We are continuing our series of interviews with new and repeat riders of Legal & General Real Assets Cycle to MIPIM 2019. Today we’re talking to Magdalena Gonzalez, M&A Associate at Lockton Companies LLP, who will be riding to MIPIM for the first time this March.
- Why did you decide to sign up for Cycle to MIPIM this year?
I must admit that when the idea was first put to me, I laughed. “I didn’t even own a bicycle so how on earth would I manage to cycle 1,500km in 6 days ?” I asked in a fit of giggles. It turns out that I underestimated quite how persuasive my colleagues can be, and so after a weekend to think about it further, I realised what a unique challenge it would be and that I may not get another opportunity like this so I signed myself up. On a personal level, this ride will be both a physical and mental test of how far I can push myself, yet at the same time it’s going to be a great opportunity to meet others working in similar fields, and hopefully make some new friends.
- What are you most daunted by?
There are a couple of things, but what worries me the most is quite how fit I’ll need to be to endure six consecutive days of cycling. I’m also far from a morning person – I really need my sleep! The early wake-ups combined with late nights and physically demanding days are going to be a challenge, but hopefully I will find a balance that works for me. The nutrition aspect is also a whole new consideration, as I have never had to eat such large quantities in my life! Having said that, it’s nice to eat whatever and whenever I want guilt free.
- What are you most encouraged by?
This is by far the most physically-demanding challenge that I’ve ever undertaken, but the amount of support that I’ve received from colleagues and everyone involved in the Club Peloton training rides has been really encouraging and has made the process so much more enjoyable than I could ever have anticipated.
From teaching me to clip in and out of my cleats and adjusting my bike countless times, to the endless offering of jelly babies and cream eggs, every small gesture has made a huge difference in my training journey. It has allowed me to enjoy the entire process and has kept me smiling, even when it’s raining and freezing cold outside. Finally, something that I didn’t even consider when I started my training is quite how much stronger I would become. Seeing the weekly progress that I have been making keeps me motivated and pushing on.
- What would you most like to experience on the ride?
I’m most looking forward to working together as a team, rallying around, and encouraging one another so that we can achieve our goals. It is my understanding that we will all get the chance to lead a stage, which I also very much look forward to. It means that at least for one stage I won’t be at the back desperately trying to catch up! Being out in the fresh air, on clear roads, with beautiful scenery will also be a welcome break from hectic London life. Oh and of course I’m already excited for that moment when we finally see the glimmering Mediterranean sea!
- What does having a more balanced peloton (improved female to male ratio) mean for the peloton?
This is my first year participating, so I can’t talk from previous experience, but it is very encouraging to see a balance in the group. I participated in one training ride a few weeks ago where 80% of us were women which is fantastic and shows how much progress has been made in the sport. It’s incredibly exciting to be part of that change – I look forward to my sponsorship deal with Nike because #thisgirlcan!