After more than a week of unseasonably cold and grey weather, the sun came out last Thursday morning to welcome the members of the property industry who had signed up for the Great Property Bike Ride.

One by one, the riders assembled at Denbies Wine Estate in the rolling Surrey Hills. By 9am, the car park was overflowing and still they came, some on two wheels, others on four. By the time the race was due to start, the grounds were a sea of specially designed green and white jerseys.

That the event - organised by CBRE in aid of Shelter and supported by Property Week - was so popular says a lot about the property industry’s love of cycling, not to mention supporting a good cause. Participants were able to choose between a short (25km), standard (50km) and epic (100km) course. The most popular? The epic, of course, with two thirds of riders choosing the hard option.

And some of the times achieved were seriously impressive (see box), especially when you remember that the course involves several big climbs. The fastest time achieved (take a bow Nolan Wilkens from Malcolm Hollis) was two hours and 44 minutes, which translates to an average of well over 20mph across testing terrain.

“The epic one is quite a tough little course,” says Malcolm Dalgleish, chairman, EMEA retail, at CBRE. “Sixty-five miles doesn’t seem so much, but there are a lot of hills. It’s almost like ‘let’s tick off as many as possible in the shortest possible period’.”

However, as Dalgleish notes, the event isn’t just for near-professional cyclists. Rather, it is a fun day out for all abilities - something CBRE is keen to build on as the event continues to grow. “We’re hoping to build the standard and short ride,” he says. “We don’t want it to become too elitist.”

Indeed, last week’s event proved popular with more fair-weather cyclists, including several Property Week staffers, only one of whom opted for the epic course. Yes, there were plenty of carbon-fibre bikes on display, but there were also plenty of folk completing the shorter courses on mountain bikes.

Most importantly, however, the event is also a major fundraiser for Shelter. All in all, this year’s ride raised around £40,000 for Shelter, something made possible by the fact that CBRE does not cover its costs out of the sign-up fees or sponsorship. “CBRE pays for everything, so all the sponsorship, all donations go to the charity,” says Dalgleish.

So, a fun day out, good exercise and great networking, but also an opportunity to give something back. As CBRE managing director Ciaran Bird puts it: “It’s great seeing so many from the industry coming together to raise money for Shelter, with a friendly bit of competition thrown in for good measure.”

Epic 100kmTimeStandard 50kmTimeShort 25kmTime
Nolan Wilkens02:44:20Peter Tayler02:12:54Angus Henderson 00:57:50
Nick Patterson02:46:23Dominic Boyes02:14:14Chris Richmond01:02:18
Ross Needham 02:47:17Jamie Wood02:14:17Jack Ballantine 01:07:05
Justin Holland02:50:06Tom Finch02:19:35Alex Rusling01:09:07
Dominic Humphrey02:50:17Steven Hassel02:26:35Alex Greaves01:10:53