Paul Wilkinson works for Avison Young, as a principal in the retail warehouse team concentrating on investments. We spoke to him about this year’s Cycle to MAPIC.
Tell us a little bit about your riding on Cycle to MAPIC experiences
I have done two Northern Power Legs. Last year we started in almost freezing temperatures and rode from Leeds to London, and this year, we rode from Newcastle to Manchester across some killer hills in the Pennines! So I am looking forward to some hotter temperatures and steadier hills on this year’s Cycle to MAPIC. I also did Cycle to MAPIC last year and particularly enjoyed the music en route, especially Queen first thing in the morning in the quiet French countryside!
How has/did doing Cycle to MAPIC help you transition from running your own business to working in a much larger organisation?
As a slightly older chap in a smaller organisation concentrating on a particular sector of the retail market, we can become a little divorced from some of the wider trends. Meeting many other younger riders on Cycle to MAPIC (and also the Power Legs), you come to appreciate that now there is much more emphasis on the residential, regeneration and alternative sectors, for example. This is also very much the case at Avison Young and we need to embrace the new trends and increasingly look for alternative uses for some awkward retail assets.
For anyone new who is thinking about doing Cycle to MAPIC, what are the biggest benefits?
Aside from the obvious health benefits with all the training required, meeting a lot of new people and the camaraderie on the ride.
How much have you kept/do you keep in touch with the Cycle to MAPIC community outside of the event itself?
To be honest I do a fair amount of cycling with local and work pals so haven’t really done any of the training rides – but there’s still time! Through the ride last year however and also from existing friendships I do know quite a few of the riders (I first met one of the riders last year about 30 years ago and hadn’t seen or spoken to him since!). And this year I am looking forward to seeing everybody again and also making some new ones!
It’s not all about business… how does the charity element of the ride keep you motivated?
We’re big supporters of Coram through the various rides and it’s great to form a connection with a charity that does such valuable work in the community. It keeps you motivated on the long climbs when the pain sets in!
Paul and Avison Young are kindly sponsoring the welcome drinks on arrival in Le Puy... you can thank him then!