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Not In The Peloton Awards 2016


Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, roadies and fixies, off-roaders and e-bikers, welcome to the inaugural NITP Awards here at the Royal Albert Hall in the heart of London (we are actually at the local Bingo hall, one eye on the laptop and one eye on the bingo card, just need a Bakers Dozen!). We did think about writing a review through each month but as we've had many moments this year, we think its only appropriate if we look back on the highlights by handing out some trophies.

Ride of the Year:

And the nominations are:

-Tour of the Chilterns

-The One v1.0

-The One v2.0

-Tour of Exeter Stage 2

-Weeknight Chaingang

Wow! What a list! The Chilterns was such a refreshing area to explore and with some great climbs and backdrops, its definitely somewhere we will be returning in 2017. The fact that we used it as a 100mile loop and we still want to do more says it all. Dartmoor was brutal but the scenery was stunning. We managed to climb our highest point so far ever but come next year, we want this record smashed. Ali McQueen and Josh Tipping were the markers for the ride and the banter didn't let up! The rear end of this year has seen us buddy up with locals Sam Hodges and Chris Detsicas for some weeknight chaingangs which has been fast, fierce and ultra competitive. So it boils down to The One but which version...


And the winner is...The One v1.0! v2.0 was mega! The amount of riders who turned up made it into an unofficial sportive even with our own feed station thanks to Allez Nutrition. The feedback we got was that everyone loved it and v3.0 takes it up another notch! But v1.0 was intimate (the group got close but not that close!) but because the group was smaller, we all took it upon ourselves to help each other up the climbs and the sense of achievement at the end was a great feeling. From where we started out as a roadie, to even design a route like this was 'loco' so to achieve it then smash its bigger brother, this takes Ride of the Year.

Bike of the Year:

And the nominations are:

-Richard's The Beacon' Specialized

-Ali's Pinarello

-Dave's Canyon

-Stevens' BMC Time Machine

We have been blessed to have ridden with many people this year who have all had THAT bike we've been trolling the internet for. For most of us, it will stay as a dream until the wife gives us the all clear to get another one! Anyhow, if you havn't seen The Beacon, get yourself down to Specsavers! Jokes aside, when clean, its gleaming. Our good pal Ali treated himself to a new ride and although its not a Dogma, its still a thing of beauty although he will even admit it doesn't get used a lot! Nick from UKCycleChat had brought his friend Dave along for The One v2.0 and to say his Canyon was a head turner was an understatement. But we had a soft spot for another mean machine...

And the winner is...Steven's BMC Time Machine. With its aggressive setup, it just shouts speed. Even the name 'Time Machine' wants you to aim for 88mph! So Steven, here at NITP, we envy you!

Location of the Year:

And the nominations are:

-Surrey Hills

-The Chilterns

-London

-Dartmoor

The Surrey Hills have been our playground for many years now and we are even still finding the odd lane or reverse climb that we haven't explored. It is becoming more popular thanks to the Olympic legacy and the cycling boom which hasn't slowed down. This has made us look for pastures new and thanks to Ali and Josh, the tour through Dartmoor was like being in a different country. Open plains with stoney hill tops or Tors as they are known, they hide some killer climbs to conquer. In 2015, we made our first cross city ride to visit the Velopark in Stratford and have a go on their road circuit. We returned to the city this year for a charity ride with the help of Richard and his beacon. Some areas of London still need the cycling love but for any city in the world, exploring by bike is the way to go...

And the winner is...The Chilterns. We loved this place! The dipping valleys and its ridges, the quaint quiet villages you roll through in a flash to the most homely cafe stop we have ever come across, The Barn at Turnville Heath. We can't wait to go back and we have some PBs to break!

Apparel of the Year:

And the nominations are:

-Le Col's neckie

-Planet X Tour of Flanders socks

-Madison 3/4 Bib Shorts

-Fizik shoes

This is no way a product placement because we stock them but we have been seriously impressed with Le Col's neckie. The only ones we have worn in the past are thin freebies you get given at sportives. We are often vulnerable to a cold like most when the weather changes and our bodies struggle to adapt in the change in temperatures. Le Cols neckie is fleeced so the cold air finds it difficult to penetrate. The Tour of Flanders socks we spotted in a Planet X sale and for a spring sock they are a joy to wear. You really do feel you should be climbing up a cobbled street somewhere or pulling a Sagan wheelie across a finish line. The Madison bib shorts have been very durable and are still in good condition even though they were a spring purchase. They have a pro' look about them so you get some style with the performance.


And the winner is...Fizik shoes. Ok, we purchased them at the back end of 2015 but we were still using the Spiuk shoes we have shrunk and are now unusable! You know you're onto a good shoe when after a whole year of riding, it still feels like you're putting on a slipper. When not protected by overshoes, they are a classy act. Our slick white choice goes well with any kit and even some of my non-cycling members of my family have commented on them!

Climb of the Year:

And the nominations are:

-Whiteleaf, Chilterns

-Dartmeet, Dartmoor

-Beech Avenue, Surrey

-Britwell Hill, Chilterns

We've discovered and conquered some different climbs this year and one of the hardest we've come across was Whiteleaf. A 100climbs hill, this had an ugly bend which threw you into the jaws of its steepest section. Beech Avenue is on the other end of the scale. This leafy quiet climb takes you into the heart of Ranmore Common and its the most gentle introduction to a lumpy area you will come across. Britwell is somewhere in between these two climbs and for a climb you can see a mile off, it's got a nasty kick!

And the winner is...Dartmeet in Dartmoor. This is a controversial choice as our heart says Beech Avenue but for just making sure we conquered this climb, Dartmeet gets the nod. It's horrible. The gradient does not fall below double figures the whole way up and we assume on a windy day because of the open marshes, it would be a killer in rough weather. But the view looking back down the valley is breathtaking and makes the slog up all the more worthwhile.

Achievement of the Year:

And the nominations are:

-The One

-Hour Record

-Le Tour de Foot

-Tour of Chilterns (100miles)

What a tough category. It's always an achievement to hit 100miles in one ride. Our first ever attempt at a century we hit the wall and really had doubts if we could ever break the milestone. A few years on and we have a few to our name and this was one of the more enjoyable ones. Both versions of The One was something we are very proud of. Not just because the amount of climbing, but seeing how the route brought together so many different people from all different backgrounds, it just showed us how powerful sport can be. Although we (Richard and ourselves) didn't fully compete our charity ride, Le Tour de Foot was still an accomplishment. We managed to visit 11/15 London based football clubs and survive the sometimes heavy traffic roads.

And the winner is...The Hour Record. Inspired by Mr Wiggins and the fact that we had set a bench mark the previous year of 21mph, we decided to give it another crack down at the Hillingdon Circuit. It did help that I had a veteran TT rider on my wheel for 40 minutes pushing me all the way resulting in my hour record being 23mph. The challenge now is to raise the bar again in 2017!

Team mate of the year:

And the nominations are:

-Sam Hodges

-Chris Detsicas

-Chris Gregory

-Richard T

-Papiya

Our cycling social circle has grown significantly this year. We have been privileged to ride with some great people, some super fast, some who just never give up. We've met Sam and Chris at the back of the end of the year but we have already formed an efficient chaingang where we all have a role; Sam is the sprinter, Chris the TT specialist and I'm the chef! Richard was our companion on the Tour de Foot but our respect for him was his determination to conquer Whitedown even though he had literally one knee. 2017 will be his year where nothing will defeat him. Papiya despite her timekeeping issues is a rocket on the climb hence why I like to call her Polly! Always smiling, she looks effortless on the hills and will be good to watch her progress in 2017!


And the winner is...Chris Gregory. Not all heroes wear capes. Our courageous friend threw himself and his beloved bike to the floor to save crashing into some young children. We need to get Hollywood on the phone as this guy could give Ironman a run for his money. When not being a superhero, you can often find Chris on the slopes of Box Hill and everyone I have met who has had the pleasure of riding with him have all been impressed by his overall niceness and genuine self. Chapeau Chris!

Special Recognition:

To UKCycleChat and DirtyWknd. We have partnered up many times this year for some rides in particularly The One series. UKCycleChat and especially Nick have been very supportive and provide a good level of cycling banter. Nick has been a joy to ride and if you know his cycling story, he's come very far and has just kept going. On the group rides, he has been very helpful to those who needed a bit more encouragement up the hills but also very competitive when challenged also! Dave at DirtyWknd has really blossomed his project which is evident through his rides and trips. If you're looking for a wide range of cycling needs that are catered for, he's your man. Keep an eye out for his 2017 weekend trips away, they look breathtaking.

Blooper of the Year:

So we come to the novelty section of the night and the nominations are:

-The sheep stand off on The One v2.0

-Getting lost on Le Tour de Foot even though we had 2 Garmins running

-Falling off 5 times on a MTB Surrey ride

-Falling off on a MTB ride on my stag do in Wales/Brother and Dad getting lost in the forest

-Crank falling off my bike halfway around Richmond Park resulting in the wife picking me up

We've had a few mishaps this year. Falling off a mountain bike is part of the parcel. Falling off one 5 times going uphill?! This then followed by throwing myself off another bike in Wales to save myself smashing into a tree log! Then finding out my brother and Dad was lost somewhere in the forest ill equipped with no phone or anything! Speaking of getting lost, it was my fault that after we visited Watford's stadium, I accidentally took Richard and I on a 12 mile detour around North West London which added much not welcomed mileage onto our journey! First major mechanical was also memorable with the wife having to come to my rescue after my left crank fell off with my cleat still attached to the pedal!

And the winner is...The fact that I experienced this moment on my own but managed to capture it on the GoPro was fate. Rolling down Hodgen Lane, I come across an escaped herd of sheep. We had a brief stand off but then they bolted it. I pulled over because I didnt want any of them to fall over but then the rest of the herd roll pass! If you think sheep are slow, watch the video!

And that concludes our awards ceremony. We just want to say a big thank you to everyone who have joined us on our journey whether you have been an avid reader of our reviews, routes or joined us for a ride. 2017 will continue to be part of the expansion, we already have our eyes set on a Gran Fondo in Northern Ireland and some weekends away with our old buddy Ali with a possible trip to Yorkshire at some point. Have a great Christmas and continue to spread the word of notinthepeloton.

'Whenever I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the human race'.

notinthepeloton

#cycling #dartmoor #hills #climbing #ontour #bike #fitness #outdoors #group #banter

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