On the 30 July, CBRE is hosting its second Great Property Bike Ride.
Building on the success of the 2014 event - and this year in aid of housing charity Shelter - the ride is open to all and promises a fun, if not exactly relaxing, day out in the Surrey Hills.
Property folk take their cycling seriously, but in order to attract as many riders as possible, from novices to the seriously committed, there are three courses to choose from, all of which take in the Boxhill climb made famous by Sir Bradley Wiggins at the 2012 London Olympics.
After Boxhill, the ‘short’ (14 miles) riders will head down to Dorking and back to the venue, while the ‘epic’ (61 miles) and ‘standard’ (30 miles) riders will head across Ranmore, taking in the gentle rolling terrain in an area of outstanding natural beauty.
Passing through Shere, the route splits again with the standard riders heading for Peaslake, while the epic riders head further south into the Sussex Weald, passing through villages and market towns before a well-earned stop for food at Ellens Green.
The climb up Norbury Hill will show the riders what the Surrey Hills have to offer in the way of pain-inducing ascents before the gentle sweeping descent to the quaint village of Peaslake allows the riders to get their breath back.
After rejoining the standard-route riders, a loop back south brings riders to another rest stop at Forest Green before the assault on Leith Hill. A few miles of rolling descent follow before the main climb of the day: the fearsome Whitedowns.
However, if the thrill of the ride - and the serious endorphins on offer - are not sufficient to get you in gear then supporting Shelter might just get you motivated. At the start of the year, CBRE staff voted for Shelter to become the company’s main charitable partner - a status worth £250,000 over the next two years, plus whatever additional funds can be raised through events like next month’s ride.
“We are trying to get all staff to help that particular charity,” says Steven Timbs, executive director at CBRE. “I think we felt as a company that it would be good to try and get everybody connected and that would have a far greater impact in helping out particular charities.”
Timbs adds that the partnership doesn’t stop CBRE giving to other charities. “I think you will always have individuals wanting to do things for charities that are personal to them,” he says. “We’ve still got the charitable trust that allocates money to individual causes.”
Show Shelter the money
So what sort of money might the event raise? If last year is anything to go by it should be substantial. The 2014 ride, held in aid of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, raised a total of around £48,000. CBRE covers the administrative costs of the race, which means that every pound of the £60 entrance fee goes direct to charity.
Last year, about 800 riders took part and if the maximum number of riders of 1,000 sign up this year, the total will reach £60,000. “We’re on track and we’d like to get the maximum number of people if we can,” says Timbs. “We’re already on a par with last year in terms of numbers and we’re hoping to get a lot more.”
Rather than being placed into a general pot, the money raised will go to fund Shelter’s advice and support services. So instead of, for instance, supporting Shelter’s research work, the money will be ploughed into funding officers delivering individually tailored services to families across the UK. In total, Shelter estimates that the partnership with CBRE will enable it to help more than 1,300 families.
“They are funding our advice workers throughout the UK,” says Amy Morgan, a strategic account manager at Shelter. “They are funding our advice posts regionally, so we’ve tried to match the posts to CBRE’s regional offices.”
Shelter’s advice and support services are available to anyone in need and the charity runs a free helpline 365 days a year, as well as face-to-face advice centres offering in-depth legal and other more technical advice. Officers assess a situation and can act on their clients’ behalf with landlords, be they public or private.
“The advice workers deal with lots of different families who come to us needing housing advice,” says Morgan. “We’ve got lots of different services - it’s quite diverse - but it will be families facing homelessness or poor housing.”
So the Great Property Bike Ride isn’t just supporting a good cause; it’s supporting one close to the property industry’s heart. Places are limited and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. So for the sake of your contact book, health or general wellbeing, or to support a worthy cause, get yourself down to the Surrey Hills next month. We’ll see you there.