This September the affiliate industry will be taking on one epic challenge; cycling from London to Paris in 24 hours. With just over 3 months to go, I decided to chat to some of the Awin cycle team who include; Monique Dingemans, Team Leader, Awin, David Benham, UX Writer, Awin and Kristopher McIntosh, Team Leader, Awin, to find out what motivated them to take part in the event and how they’ll be preparing for the 180 mile cycle.
How long have you been cycling for?
Monique: As long as I can remember really. My parents dropped me off by bike at primary school, so I don’t really know any better than commuting by bike!
David: 5 years on and off depending on my commute.
Kristopher: 3-4 years.
Why do you cycle? Tell us a bit about what motivates you…
Monique: Normally I just use my bike to travel around the city. Back home everybody commutes to school, work, friends etc by bike and until 4 or 5 years ago I only used my bike to get from A to B. However, a few years ago I bought my first road bike and ever since then my boyfriend and I have made a lot of tours across different countries (mainly The Netherlands and UK though). It’s such a nice way to explore your surroundings and it brings me to places I otherwise would have never seen.
David: Mostly to save money and time travelling, but also because I enjoy exercise and running on concrete isn’t great for the knees.
Kristopher: I don’t tend to cycle for pleasure too frequently, however, I cycle to work almost every day. I’m not a fan of the Tube and cycling to work not only helps me avoid it, but saves me some money, gives me a little exercise, and gets me to work in about 15 minutes, which isn’t bad at all!
What inspired you to take part in the Affiliate London2Paris Cycle?
Monique: I believe that from all the organised sports events, this is probably the one that suits me best. I probably cycle more than I walk on a daily basis and I love both the English and the French countryside (and Paris!!) so this just sounds like the perfect adventure!
David: A few years ago some friends and I cycled to Amsterdam, but that was before everyone had GPS, we all had terrible bikes and were extremely underprepared.
I’m quite looking forward to doing a longer cycle properly, without worrying about things going wrong too much, and being able to push myself along the way.
Also, were doing the cycle to raise money for a charity who really helped some close family members in the past, so it would mean a lot if we can raise a good amount of money for them.
Kristopher: It sounded like a great challenge for a really good cause! I think the furthest I’ve ever cycled is about 50km, so it’s definitely going to test me, but I’m happy to give it a shot and raise some money for a great charity at the same time.
What training will you be doing in preparation for the challenge?
Monique: I love cycling in Surrey, especially on Sunday with a roast as lunch! Cycling up Box Hill is a really good training, so I’ll probably try to go down that area as much as possible to get my fitness up.
David: I cycle to work most days, but it’s not very far, so I’m hoping to organise a few cycle trips to Brighton, maybe cycle around Richmond Park, and possibly visit some friends out of London and see some different cycle routes.
Kristopher: My cycle to work each day unfortunately falls short of what would be considered adequate training for the trip to Pairs, so I’ll be utilising my free weekends to cycle out of London. The team here at Awin will also be arranging group cycles to places like Brighton to help get us used to cycling longer distances. Beyond cycling, I’ll be hitting the gym to try and improve my overall fitness.
If you could cycle anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Monique: Cycling from North to South Italy is something I actually would love to do once.
David: Very tough question! I think most exotic places I’d like to travel would have awful facilities for cycling, so I’d probably stick to Western Europe (Belgium, France, Germany, The Netherlands) but I’d take a long time off and cycle around to visit many different friends in many different places!
Kristopher: Probably Switzerland. The scenery looks incredible and think it would be a nice change from riding through London’s somewhat dirty streets!
Finally, if you could cycle with anyone (dead or alive) who would it be and why?
Monique: I’m pretty happy with my usual cycling buddy, but if I have to pick someone famous I’d maybe choose Joop Zoetemelk who’s been probably the biggest Dutch cycling legend in history and winner of the Tour de France. Perhaps he can give me some tips and tricks ahead of the London-Paris tour 😉!
David: I’m not sure cycling with a dead person would be that fun – I’d just be slowed down by the dead weight (ba-dum tshh?)
Probably some of my Ultimate Frisbee team mates. We often travel to different countries to play tournaments on nice beaches, so we already know each other fairly well and have similar fitness levels. Plus, it’s always constant jokes whenever we’re together.
Kristopher: I’d have to say it’s probably Elon Musk at the moment. I think what he’s doing is incredible and I’m excited to see what changes he’s going to make to the world.