Outside Interest: cycling

Written by: Jez Abbott
Published on: 11 Feb 2015

Lyndon Gill

Lyndon Gill is a keen cyclist when not working at Iceni and is currently training for the cycle-to-Mipim 1,452km event from London to Cannes in the south of France. He has only six days to complete the gruelling ride.

How did you get into the cycling?

I started cycling seriously eight years ago to lose weight and my first big ride was the length of France, from Cherbourg down to Spain. I loved it. Since then I cycle every weekend. I live in Richmond and pedal around the park five or six times in one session. I also head off to the Chilterns and ride 100km to 150km – from 7am to lunchtime, so as not to upset the wife too much. 

What does it involve?

Right now I'm focusing on Mipim: since Christmas I've been going out every weekday whatever the weather for four or five hours and recently upped this to six to seven hours a day. I cycle from Richmond to work, a round trip of 40km, and between times I do spin classes in the gym before cycling back home.

Why do you do it?

I cycle because I like the challenge and want to keep fit. You also see and feel so much more on a bicycle than you would driving past beautiful countryside in the UK and abroad in a car.

What’s the toughest thing about it?

At the moment it's the cold and knowing the night before you have be up at 6am on a Saturday to catch a train from Paddington to Swindon to get to the Cotswolds in temperatures of about -3°c. This can be motivationally difficult. Knowing anything can go wrong in a remote area, such as a tyre puncture, is also worrying.

What’s the most rewarding thing about it?

Getting to the top of a big hill gives you a real sense of achievement. I recently cycled with two friends from Toulouse, through the Pyrenees, to the French coast. This took in 13 cycling 'cols' - mountain passes – all of which are on the Tour de France route.

Are there any similarities between your day job and toughing out the cycling?

Working in planning has its challenges but when you get the result such as a good planning permission you feel the same buzz you get when you achieve something on a bike.

Do you have any unusual interests or hobbies that you would like to tell us about? If so, please email planning@haymarket.com