It’s been a long six months but in September, the Club Peloton team were reunited in person for the first time since March for a fully-supported day ride – and couldn’t have been happier!
The team, who had only been in touch virtually during that time, were thrilled to see each other, friends and riders at the Surrey Hills Day ride on Friday 16th September. The ride was the first in a series of UK-based Club Peloton day rides which have been planned for the coming months.
Here’s an insight into what the team got up to during lockdown, what they missed and how it felt being back on the road:
What constructive thing (or things) did you do during lockdown?
Nick, Chief Executive: Lockdown had its moments – the hush which descended as life paused in the early weeks was quite something – in truth, I miss it. I turned my hand to being a teacher for my gang of three, sometimes with limted results, and was nagged for weeks on end to build a tree house which no one has been in since completion day! Having not really liked riding a bike, lockdown helped my 14 year old daughter find her mojo and confidence on two wheels and so at her request we grabbed the first window of opportunity, packed some panniers and had an adventure riding to Paris together.
Rhian, Event Manager: I decided to make the most of my one form of outdoor activity a day and got the running gear out! Windsor Great Park is on my doorstep and I'd always used the same routes before lockdown and wow, there was so much to explore and I think I explored all of it in the end. It felt really special as it was so quiet, I gradually increased my distance each week with the longest run being 25km.
Charlotte, Marketing: Lockdown has, in all honesty, been HORRENDOUS - so I haven’t been overly constructive! My mum passed away at the end of April this year after a short battle with cancer, so I’ve been navigating a ‘new normal’ and finding coping mechanisms when life is stripped back.
Running has been a great escape for me, so I decided to train for a solo half marathon in mum’s memory. I ran this on Saturday 5th September after 12 weeks of training and so far I’ve raised over £640 for Princess Alice Hospice, who provided mum’s palliative care. I could barely run 5km in March, so I’m pretty chuffed to have done 21km and actually enjoy the miles along the way.
Chris, Event Director: “Constructive” or “construction”? I managed to use the early part of lockdown to catch up on plenty of DIY jobs around the house which April, May and June would normally never allow for as we’d be away on events for the majority of that time. The allotment has also proved a constant draw. That was an allowable activity and provided a great escape, a change of scenery and the promise of a summer harvest like never before (still reaping the rewards of some early season planting btw). I learnt how to make sourdough bread in a very mediocre fashion, have started some very basic wood carving (spoons) and managed to not slice any fingers off as yet, I’m still working on my unicycle technique (much finessing to be done), but I can get round the block now with only one stop, which feels like a pretty big achievement.
More latterly I’ve been out to France to help re-build/re-shape/re-floor/insulate and generally labour away on a house that Lewis (my step-son) managed to purchase during the lockdown period. That’s been the most “destructive” and also “Constructive” process I guess. A stone house in the Ardeche isn’t the easiest structure to work on, but will be an amazing space WHEN, not if, it’s completed! I also managed a sneaky overnight trip to Barcelona for a bit of Tapas and Cerveza!
Perhaps my next biggest achievement will be reaching a “very young half century” shortly. With some of the stupid things I’ve done, it seems pretty amazing to have got this far!
Matt the mechanic: I guess the most productive thing I helped with was working in the workshop and helping many lapsed riders resurrect their old bikes and get them on the road again. Covid has helped fire something of a boom, fueled by people not wanting to use public transport, or simply wanting to get some exercise when they couldn’t make the gym, their spin class or whatever. If even a quarter of them maintain the habit in the future that has to be good.
Stuart the medic: I’ve worked right through in my day job in a GP practice with the added interest of a Covid hot-hub (confirmed cases of COVID to avoid going to the hospitals).
Have you missed Club Peloton events?
Rhian: Oh yes, we're in events because we love everything about it. The planning is important of course but the most enjoyable part is seeing it all come into fruition on the events themselves. We have a great relationship with our Ride Captains, who do such a fantastic job with supporting cyclists in the lead up to rides and this pays off tremendous amounts when you see the camaraderie between everyone on the event itself. Alongside this, we have an amazing group of crew who have worked on our events for years: the banter and fun we have is something we've all greatly missed over the last few months.
Charlotte: Yes! I love documenting our rides and painting a picture across social media for family and friends of riders. Being part of an enthusiastic crew who work hard to pull off our events (with lots of laughs along the way!) brings a great sense of achievement.
Chris: The chance to catch up with the Club Peloton community face-to-face in the early part of lockdown was quickly replaced by the Zoom/Zwift sessions, so I still got my fix, but there’s nothing quite like being out on the road with our riders, and this has been possible (on a few occasions) with some of the London based riders, and it’s also been great to randomly run into (not literally of course) some of the Club Peloton community out on the road at various points. The worst bit is not having been away on my regular holidays… oops, I mean recces of course, working hard on new route, cafes, restaurants and hotels, but I’m sure this will all come back at some point soon. In fact, an upcoming trip to the “Cote D’Bristol” should put all this back into sharp focus as we plan for a Club Peloton Day Ride in October!
Matt: Helping riders get the most out of their time on the bike is one of the most enjoyable aspects of working with the Club Peloton team. Being part of a crew all pulling together to get the best out of an event is an amazing and rewarding experience - who wouldn’t miss that!
Stuart: Yes, I was very disappointed when MIPIM was cancelled this year.
How does it feel to be back on the road?
Nick: It is great to finally be back on the road, slowly getting the wheels turning again. The novelty of seeing people for the first time after many months was amazing and reminded me that we only really thrive when able to physically be together. Not being allowed to run events has been hugely challenging and very tough for Club Peloton and our supported charities. This will continue as we navigate the next year and the ebb and flow of restrictions. However, we have some exciting plans for 2021 and can’t wait to share them with the community once the last details have been finalised.
Rhian: Fantastic, it's so good to see everyone, the buzz is back!
Charlotte: So good! I’m not one to enjoy being at a desk all day - so getting back outdoors and with the team is a great boost.
Chris: I’m not quite there yet, as I’m self-isolating, having come back from France recently, but I know the Club Peloton team, and the registered riders for the upcoming day rides are really keen to be out with colleagues and friends doing what we all like doing: riding our bikes!
Matt: It’s great to see the Club Peloton crew again, and also many familiar faces amongst the riders. It doesn’t feel so much like work as catching up with old friends!
Stuart: It’s really nice to be back with the Club Peloton team again after so long.
To find out more about the next Club Peloton Day Ride and other events visit our Events page.