’s experience of the city.

However, our local guides were keener to point out the picturesque ruins of the largest mill in the world, destroyed by a flour dust explosion and into which local architects Mayer Scherer and Rockcastle have sensitively inserted a contemporary office building.

We had come to Minneapolis to study its cycling infrastructure - and we were impressed. Our group of 13 riders pedalled along the Midtown Greenway, a traffic-free cycle route which runs on a defunct railway line right through the heart of the city, then on to bicycle boulevards - lower-volume, slow speed streets with safe crossings which felt very comfortable to ride in. Bike lanes in the city are comprehensive in the central area and we found it easy to get around.

Minneapolis Greenway

Source: Grant Smith

Minneapolis Greenway

Last year Bicycling Magazine named Minneapolis America’s “No 1 Bike City,” beating Portland, Oregon, despite the fact that the city experiences ferocious winters and riders have to fit studded tires in icy periods. Nearly four percent of Minneapolis residents bike to work according to census data - an increase of 33 percent since 2007, and 500 percent since 1980.

P2P team on a bike tour of Minneapolis

Source: Grant Smith

P2P team on a bike tour of Minneapolis

Two particularly interesting points, emerged from our conversations - that, like the High Line in New York, the Midtown Greenway is a major generator of new residential development, and most of the cycling infrastructure had been put in within the last decade - much quicker than most European cycling cities. These are just two lessons among the many we will be taking back to London to promote more and better cycling infrastructure in the UK capital.

But the highlight of our tour was the Christ Church Lutheran designed by Eliel Saarinen in 1948 with an extension by Eero Saarinen twenty or so years later. The interior is beautifully crafted in brick with a simple curved screen at the altar end flooded with south light. The space was sublime and we were told that the acoustics were concert hall quality - now that’s real starchitecture for you!

Christ Church Lutheran designed by Eliel Saarinen

Source: Sarah Jenkinson

Christ Church Lutheran designed by Eliel Saarinen

By Peter Murray

Streets ahead

Posted by: Tue, 30 Apr 2013

As the P2P Cyclists set off on the first week of their epic journey across America and back to Portland Place, rider David Taylor reports on their experiences of Portland Orgeon and getting ready to set off.

Visiting cities in glorious sunshine is a bit of a problem when it comes to making a stab at an objective assessment.

But rare rays or not, the usually rainy Portland appears to be a civilised city with a polite demeanour, characterised by street cafes and warm smiles. After you, sir, say the cars at the junctions. No, after you, we insist — a Portland stand-off.

Portland to Portland

Source: Grant Smith

P2P Rider Sarah Jenkinson from Levitt Bernstein

There is space to do all of this of course, a perennial theme in comparing roadscapes with the UK. But some of this civil obedience and courtesy must be cultural — characterised even by Portland’s many bike shops, which are a model of service, knowledge and range.

Portland to Portland

Source: Grant Smith

One of Portland’s well-equipped bike stores- the Rapha store

One of the more interesting parts of our visit was a trip to hear livable streets evangelist Mark Gorton speak about New York and the dangerous — as he sees it — rise of the motor vehicle countrywide.

Streets, went his theory, are destroyed by these big, space-hogging vehicles, preventing kids from venturing half as far as their parents and grandparents before them.

While it may be simplistic to blame this all on the car — and slides of cities in the tram era, with people populating the streets as a counterpoint to the desolate ones today, don’t tell the whole story — it is clear that bringing newly pedestrianised areas to New York has swiftly made a big impact to their look and feel.

Portland to Portland

Source: Grant Smith

Peter Murray and Chris di Stefano of Rapha in Portland, Oregon

And the money. Follow the money. Because it has also crucially helped the bottom line, with retail outlets around Times Square reporting sales hugely up since cars were banned. Again, while some UK cities could argue that pedestrianisation has sounded the high street’s retail death knell, Gorton was an eloquent speaker with more livable streets as his zealous goal.

A phrase we kept hearing was that of “active transportation”, which has interesting ramifications to bring back home. Grouping walking with cycling might be a good move to bring about change, without the single-interest angle.

Portland to Portland

Source: Grant Smith

Nic Crawley and Heinz Richardson Checking out the merchandise in Rapha

Anyway, back to P2P. The following day was spent making last-minute preparations for the trip — buying a spare bike and stand, getting the van prepared, putting together the bikes, fitting mudguards (a P2P ruling), doing interviews and photoshoots — and, for me, losing my wallet, stopping all my cards, panicking all night and finding it again the next morning. The riding might just be the easy part…

Portland to Portland

Source: Grant Smith

Double checking documents from left: Heinz Richardson, Bronwen Manby, Tom Dollard, Desmond Lavery, Michael Lowe, Peter Murray and Tom Jestico

By David Taylor

Portland rider David Taylor is a journalist and author who specialises in built environment matters

And they're off (almost)

Posted by: Anna Winston, Tue, 16 Apr 2013

Architecture's cycling enthusiasts, and their supporters, descended on London's Building Centre last night to toast the brave riders taking part in Portland Oregon to Portland Place 2013 - the most ambitious architectural bike ride yet.

Architects, planners and property professionals will embark on the first leg of the 4,347 mile charity ride and research project on April 27th and will begin flying out to America to prepare at the end of this week.

Interested riders can join individual legs of the ride, including a pleasant ride through Ireland. RIBA president Angela Brady, who will welcome the riders when they finish at Portland Place in July, last night pledged to buy all the riders on the Irish leg a pint of Guinness.

 

Angela Brady with Peter Murray

Source: Grant Smith

Angela Brady with Peter Murray

Peter Murray with the P2P baton created by A Projects

Source: Grant Smith

Peter Murray with the P2P baton created by A Projects

Many of last night's guests were contemplating the leg that rides into Bristol and a few wimpier types (this writer included) confessed to hoping to join for the final push up Regent Street with Richard Rogers and co on Boris Bikes.

 

Peter Murray, the ride's organiser, was resplendent in his Paul Smith Socks. Only 40 pairs were created for the riders, but due to popular demand there's a request in to the designer for more to help raise money for the P2P charities: The Architects Benevolent Society, Architecture for Humanity and Article 25.

 

Some of the riders

Source: Grant Smith

Some of the riders

Some of the riders

Source: Grant Smith

Some of the riders

Some of the riders

Source: Grant Smith

Some of the riders

Some of the riders

Source: Grant Smith

Some of the riders

There's still time to donate to the project or sponsor the riders, who will be fundraising as they go along.

If you're sitting on the fence still, here's a quote from London Mayor Boris Johnson to help you make your mind up:

“This is a stonking charity initiative, combining a love of cycling with an ambition to know more about how the beloved bicycle is fast becoming a credible form of urban transport in cities around the world. I wish them good luck and a comfortable saddle on their tour."

(All images by Grant Smith)

Day 6: Cycle to Cannes 2013- they Cannes do it

Posted by: Wed, 13 Mar 2013

March 12 was the sixth and final day of the Broadgate Estates Cycle to Cannes 2013.

Covering 171.7km from Aix-en-Provence to the international MIPIM property conference in Cannes, the peloton was joined by Olympic medallist Lizzie Armitstead for the final leg of the day and welcomed into Cannes by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson.

As the teams were not assigned to specific stages, it was up to the cyclists to choose when they wanted to start their ride, so it was a good majority who set off on the first stage in the beautiful morning light for the 64km ride from Aix. After an initial climb, the peloton did a fast and furious second half, at points reaching 48kph on the flat.

Ten riders rotated at the front to keep the pace up and the average speed for the stage came in at 27kph - impressive considering the hefty initial climb. It was an exhilarating ride that saw the cyclists arrive beaming and in high spirits ahead of schedule into Le Val.

Cycle to Cannes 2013

Source: Matt Alexander

En route to Cannes

For stage two, the peloton was led out by the six remaining female cyclists, who rotated at the front for the entire 60.4km stage. A particularly hilly stage with nine climbs took the peloton up to the picturesque town of Draguignan.

Those feeling the effects of five days of back-to-back riding battled heroically to avoid being swept up by the lurking broom wagon, which was taking no prisoners. Again the camaraderie and team spirit that characterises Cycle to Cannes saw the stronger riders helping out those who were feeling the strain to see everyone through to lunch at Broves en Saillans.

It was at Broves that Olympic medallist Lizzie Armitstead joined the peloton. The perfect pick-me-up for a group of tired but enthusiastic cyclists, Lizzie posed for photos and chatted with the riders in front of the tour bus. The peloton was asked to take it easy on the last stage for Lizzie’s sake before they set off in two lines for the final 47.3km into Cannes.

With everyone grouped into their team kits, the peloton looked amazing as it sped through the Provencal countryside, enjoying a sunny ride all the way. It tackled two challengingly climbs and was rewarded with a number of speedy descents.

Catching first sight of the Med and riding into Cannes was an emotional experience for the riders but luckily Ride Captain Steve Whyman of Broadgate Estates had laid down a ‘no blubbing’ rule. Unfortunately, even the peloton couldn’t avoid being caught up in the Cannes traffic jams which delayed their arrival.

A huge crowd was waiting to welcome the cyclists to the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès de Cannes. J-J Lorraine of Morrow + Lorraine described it, “Cycling along La Croisette and arriving at the Palais felt unbelievably rewarding. There was a sense of being a superstar - what else can close the Palais for an hour but the Cycle to Cannes and the crowds and photographers make it an incredibly special experience.”

Mayor of London Boris Johnson was also there to greet the riders’ arrival. He said, “It’s a great job by them. They show the vibrancy and dynamism of the London property and developing sector and show why London remains number one on everybody’s list.”

Congratulations to all the riders and a ‘hats off’ to those who cycled the entire 1,462km (908 miles) from London to Cannes: Adam Swain-Fossey, Pat Hayes, Charmaine Brown, Jonathan Watts, Tom Dailey, Barry Spencer Hughes, John Forbes, Misha Smith, Angus Monteith, Joe Morris, Oliver Scoular, John Dent, Will Monk, Gary Elliott, Paul Burke, Martin Emslie and Richard Heath.

Charmaine Brown from Derwent London, the only female rider cyclist of the group that cycled all the way said:

“It has been such a great experience. I am genuinely impressed; the ride captains did an amazing job at organising the peloton and getting everyone where they needed to be when we were out on the road.

Everyone has been on their own journey, and they all have something personal or positive to take away, something they’ve learnt whether they’ve done two stages a day or the whole thing. And of course, we’re on track to raise over £200,000 for Coram and the other charities so we’re grateful for all the support we’ve received.”

Cycle to Cannes 2013

Source: Matt Alexander

The cyclists at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès de Cannes

Day 5: Cycle to Cannes 2013- Aches in Aix

Posted by: Tue, 12 Mar 2013

Monday March 11 was no ordinary Monday morning for the 90 cyclists from the property industry riding from London to the MIPIM property fair in Cannes to raise money for charity.

Day five of the six day ride began at 7am, an hour’s more sleep than in the previous four days, for Group 1, the CBRE GI and Argent teams.

Despite an increasing number of aches (sore knees and shoulders being the most common ailments), the peloton’s spirits were high as the landscape of the Rhône region gave way to that of Provence.

Cycle to Cannes 2013

Source: Matt Alexander

The cyclists soldier on despite an increasing number of aches

Now used to a minimum two stages a day and operating as a strong, efficient unit out on the road, the riders have ridden through the rain and into the sunshine, with the end now in sight.

Despite the early stages featuring spectacular scenery of their own, the pick of the day was stage 4, a 47.5km run from Isle sur Sorgue to Cadenet. This is famed as the day’s best ride and around 70 opted to do it.

It’s here that, once again, the motorcycle outriders are invaluable, enabling the peloton to climb at their own pace to Bonneiux village, where the residents came out to applaud the riders, and descend at speed down a stunning gorge: one rider clocking 70kph. “It has everything a cyclist would want; a long climb, picturesque scenery, perfect conditions and a long fast descent,” said rider David Taylor.

Cycle to Cannes 2013

Source: Matt Alexander

Picturesque scenery and perfect conditions on day 5

The day began with Stage 1, out of Valence, which featured a climb of 20-30 minutes, which was 6% in one section, but with spectacular views from the top and a nice long descent into the village. With no pacing, all the riders from Group 1, the CBRE GI and Argent teams, were able to take the 49.5km into Cleon d’Adran at their own pace.

During Stage 2 to Visan, Group 2, the Savills and Elliott Wood teams, took on a big long climb in the middle, ranging from 3-5%, a real energy-sapper. Stage 3, ridden by Group 3, the Aedas and DTZ teams, which started after an early lunch, ran to Isle sur Sorgue and was the longest stage of the day at 58.4km.

The peloton rode as one, with one climb near the start, and then employed the chain gang technique to move at a fast pace through the vineyards.

Cycle to Cannes 2013

Source: Matt Alexander

The chain gang technique enabled riders to move at a fast pace through the vineyards.

Following the high point of stage 4, Groups 2 and 3 clipped on through the 34.1km from Cadenet to Aix-en-Provence, with the thought of reaching the hotel for the final group dinner and awards ceremony spurring everyone on. The highlight of the stage were the cries of ‘Goat right’ as a goat appeared.

The peloton was clapped into Aix-en-Provence by lots of people who had turned out to cheer them in.

During the final dinner, Lydia Parnell from the charity Coram reminded people about where the money they have raised goes and the important work that Coram does to transform children’s lives.

Cycle to Cannes 2013

Source: Matt Alexander

Immaculate French roads help the peloton along

Roger Hawkins, from Hawkins Brown Architects said:

“This is the fourth year I’ve done the event and it is the best so far. It’s a real privilege to cycle through the immaculate French roads with the motorcycle riders keeping the roads clear for us- you can’t get this experience in the UK. The interaction between the motorcyclists and the peloton is key and is welcomed wherever it goes- it’s a Tour de France experience for amateurs.”

Tomorrow, riders are looking forward to Olympic medallist Lizzie Armitstead joining the peloton on the final stage, meeting Boris Johnson on their arrival into Cannes and the view of the Mediterranean as they arrive on the Croissette.

Day 4: Cycle to Cannes 2013- sunshine and tan lines

Posted by: Tue, 12 Mar 2013

March 10 2013 - Day four of the Broadgate Estates Cycle to Cannes 2013 and the peloton travelled 314.6km from Dijon to Valence. All the way from the wine-making regions of Burgundy and Rhone to Baune through to the region of Bresse- known for its white chickens.

Day four found the peloton riding as one, with consistency and at an improved standard. The Ride Captains employed a chain gang, where the peloton leader is constantly rotated, throughout most of the stages, to reduce efforts and improve performance by working together as a team.

Cycle to Cannes 2013

Source: Matt Alexander

Early morning mist that lay low across the landscape throughout the entire journey

As the week has gone on, the riders’ fitness levels and competency have also increased. Kim Humphreys of Carvill Ventures said, “I joined the Cycle to Cannes as part of an ambition to take part in triathlon. Up until that point, my strongest discipline so far has been swimming since, but since starting cycling in Autumn last year, my performance levels have improved by 17,000%!”

Stage 1 started at 6am with Group 3, the Aedas and DTZ teams, riding out from Dijon into the early morning mist that lay low across the landscape throughout the entire journey. Finishing at St Bonnet en Bresse, the group covered 55.4km at a fast paces, with the group employing chain-ganging, riding tight and smooth in two neat lines. The fast pace set the tone for the day with every stage coming in on schedule.

Cycle to Cannes 2013

The sun makes a welcome appearance

Stage 2 saw Group 1, the Argent and CBRE GI teams, roll out across similar landscape to cover 48.9km to Cormoz. The sun came out, warming up the riders and warmed up. The group once again used the chain-ganging technique, focusing more on riding than the view around them to find a smooth, even rhythm.

At 10.30am there was an early lunch, with Stage 3, Group 2, the Elliott Wood and Savills teams, riding out in the sunshine. From the perspective of inside the peloton, it becomes evident just how effective chain-ganging is at keeping the group working efficiently and moving at pace. The ride was consistent and fast, averaging 27kph with top speeds of 47kph, through straight Roman roads flanked by plane trees. By the time the peloton reached Chalamont, 56.9km laters, temperatures had reached 20 degrees in the glorious sunshine.

Similarly, Stage 4, 50.4km to St Quentin Fallavier, featured fast, flat plains. Group 3 once again took their turn, cruising along in the sunshine. One rider commented that whilst there were no distinguishing landmarks to the stage, the peloton tanked along and it was a good ride for doing the miles and ticking off a stage.

Cycle to Cannes 2013

Source: Matt Alexander

Cyclists enjoy clear stretches of smooth, fast tarmac with no traffic thanks to the moto riders

Group 1 found Stage 5, 54.9km to Hauterives, a good, satisfyingly hilly stage. The peloton was allowed to go on two of the five big hills, which meant that riders could both climb and descend at their own speed. What makes this so exhilarating is that, thanks to the effectively ‘closed roads’ that the team of French moto riders create, the cyclists are given an opportunity to enjoy clear stretches of smooth, fast tarmac with no traffic interference. It’s an experience that the riders clearly relished, judging by the tired and happy faces at the end of the stage.

Cycle to Cannes 2013

Source: Matt Alexander

Happy faces at the end of the day’s stretch

Unfortunately, Stage 6, the final stage of the day and the last time the peloton will ride in the dark, saw Group 2 set off in thunder and lightening with the threat of rain. The first 5kms were consistent climbs of up to 4% which, given that all the riders were dressed for the impending rain, meant that they were literally steaming by the time they were halfway up. Then the fun started. The remaining 44km of the 48.1km ride into Valence were downhill and the riders were travelling at over 50kmph in the pitch dark, driving rain and with no idea as to the road conditions. When you consider each rider is on tyres no more than an inch wide in slippery surfaces and can’t see a thing, you realise this is no mean feat.

Special mention should also be given to the riders going all the way from London to Cannes: Adam Swain-Fossey, Pat Hayes, Charmaine Brown, Jonathan Watts, Tom Dailey, Barry Spencer Hughes, John Forbes, Misha Smith, Angus Monteith, Joe Morris, Oliver Scoular, John Dent, Will Monk, Gary Elliott, Paul Burke, Martin Emslie and Richard Heath - who have now covered 1,073 km (667 miles) in four days.

Day 3: Cycle to Cannes 2013- some magical moments in the rain

Posted by: Tue, 12 Mar 2013

March 10 - day three of the Broadgate Estates Cycle to Cannes 2013 saw the riders travel 302.2km from Reims to Dijon through the Champagne region. The peloton of the charity event experienced all weather conditions from sun and rain through to hail.

Cycle to Cannes 2013

Source: Matt Alexander

The riders traveled from Reims to Dijon through the Champagne region

The stage was thrillingly packed with contours, taking in a change of landscape and architecture from the flat barren fields of northern France to the rolling landscape and forests of Champagne. As usual, the French moto outriders did sterling work looking after the peloton, ensuring that any junctions or roundabouts were closed off to allow the peloton’s safe passage.

Steve Whyman of Broadgate Estates said, “On day three, the pace tends to pick up as the we start to roll the peloton in the front. Everyone gets a turn on the front which means that we’re going a lot faster.”

Stage 1, from Reims to Pocancy, started dry and fine. Cycling through vineyards and past the chateaux of Champagne in the early dawn, the stage was a positive start for Group 2, riders of the Savills and Elliott Wood teams. “This morning’s start was magical because we set out in darkness and as the sun rose, I had a nirvana moment of seeing the sun for the first time in two days. Whilst in reality it was probably only out for about 70 seconds, it seemed to last an eternity,” said Earl Arney of Woods Bagot.

Cycle to Cannes 2013

Stage 2 was a tough ride for Group 3, the Aedas and DTZ teams, with long hills that “didn’t really seem hilly but which just kept going,” commented Kim Humphreys of Carvil Ventures Limited. The peloton found its second wind after getting carbed-up at the midpoint pitstop, and enjoyed a mostly sunny run into Dampierre.

Stage 3 took the peloton on the day’s longest stage of almost 70km into Essoyes, the birthplace of Renoir’s wife. The stage saw a ten degrees drop in temperature from, with the riders cycling through hail lying in heaps at the top of one hill, which fortunately they just missed. Group 1, the Argent and CBRE GI teams, enjoyed a fantastic downhill descent, with the front riders doing more than 40mph downhill in the pouring rain. Nick Searl of Argent commented, “It was worth getting wet just for that.”

Stage 4, into Vanvey, saw Group 2 taking to the road again. Although they were expecting the rain, and went out togged up and prepared for the weather, the shortest stage of the day probably had the hardest downpour of the day. Despite this, the riders enjoyed a picturesque ride alongside a river and worked well chain-ganging (where riders in the peloton continuously move from front to back). They were welcomed by locals who had laid on fresh coffee, tea and brioche.

Cycle to Cannes 2013

Source: Matt Alexander

Heavy conditions on day three

Stage 5 into Moloy saw Group 3 riding hard and fast. Two hard climbs made the 2.5 miles downhill descent to the finish in an exhilarating end to the day. Stage 6, the final stage into Dijon, is when the riders really appreciate the support provided by the moto outriders who marshal them through a busy urban town. Angus Monteith, who is riding the entire 1,500km from London to Cannes, commented, “The final stage was a big climbing stage - we climbed for about 20 minutes then a straight downhill was followed by 45 minutes of climbing and then downhill all the way to the finish.” The riders who have cycled all the stages from London have now covered 731kms (454 miles) in three days.

Anna Foreman-Peck who rode for 12 hours and five of today’s six stages, “Today was all about distraction tactics. A game of ‘Would you rather…’ worked well to keep me thinking about anything other than the pain.”
Tom Starr’s quote of the day (a daily update tradition), “Today, the highs were the scenery and perfume of the Champagne region and the lows were the smell of the bus and the humming Lycra.”

At the end of the day, the support crew gave all 90 bikes a courtesy clean, washing off three day’s worth of dirt, grime and manure.

Day 2, Cycle to Cannes 2013: over zealous triumphalism- a rider's view

Posted by: Tue, 12 Mar 2013

Knob du Jour
Each evening there is the presentation of the celebrated ‘Knob du Jour’ baton. This badge of honour goes to the individual who made the biggest spectacle of themselves during the day. Last night the award went to the driver of the pace car who took a wrong turning on a dual carriageway.

This evening (March 9) the current favourite is Joe Morris who’s over zealous triumphalism saw him career into the back of the pace car at the end of the first leg.  As it is the previous recipient that has the duty to pass on the baton, tonight’s recipient is almost a foregone conclusion.

The morning Session
With brake pads replaced, my section this morning was a welcome change from the first day’s ‘stoppy starty’ departure out of London and through Kent, getting up to a fair lick through the north French countryside.  In fact we seemed to have the best session of the morning, as the first stint was in dark and foggy conditions and the second stint consisted of chewing a fair amount of horse manure flicked up by the tyres…you become very popular with mudguards

Cycle to Cannes 2013

Day 2: Cycle to Cannes 2013, Stage 2, Picardie

Posted by: Mon, 11 Mar 2013

March 9 saw day two of the Broadgate Estates Cycle to Cannes 2013 start and end in dark, damp conditions.

Stage 2 of the charity event covered 318km from Calais to Reims through the region of Picardie and day two of the six day ride is a key day for team bonding.

As riders get to know each other better, communications within each group improve which in turn helps the cyclists ride better together and begin riding as one group. Team spirit really shone through with veterans and experienced riders supporting fellow cyclists new to the event.

Cycle to Cannes 2013: Stage 2, Picardie

Dark, damp conditions for Stage 2, Picardie

Despite the fairly wet, miserable conditions, the second day is the day when the peloton really comes together to cycle together as a unit. It presents new experiences for riders who’ve never ridden in conditions like the dark or fog, and it is the day that cements the technique, discipline and confidence that riding in a large group requires.

Will Monk of Knight Frank said, “Day two is all Cycle to Cannes is not just about fitness, the challenge is taking on the conditions presented by a long day’s riding and, by the end of day, everyone was very well drilled.”

Stage 1 rolled out from Calais at 6am in the dark and damp, arriving in Dohem after 51.8km. The stage was ridden by Group 1, comprising riders from the CBRE GI and Argent teams, some of whom commented on a “slightly surreal but cosy experience,” thanks to the foggy conditions. All 30 riders from the two teams, plus a number of riders who are planning to ride the full 1,500km from London to Cannes, arrived into the hamlet of Dohem just after 8am.

Cycle to Cannes 2013: Stage 2, Picardie

Fairly wet, miserable conditions did little to dampen spirits

Group 2, comprising the Savills and Elliott Wood teams, departed in the mist, which made visibility poor. They rolled through wide, flat farmland dotted with World War I and II cemeteries, looked after by the War Graves Commission and local villagers. A considerable number of riders reported that the spray from the roads now has a definite ‘agricultural’ flavour.

Stage 3 riders, from the Aedas and DTZ teams, took on a relatively flat stage with a couple of hills, with the weather temporarily brightening up and drying out. The tour organisers instructed the riders to ‘speed date’, taking it in turns to each take three minutes on the front of the peloton and chat to their co-rider. Rotating the lead in this way enabled the group to pick up the pace, making stage 3 one of the fastest two stages of the day.

Cycle to Cannes 2013: Stage 2, Picardie

Day two of the six day ride is a key day for team bonding

Stage 4 once again saw Group 1 out on the road. Described by one rider as, “Up and down and very wet. Like being in a washing machine,” the conditions put off a lot of riders planning to go out again on the fifth stage, which at 60km, was the longest of the day. It would have been a pleasant jaunt from the Morcourt to Monthenault for the Group 2 riders- apart from the fact that the rain had resumed with a vengeance, which meant damp bananas at break time.

Stage 6 set off in dusk from Monthenault which swiftly turned to a dry ride in the drizzle. A tailwind made Stage 6 the other fastest stage of the day. The riders kept up a really good pace all the way through to Reims, arriving on schedule at 9pm. The stage ended abd Angus Monteith of McAleer & Rushe Group commented, “With a warming cheer from the crew at the finish, and all the cyclists very pleased to have reached a warm shower and a good dinner.”

About Cycle To
Cycle To is the trading subsidiary of the fundraising charity Cycle to Cannes. Since 2006, it has organised the annual bike ride from London to Cannes which takes place at the beginning of March and coincides with the annual MIPIM real estate conference. Cycle to Cannes has raised £1.25 million for charity.

Follow the cycle’s progress on Twitter

Day 1: Cycle to Cannes 2013 sets off for MIPIM

Posted by: Mon, 11 Mar 2013

March 8 saw the first stage of the Broadgate Estates Cycle to Cannes 2013 get underway. Riders of this year’s annual fundraising ride gathered from 7am at a wet More London for registration, a hearty breakfast courtesy of rider John Forbes and Brigade Restaurant, and a slightly damp photocall in front of City Hall before the start of the ride at 9am.

Cycle to Cannes 2013

Source: Matt Alexander

Riders of the Broadgate Estates Cycle to Cannes 2013 in London

The riders set off in three groups, spaced five minutes apart, from 9am, braving central London rush hour traffic. Group 3 - the Aedas and DTZ teams - set off first, followed by Group 2, comprising the Savills and Elliott Wood teams, with Group 1, the CBRE GI and Argent teams, hitting the road shortly after.

The route was challenging through London because of traffic and stop-starting but once it reached Greenwich, the peloton regrouped and picked up the pace for the 111km ride to Folkestone in the rain.

Cycle to Cannes 2013

Source: Matt Alexander

and they’re off…

Motorcycle outriders helped the cyclists to negotiate main roads safely and the peloton took some nice scenic routes through the Kent countryside to drop the riders down into Folkestone, with a few challenging bumps and lumps along the way.

Despite the grey, drizzly weather and occasional outbursts of heavy rain, camaraderie on the ride was great, with old hands greeting each other and new riders receiving an enthusiastic welcome. At the stage end in Folkestone, the riders refuelled and boarded the bus for a Eurotunnel crossing to Calais.

Cycle to Cannes 2013

Source: Matt Alexander

En route to the Eurotunnel

James Coghill of Savills commented, “Today was fun and a good warm-up for tomorrow, although my toes are cold. I’m looking forward to the next 1,500km.

“I’d like to say thanks to all those riders with mudguards today; cycling behind you was a pleasure. The different flavour Kit Kats were a most unexpected hit. However, I won’t be said to leave the sorry state of England’s roads with its many potholes behind,” said Tom Starr, RLB.

Broadgate Estates Cycle to Cannes 2013, London, 8 March 2013

Riders on the Cycle to Cannes are raising money for a range of charities in the UK and abroad, through a combination of personal sponsorship and corporate support. Principal charity is Coram, the UK’s first ever children’s charity, which has been providing better chances for children since 1739. Cycle to Cannes supports Coram’s adoption services and education outreach programme, Coram Life Education. Article 25, Emthonjeni Trust, Multiple System Atrophy Trust and Tom’s Trust are also supported other charities being supported.

The riders are cycling 1,500km from London to Cannes to arrive in time for annual property fair, MIPIM, on Tuesday 12th March.

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