Outside interests: cycling

Iain PaintingBy day Iain Painting is a senior planning partner at Barton Willmore's central London office. At other times, he is often out and about on two wheels.

Next month the 46-year-old – along with design partner colleague James Carr – will be among some 95 hardy souls taking part in a 1,500 kilometre charity ride from London to Cannes for the Mipim property conference.

While some of the six day event’s participants will cycle just a portion of the route each day, Painting and Carr are planning to cover the entire distance under their own steam.

The gruelling event’s second day alone will cover 320 kilometers from Calais to the Champagne region city of Reims.

Planning caught up with Painting for a quick chat in the break between work and his accelerating training regime.

Q: What’s the attraction of the event?

A: It’s not the quickest way to get to Mipim, but it’s a great way to get to know people, and its going to raise money for the children’s charity Coram. Also, I think its really important, as you get older, to keep challenging yourself and finding new ways to take yourself out of your comfort zone.

Q: How are the preparations going?

A: I’m trying not to think about how little time there is between now and when we start. It’s four days of about 300 kilometers a day, but other days are shorter. I’m working on the premise that I’m going to ride myself into the fit zone.

Q: How long have you been into cycling?

I’ve always had a bike, but after a sports injury about six years ago I got properly back into cycling and met a nice bunch of people. Jumping on the bike and doing a few kilometres in the saddle is also a great way to clear your mind.

Q: Do work and cycling also mix?

A: Actually, yes. We formed a work club, Barton Willmore Velo, which is for clients and staff. The idea is that we arrange a lot of rides out for clients and staff. We’ve had some great days out.

Q: How long have you been at Barton Willmore?

A: I joined from Westminster City Council in 1996. I went to the city council after studying human geography at Reading University, and took my post-graduate qualifications part-time at the Polytechnic of Central London.

The Cycle to Mipim team leaves London on March 6. Painting and Carr’s sponsorship page can be found here.

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