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