In the run-up to the Jupiter London Nocturne Cycle Race on 6 June, I will be profiling the four members of Citywire’s team who are entered into the 10-lap Jupiter Race around the Smithfield Market track, writes Suzie Bliss
This week I caught up with James Penny, investment analyst at TAM Asset Management.
As well as a surname well suited to someone in wealth management, he also possesses a huge amount of enthusiasm for cycling.
Penny told me he has always wanted to take up the sport but properly got into it in mid-January, when he started training for the London to Paris event in May.
When I asked him about his training routine – he rides a Canondale CAAD8 – I was surprised to discover that he dices with death on a daily basis.
‘I cycle into work every day,’ Penny told me. ‘It’s pretty dangerous. Nothing wakes you up like tackling the Elephant and Castle roundabout at 7am – it has the highest number of cycling fatalities in London.
‘However, it’s far healthier [to cycle] and has halved my daily commute. It used to take me 40 minutes on the tube, crammed between the FT and someone’s shoulder, but I can now cycle my 7km route to work in 20-25 minutes.’
However, he admitted that clipping into the pedals took some getting used to.
‘For my first few rides, I wore my trainers as I didn’t want to get stuck in my cleats. If your brain doesn’t engage when it’s time to unclip your foot, at best you get egg on your face in front of your fellow commuters, and at worst you can come a cropper.
‘When I was practising using cleats, I did 10 laps of Brockwell Park. I was averaging 1km every three or four minutes so I’ll definitely head back there to get in a couple of practice laps before the race.
‘Unfortunately the park is made for joggers, walkers and screaming children rather than cyclists, so there was a lot of braking!’
I asked if he’ll carry on riding after the event, to which he replied without hesitation: ‘I will most certainly continue cycling after I’ve done the Jupiter London Nocturne – I’m hooked!’
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