In part one of our 2017 review we covered the amazing achievements from club members from January to June, but it is the second half of the year that things really kicked off. The confidence gained in the early part of the year took everyone to new levels allowing them to smash their goals.
From July to December we ran more rides, trips and events than ever before and you guys came along and made them all brilliant. The year culminated in our Christmas Jumper ride and Club Awards - you can read all about who won what at the end of the review! But don't jump to the end just yet - enjoy a trip down memory lane first...
It would be impossible to talk about July without starting with Ride London. The UK cycling scene is pretty much dominated by the London 100, and many of our members join thousands of others who take on 100 miles in July. Our 12 ride training series started in June and really got going in July, with more and more people joining us to train for the big ride. It was awesome to watch everyone improve each ride. Culminating in a 90 mile 'warm up' ride, we knew that everyone who had taken part in the series was ready to smash Ride London.
The day itself was an absolute pleasure - David, Wilker and Oli set themselves a target of 4 hours 30 mins and only missed it by minutes. You can read about their exploits in the blog post that followed (be warned, pseudonyms were used to protect identities!) However the real success story lay in just how well everyone else did. People like Mel, Chris, Veronica and Sue - who were genuinely expecting to be too slow to finish the ride. Not only did they finish, but they massively exceeded their expectations. Being able to say 'I told you so' has never felt so good! Can't wait to run our training series again next summer. If you've not yet signed up for Ride London then definitely do - you won't regret it.
In July we went down to The Docklands and watched a bunch of crazy people ride around in circles (in the rain) with no brakes! That's right - Red Hook Crit (the coolest race on earth) came to London, and a gang of us went down to watch! Apart from the pretty hideous crash right in front of us, It was awesome to watch the women's race first. It definitely inspired a couple of the group to want to race! The men's race was equally as exciting, with London's own Alec Briggs taking a well deserved spot on the podium. Next year club trip to Red Hook Brooklyn??
July also saw us expand into another new city, riding with the lovely people of Norwich. Starting from the Norwich Cycle Republic store, we rode out into the beautiful Norfolk lanes for coffee in the countryside. There was even part of the ride where we had to board a chain ferry and cross a river - it was great. Can't wait for more Norwich group rides in 2018.
The Rapha Women's 100 day is a chance for loads of women to get together and ride in a group. Kind of an odd one for us, as often our rides are 100% female anyway, but anything that helps to get more women on bikes is great. We teamed up with partners Queen of the Mountains and saw three groups of women ride to Whitstable for fish and chips. Thanks Helena, Patrick and Anna for leading.
Having finally reached the end of our tether with Garmin, and having been following the cool things Wahoo had been up to, we got in touch to set up a partnership. Having met the UK team and worked out we have the same goals, it was an obvious choice. That shared goal is to help people cycle more, and the Wahoo products always do that. Simple, connected and long lasting - it's awesome when we see members rocking the #wahooligan look!
The inaugural Dirty Wknd Summer Picnic Bike Olympics took place in Richmond Park and boy did we have fun. The weather was great, and it was lovely to have so many people come out to play. It would've been easy to sit and chat all day, but there were some serious Bike Olympics to settle and it was very cool that everyone got heavily involved. KOM/QOM comp, longest 'no pedal decent', egg and spoon and relay races - it was an awesome day in the park. We've already got BIG plans for next year's event!
The Dunwich Dynamo is an overnight bike ride from East London to the Suffolk coast that happens in June, and loads of members took part in this challenging ride. Because why not, Helena and Jake went a bit further, literally, and rode half the way back as well! It looked like so much fun that in August we rode the route with an awesome group of (all) female riders. It's a beautiful and challenging ride, but the pub lunch at the end was totally worth it. This group of girls smashed it all the way there, but then got the train home - we're not as mad as Helena and Jake!
After having ridden to Paris in 24 hours with Sophie back in April, club member Liv turned to us and said "what's next?" A few days letter she told us she'd signed up to a Lands End To John O'Groats trip. Setting out on her own with a bunch of (mostly) Yorkshiremen, she rode all the way across the country in 9 days. It was awesome to get updates along the way, and we're so proud of how far Liv has come in a really short time riding withe the club. Can't wait to see what 2018 has in store!
Ride 2 Pride has become a yearly event, and it's amazing the lengths that everyone goes to getting into the event. Born out of a slip up from David (surprisingly) - we had planned to ride to Brighton and get the train back, not realising it was Pride festival and trains would be stacked. What to do? Well obviously you don your tightest and brightest kit and ride back from Brighton too! A great ride with great people. That's also 2 from 2 with perfect weather - can next year be as good too??
A slightly surprising turn of events in August was finding out that distinguished member and professional wheelsucker Oli Crosby had qualified for the Amateur World Championships. Admittedly we did have a 'what, our Oli?' moment, but his hard work and dedication in the off season had clearly paid off, as he got to don Team GB kit and ride for his country. A few other friends had also travelled down to the south of France - Alison from Bella Velo being one. It was an amazing achievement and one everyone should be very proud of. Oli is currently looking for domestiques to help him qualify for the race again next year. CVs accepted by email only!
The beginning of September heralds the start of the biggest stage race in the UK, and we were thrilled to be invited to the start of the race in Glasgow. Not only that but we got to hang out and ride with Mark Cavendish and the Dimension Data squad. Emma had an amazing time riding with the team and also watching the start of the race from the VIP area. On the other end of the spectrum David led a ride up to Suffolk to watch the end of stage 6. Pretty far from VIP - it rained all day and the group missed the race completely! Still, everyone had fun anyway - sort of!
With thoughts turning to winter cycling we wanted to partner up with an indoor cycling studio that was accessible to all and really paid attention to the details. Cyclists are a fussy bunch, and Digme Fitness manage to cater for almost everyone - whether you're a stat head or just want to improve your fitness. Locations across London also make it easy for all our members to get to classes. In September we cemented our new partnership by taking part in an awesome challenge cycling between London and Oxford and taking part in four classes. It was a tough day out but having members come down to join in for the final classes was awesome.
We have been working with the Mile 27 guys for a few months prior to September, using the cafe as our central clubhouse (20% off for members) and promoting their awesome running club. However it was in September that we cooked up the idea of a 'Beer Duathlon'. Four laps of Regent's Park cycling, one lap running and then back to the clubhouse for some very reasonably priced beer! It was an instant success, bringing two like minded communities together, and became a monthly staple.
The Deloitte sponsored Ride Across Britain is an event that sees thousands of riders take on the LEJOG route. Lots of friends and members took part, as well as very own Jo Goodall. RAB sounds like a fantastically well organised ride and a great challenge. You can read Jo's top tips to ride across Britain here.
Towards the end of the month, a group of intrepid members took on the always amazing London 2 Paris in 24 Hours ride with our partners Viva Velo! Rosie, Jess and Lucy joined a group of others as they took on the famous route. The ride down to Brighton/Newhaven, including climbing Ditchling in the dark, is certainly an experience. Similarly riding off the ferry at 4am and heading towards Paris is something you never forget. However it's all worth it as you ride under the Eiffel Tour to complete the challenge! Great work team.
One of the reasons we partner with the people we do is because of their understanding that our members want to try out their products before parting with hard earned cash. Wahoo love to get their products into your hands to test them, allowing them to make up their own mind. Our first ELEMNT ride out in September saw loads of people getting to try out the head units for themselves on a fun group ride. Wahoo also bought everyone pizza too, which was great. More of this in 2018
Having endured an agonising couple of month's away from cycling paradise, in October we were heading back to Mallorca for our second trip of the year. Once again partnering with Viva Velo, we took a new group out to the Island for more of the same perfect riding conditions. Our favourite thing about Mallorca is the confidence and self belief riding there gives to new and beginner riders. Taking on a climb like Sa Calobra helps riders to face any road back home. The transformation we see at the end of the week is so rewarding. Everyone on the trip was incredible - but we must single out 'Rider of the Week' Natalie Jones. Not only did she complete Sa Calobra in an insane 51 minutes, but she'd only ever cycled 200km before leaving London. She always had a massive smile on her face, took on all challenges and was a pleasure to be around. Great work Nat!
October also saw us heading back to the Olympic Park Velodrome for the London Six Day track cycling. No Wiggo this year, but our mate Cav did his best to light things up for the home crowd. It was also very cool to be able to watch the racing with our friend Lulu, who shortly after took off for an adventure in Africa! Good luck Lulu and keep us updated. If you want to experience Six Day then look out for tickets for next year's event.
As with our Wahoo ride out, the Smart Turbo night that we ran in October at The Dynamo was a huge success. A Turbo trainer is a big investment, so getting the chance to try one out and ask questions of the Wahoo team is a great opportunity. Add in some pizza and beer courtesy of wahoo, and a KOM/QOM comp for prizes from the Dynamo and you've got a winning night. Well done to Adam and Esme who won the prizes.
Halloween is usually seen in with too much booze and a slutty animal costume (and that's just David), so it was great fun this year to team up with 10,000km collective to tour London's best cemeteries in a great fun group. Over 50 riders turned up at Look Mum No Hands, in various forms of fancy dress, and rode Through London to Dynamo for Pizza and beer. Can anyone say 'annual event'??
When news broke of a 25 hour team race in Windsor, we had signed up a team before we even had all the details. The first ever Red Bull Timelaps event was a huge success and the Dirty Wknd team did much better than we could ever have expected. David, Fraser, Jake and Patrick left everything they had on the track, and finished up a brilliant 12th out of the men, and 16th overall.
The biggest success of the event however, was the community spirit and the way all the teams helped each other out. It definitely felt like a 'home race' with the majority of the teams being London cyclists, and it was great to ride with so many friends, including QOM, Threo, Wahoo and others. It was a heartwarming weekend of the best type of riding - we only wish we'd entered more teams. Next year we'll flood the paddock in black and white!
Whilst the weather in the UK can be perfect for short sleeve riding, a set of winter kit is absolutely essential if you're planning to ride all year round. So we were very pleased to take delivery of our new winter kit just before it started to get really cold. A Roubaix style fleece lined long sleeve jersey and an aero wind jacket were added to the Maglia Nera range and it's been great seeing everyone wearing them. It also meant to a trip back to the studio of Photogiro for some more incredible shots. Thanks again Patrick.
We're massive fans of a tough challenge, but even we'd think twice about a London to Paris trip in November! Good job that Alice and Chloe are made of sterner stuff, as they set out on the 24 hour ride in some of the most appalling conditions we've ever seen. Watching the updates on social media was equal parts impressive and horrifying! We love it when people meet on our rides, and then go off and do their own challenges, and it doesn't get much more challenging than this! Great work ladies.
Cycling, running and all of the other outdoor activities that the majority of the club partake in can be seriously hard on the body, so we were delighted to partner up with sports masseuse Lucy Bond. Giving members 20% off sports massage therapy, Lucy's healing hands have started helping to keep club members injury free and on the road.
Measuring your Functional Threshold Power is a great way for cyclists to track their fitness throughout the year, but it's pretty hard to do without a fair bit of kit. So when the opportunity to run a 'group FTP' class at Digme came up we jumped at the chance. With the help of coach Paul, a group of members were able to test their FTP and use it as a base to measure their fitness. We'll be doing more tests in the new year to see how the Christmas period has effected everyone's training.
December might have to be renamed the Christmas Party Ride month. Starting off with the Christmas Beer Duathlon sponsored by Threo. We rode, we ran and we ate mince pies! It was lovely to celebrate with both communities and if you're a runner, triathlete or someone who just like being outdoors, then Mile 27 is a great club to join. Looking forward to more events together in the New Year.
The next Christmas Party ride on the list was that of our friends and travel partner Viva Velo. We have loved working with Viva Velo over the year, both on their monthly club ride and the trips we've undertaken together. Dyll and the team put 100% into their trips and rides so it's a pleasure to work with them. The post ride party was a little bit raucous and it was great fun to celebrate with friends new and old. Can't wait for all our trips with Viva Velo in 2018.
The following Saturday brought about our own Christmas party ride and club awards ceremony. We rode out to Windsor in Christmas jumpers, and it was great fun to spend time with old and new members on a ride out to to our favourite coffee stop, Cinnamon Cafe. Returning back to Dynamo for pizza, beer and club awards we celebrated amazing achievements all afternoon long.
Whilst we would've loved to have given everyone an award (and could've easily, we managed to pick out ten for the year. We were very happy to have some of our partners to donate prizes to go along with the awards. Thanks to Cycle Republic, Wahoo and Parcours. Winners below. You can also see all the photos and explanations for the awards here.
QOM/Rider Of The Year - Melissa Moore (1x year's free membership)
KOM/Rider Of The Year - Robert Chittock (1x year's free membership)
Most Improved Rider - Chris Murley (Muc Off Travel Pack)
Tourist Of The Year - Renata Ruszkiewicz (Lezyne hand pump)
Fail Of The Year - Jake Neale (Ass Saver)
Wheelsucker Of The Year - David Lewis (Parcours sunnies)
I Need A Wahoo Award - Nick Warth (Wahoo Bidon)
Public Relations Award - Helena Knightley (Parcours Sunnies)
Excuse Of The Year Award - Wilker Soares (1x free beer)
Most Likely To Turn Pro Award - Esme Cole (1x free beer)
All that's left to say after another great year is thank you for making it so special. Everyone who has ridden with us, come away on a trip or just chatted with us on social media. We're incredibly proud of the things this club and community have acheived, and all the friendships that have developed. We can't wait for an even bigger and better 2018!
David & Emma