Ben Sanderson, director, fund management at Hermes Investment Management, talks about his preparations for the World’s Biggest Property Bike Ride.
Ten years ago, stopping at the traffic lights on my commute to work would have seen me surrounded by just a handful of fellow cyclists. The transformation since then has been incredible.
Now, I look around me as the lights turn red and I’m sitting alongside 50-odd people with various different bikes and sports-wear, all getting a few miles in before they head into the office.
It’s easy to see why it’s taken on. Forget a coffee or a cold shower. I’ve found, regardless of the weather, getting on my bike in the morning is the best way to wake up before work, leaving me fresh to tackle the day ahead. My commute has also greatly improved thanks to the new cycleway along Victoria Embankment. It’s made my journey far safer, allowing me to focus my attention on enjoying the ride and taking in the picturesque surroundings of early-morning London – as opposed to dodging cars or potholes along the way. It’s certainly fair to say that cycling in the capital has also transformed over the past few years, and it makes it far more welcoming for those looking to avoid the congested tubes.
The increasing numbers of cyclists brings a greater sense of community and camaraderie to the journey, and also ensures I don’t get as many strange looks as I walk the final leg to work in my cycling gear!
At the weekends, I am mainly spending time with my family so I try and get up and out as early as I can on a Saturday morning for a few hours. I can cycle to Kent and be back before 9, which means I’ve got the rest of the day to enjoy. I also find cycling for a longer stretch at the weekends is a great way of topping up your mid-week fitness.
My next big cycle will be the CBRE World’s Biggest Property Bike Ride, and for the second year I’ll be taking on the ‘epic’ 100km route. It’s fantastically organised as it allows those who are less confident on a bike to do the shorter route and finish at more or less the same time as those who are more experienced. Last year, I completed the 100km route in a group of 8: we all rode together, tackled the hills at different times and re-grouped towards the end to all cruise across the finish line together.
It was such a great experience and we are planning on doing the same again this year.
The enjoyment on the day, not to mention the networking opportunities the ride offers, meant there was no hesitation from us in signing up as a sponsor for the second time. I hope to see as many people as possible at the starting line!
To secure your place, and find out more, head to the website: www.cbre.co.uk/bikeride
Ben Sanderson, director, fund management at Hermes Investment Management