Cycling from Porto to Lisbon
I can safely say to myself that in 2017 I tried something new. In May I cycled from Porto to Lisbon as part of Legal and General Assets Pedelle 2017. The ride is organised by Club Peloton to raise money for their affiliated charities including Coram, it also provides a unique opportunity to network with other women in the property industry.
I always thought of myself as a cyclist, I’ve cycled to work every day for 10 years so surely the long-distance Peloton malarkey wouldn’t be too difficult? A year ago, I bought myself a bike and signed up. At that point I was still pretty naïve to the challenge that lay ahead!
During my first practice ride I dragged myself out of bed at 5am on a Sunday morning to meet some of my fellow Peddlers in Richmond Park. From there we cycled over to the Surrey hills and back again. I was quite apprehensive, my first big ride on a new ride bike with drop handlebars, first time clipped in and first the time in a Peloton. For me the steep uphills weren’t the most terrifying part, it was the plummeting downhill that scared the wits out of me! I clutched on to the brakes as hard as possible. What was amazing was the support and encouragement that my fellow riders and captains gave me.
After this I knew this was a challenge and if I was going to manage 3 x 170 km days of the Portuguese hills I would need to get training. With lots of rides planned ahead, and a new network of riders, this wasn’t too much of a problem. By the time the day of the ride came, I already knew a large proportion of the other women, we were in it together which made me less nervous.
The route from Porto was spectacular and the scenery was immense. The hills and the heat were pretty unforgiving but we all got through it. Pedelle 2017 will always be known as the “hot and hilly one”. Well at least we didn’t get caught in a blizzard in 2016 which is now known as “the cold one”. There was also lots of cake, coffee a and Pastel de Nata to keep us going along the way.
When you are covering such vast distances (approx. 170km a day) the Peleton comes into its own. It’s where you work together as a team to keep you all going, you travel at the speed of the slowest rider and when someone is dropping out the back you work together to bring them back up to the middle. In a way this is how as women we should be working in an industry such as property and construction. We need to look out for each other and pull those who are struggling along and up. We all have a moment being that person and it’s good to know you won’t be left behind.