the other cycling year so far

the other cycling year so far

cycling can take you to some cool places. Not just on the road or trail. Whilst trundling into the office I reflected on my cycling year to date. Not the 3000 km I’ve already chalked up, a different type of cycling journey – our newly incorporated cycle-touring venture:

  • My fellow cyclo-dreamers and I, stopped talking about starting a cycle company, agreed to work together and incorporated a limited company…
  • …and a British Cycling affiliated cycling club.
  • That’s secured us places in the Prudential 100 and we’ve got a team entered this year…
  • …who will be riding in our new, totally bespoke, pretty-damn cool (if I may say so myself) team cycling kit
  • We’ve also designed a club logo, we think it captures our ethos: serious about cycling, not serious cyclists
  • The team jersey is from a new cycle clothing manufacturer that we’ve teamed up with, HUEZ, we’ve already sold over 50 club jerseys, when I say sold I mean ‘provided at cost’ to our growing team.
  • We’ve also worked with some other cool cycling and sports companies (went halves on 140 team water bottles), – the oldest bike shop (in the world, maybe), and (who publish some of my articles and gave us some voucher codes on gym passes).
  • We’re on Social Media – Instagram, Facebook, we have a website, some great photos and film footage of our cycling adventures (plus a fledgling cycling blog)
  • Not forgetting the boring stuff like sorting out limited company incorporation, insurance, opening bank accounts.
  • The East Sheen Primary School London to Paris in 24 horrs (or ESPS L2P24 for short) was something special. We backed ourselves to deliver a great event and we did that and then some. If we did nothing else – the kids response, the money raised and the ‘life changing’ experiences the Hero Dad’s told us about were amazing.
  • But we will do more. Next time it will be easier, that was our pilot. We now have templates, actual costs, ridden routes, neat tricks (like showers in a pub) and lessons learned.
  • Plus, we’ve got feedback from real clients that give us real insight in. So we can make the challenge even better.
  • Not forgetting the annual club 300 miles in 3 days, or for some 400 miles in 4 days – we’re getting more ambitious already. We’ve been running these since 2009 and this year’s tour was seamless (except for the guy who forgot his passport!)
  • And on the next trips we have a great mechanic and physiotherapy support lined up, which will make the experience even better still.

I know July’s Chasing the Tour trip is officially in the 2nd half of the year but it’s all organised, wrapped up and ready to go. That’s not bad for just half a year’s work!


a ride like no other

a ride like no other

Richmond Park again. And again and again. It’s my back yard and I’m not complaining. I live in London and yet I have 2,500 acres of parkland on my doorstep to ride, run, walk, explore and lose myself in.  Charles I is to thank for enclosing the park in the 17th Century for his own hunting pleasure, it wasn’t   popular with the locals then but has served to preserve a very special rural retreat in the South West corner of Metropolis London.

As I crest Sawyers Hill with Richmond behind me, on a clear day I can see the dome of St Paul’s, surrounded by the skyscrapers of the City.  This line of sight is the axis upon which I live and work.

Despite my unbridled love for Richmond Park I’ve started to spice my training rides up with small detours out of the park into the local roads, explore a little, try a different hill, but always coming back into the familiar surrounds of the park to try and snatch a PB.

Except today I didn’t obsess about lap times, the wind direction, the traffic, or seek detours, I ignored the grazing red deer, barely noticed the arriving Spring colours and the immigrant green parrots at the roadside because I was basking in the joy of wearing my new cycle jersey.

I know how that sounds, except this jersey is different.  It’s the new club jersey for a new ‘virtual cycle club’ – – (maybe the 1st of its kind…?). It felt great to be wearing a jersey designed by myself and my co-club founders and produced exclusively for us by It’s not just a jersey, it represents a hopeful future for our club and our newly incorporated cycle-touring venture.  Wearing the jersey makes it all seem real and ambitions achievable.  It’s given me a first glimpse at the pride, satisfaction and excitement that can comes from challenging yourself to the things you thought you couldn’t i.e. start-up a cycling company.

You’ve got to start somewhere.