At the end of January this year, we spotted a tweet from Elizaveta Parkhouse, who had tweeted that she had completed 400km in Strava’s January Cycling Challenge, and that “Most of these miles were done at 7AM on Zwift in lovely company of @ClubPeloton - very supportive and encouraging.”
We asked Elizaveta, who is an Associate at M&E Consultancy, CD International, to tell us a little bit more about how she racked up those turbo miles and then we spoke to John Nordon, who has been hosting our Zoom & Zwift sessions since the week after lockdown began, in March 2020.
First up, Elizaveta:
“Good news: days are getting longer.
So the Friday early morning wake-up at 6:30 gets easier.
So the Friday morning wake-up at 6:30 and Club Peloton Zwift ride at 7:00 and parallel chat via Zoom while trying to stay in a group gets easier.
Well, it actually does!
Those who cycle with Club Peloton know.
Remember, that these are group rides for all ability cyclists: those who race and those who don’t, those who like to chat a lot and those who talk at a speed of one word per km, like me. It is just nice to hear the banter, meet new people and see the old buddies. Where else would I have this opportunity now?
While we are locked down with our bikes in our garages, garden sheds, spare rooms or bedrooms, it is great to have morning rides organised online.
My idea for my 1500 challenge would be to organise a relay - 1500km or 1500 hours or 15 days. It is great to see people challenge themselves for a good cause individually. Chapeau to the bravest and the bonkers, but I believe we are stronger when connected.
So Club Peloton The 1500 Relay: any takers?
Oh, and join us every Friday at 7am for regular Zoom & Zwift rides, in “Rubber Band On” mode meaning we all stay as one group.”
Follow Liza on Zwift: Liza Parkhouse and on Strava and find out more about the 48 hour Zoom relay from 19th-21st March here.
Next up John Nordon, Creative Director at igloo Regeneration, who has been ‘Ride Captain’ of every single one of the Zoom & Zwift rides since they started.
“As one of the 17 founder riders of what was then called Cycle to Cannes, I have first hand experience of how it creates a huge number of friendships, a family that is very happy to lightly rib one another, be honest with each other, support one another through tough times: on the road, at work and personally. The reality is that on the road you have to trust each other – it is a very deep thing that goes beyond the road.
After 13 years of London to Cannes via various routes, I had decided I was ready for a change so in 2019 I rode from Bari to Cannes. I vowed to keep developing new rides that Club Peloton would get the benefit of.
When the first lockdown hit my bike was most of the way to Valencia for the 2020 ride (this would have been my 15th year!). There was a huge hole in my life, and it was obvious that the riders are the magic – the cycling (for me) was endurance. So it seemed logical to get on Zwift (I had never done it before) but also critically to be on Zoom too – because it is the banter that makes Club Peloton a different kind of club.
We started at the end of March, twice a day – that lasted until June (with a lot of riding on my own), and then we continued at once a day. Now we are nearly back at March, and having missed only a handful of days in that time, I have racked up over 6,000km on the Zwift Club Peloton rides – pushing me over 12,000km for the year on all formats!
Luke Tozer has been my constant companion this whole time, and we are still finding out new things about each other. We actually went on a real ride (the London Road Club Christmas Ride) which was strange, like meeting your pen friend! While we knew each other a bit before, I would like to think this experience will stay with us for ever… even my bad dad jokes.
Zoom & Zwift rides now take place every Monday and Friday and are open to everyone – so you’ll always be sure of plenty of faces. There is also still a core of riders turning up mid-week too; David Johnston (Johnno), Andrew Hynard, Barry Fowler, Kevin Gray, Chris Clarke (erratic), Steve Walker (who is coming back into it having been ill) and Tom Wynne, who dropped the wheel about three months ago but are hoping he will make it back on.
Fridays are the highlight for me. We have a real collection of people and lots of chatting… we keep it pretty steady (although I think a few of us have gotten stronger over the last 12 months) and then smash the volcano climb at the end. A real joy is when Richard Fenne joins us from the Middle East – he brings sunshine to our dark days in so many ways!
So if you want to hear about whales in the Middle East, how Kent is the best place ever (yawn) or get some real insight on how different parts of our profession are coping in this new world then get on yer bike and join us…
Final note: we will miss Kevin’s “wisteria watch” this April/May as he has sold his house and moved, but we look forward to hearing about how the renovations go on his new place, and – if architects are anything to go by – that should keep us busy for a very long time!”
Follow John on Zwift: John Nordon and on Strava.