The Cycle to MIPIM 2017 group in St Giles, London
Shawn (left) and Charles (right) in their KPF jerseys
Map of both routes from London to Cannes, the location of the MIPIM Conference
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Cycle to MIPIM 2017

KPF Principals Charles Ippolito and Shawn Duffy are participating in this year’s Legal and General Real Assets Cycle to MIPIM Charity Ride. Covering a grueling 1,500km in six days, they will leave London on March 9th and are due to arrive in Cannes on the 14th to mark the opening of the international real estate fair. Now in its eleventh year, the Ride acts as a unique social networking opportunity for industry leaders attending MIPIM. 

Riding with the fundraising charity Club Peloton, Charles and Shawn will be joining over 150 professionals as they cycle through the English and French country sides. Together they will ride in a relay format, completing at least two of the five to six stages every day ranging 40–60km each. The volume of participants necessitated two routes to ease traffic. ClubPeloton chose to cycle the original, northern route.

Just a few days prior to the Ride, these architects-turned-cyclists divulged their training progress. An avid cyclist, Shawn has participated in numerous 1-2 day rides. Charles participated in his first official ride last summer, cycling 100 miles alongside Shawn, and plans to train for more in the future. However, neither principal has participated in a ride of this length or caliber. The pair began training in December, which they described as particularly difficult due to the grim English weather. Over the past three months, they have cycled or strength trained 2 to 3 times during the week, saving longer rides for the weekends.

 As architects, Charles and Shawn are compelled by the sport’s unique connection to the built environment. Cycling allows them to experience the world in a different dimension than everyday life. As a method of transportation, it occupies the space between cities, dominated by public transit, and the suburbs, where traffic congests the streets. Both designers often identify landmarks while cycling, acting as actual milestones for how far they’ve traveled or distinct memories of their surroundings on a particular ride. It is no doubt that Charles and Shawn will encounter many of these moments as they travel through the French countryside.

In turn, riding in a group requires a particular ability to balance spatial and verbal communication. Proper communication between the front and back of the pack ensures the safety of all riders. Hand and spoken signals are given in response to sharp turns or obstructed roads, merging spatial awareness with athletic expertise. 

Their combined target was to raise over £5,000 for children's charity Coram, the main recipient of all the money raised by the Cycle to MIPIM initiative. With generous contributions from Canary Wharf Group, Multiplex, Shildan, and Yuanda Europe, they have now ‘smashed’ this goal and are continuing to raise funds online. If you would like to support their efforts or to find out more about why they are taking part, visit Charles and Shawn's Sports Giving pages.

In addition, you can also follow their progress on Charles and Shawn’s blog or on KPF’s Twitter feed and Facebook account.