On 20th June 2019, the Legal & General Real Assets pedElle 2019 will set off from Siena for Rome over three days and 400km. We talk to first time rider Nisha Kerai from LGIM Real Assets about her involvement in the ride, and what it’s like to train for her first Club Peloton event. You can follow pedElle 2019 from Thursday 20th to Saturday 22nd June on our Twitter and Instagram channels.
Firstly tell us about you, who you work for and your role there?
I am an Asset Manager for LGIM Real Assets working on their Built to Rent fund.
Why did you decide to sign up for pedElle?
I started working for Legal & General, who are the lead sponsor, last year. I signed up for the cycling challenge to get to know my new colleagues better, meet other professionals in the industry and to improve my fitness. I was initially signed up for Cycle to MIPIM but I was not ready to take on the challenge in March. I signed up for pedElle to prove to myself that I could complete an endurance challenge. The extra few months of training have definitely helped me feel better prepared.
What are you most looking forward to?
I am really looking forward to all the food and wine. I am also pleased that there will be no need to think about portion control due to all the calorie burning, hill climbing we will be doing!
What are you most daunted by?
I am not worried about the distances but I am worried about all the climbing. It is quite difficult for me and takes a lot of energy which can lead to tiredness and clumsiness. I just need to remember to focus and not talk too much!
Have you attend the training rides? In what ways have they helped?
I have attended as many training rides as I can and these have been immensely helpful. The Ride Captains and all the other ladies on the training rides have been very supportive. There has always been an endless amount of advice, snacks and laughter which has made even the most difficult rides seem manageable.
What’s been the most useful piece of advice you’ve received in the run up to pedElle?
Oddly, the most useful piece of advice has been to “imagine that the ride is an endless hill and just keep pedalling at the same pace”. Whilst it doesn’t sound encouraging, it is a really useful tool to maintain the mental strength needed to get through a ride that has some daunting hills.
What would you like to experience on pedElle?
I want the experience to be difficult to make all the training worthwhile. I also want to be able to cycle up all the difficult climbs to really get a sense of achievement. I am also looking forward to our evening in Rome after the cycle.
What do you think having an all-female peloton brings to the experience?
The atmosphere in an all-female peloton is completely different to a majority male peloton. I have always found the male pelotons very difficult to keep up with and that impacts confidence levels and enjoyment levels. The all-female peloton, where physical abilities are similar, is a much better environment for a more novice rider.
How does pedElle help with networking and mentoring?
A social, physical, all-female challenge such as this is a rare opportunity in our industry. The ride creates an easy forum to bond with a wide variety of roles and experience levels. There are opportunities to interact with everyone on multiple occasions through training events and the ride itself. We have been able to share our experiences at work and seek advice from people who we may not have met otherwise.
What’s your motto or good luck charm for the event?
Singing creepy circus music while climbing horrific hills! It’s weird but I just imagine that I am a clown on a unicycle and it seems to work. I probably shouldn’t be putting this in writing :)