Here at Rutland Cycling we recently embarked on a journey to find inspiring cyclists to join #TeamRutland - our ambassador programme where both us and our customers get to talk about all of the great experiences that cycling offers by sharing inspiring stories and product reviews from staff, customers and brands. We were looking for cyclists of all disciplines and abilities to get involved and share their experiences, and we received an overwhelming number of applications and have spent hours poring over some of the incredible stories we received.
After much consideration we're very excited to announce our hand-picked #TeamRutland ambassadors! Please join us in welcoming them to the team and keep an eye out for their stories over the next year, and please do continue to share your own stories with both the #RutlandCycling and #TeamRutland hashtags!
Our #TeamRutland Ambassadors
Blog: A Gravity Man
Riding a bike started out for me with racing my brother round the patio, to now evolving to regular trips to Wales for all day epics. Mountain biking has been with me for pretty much all my life and so has Rutland Cycling from an early age, fuelling my growing addiction for more bikes and gear.
As the saying goes, all things that go up, must come down, with the down being important. From Downhill to Trail, it's all about those descents. Keep your fingers off the brakes, pop those jumps and rail those berms. Let's not kid about, climbing is a means to an end. So be it the sandy berms of Chicksands to the rocky outcrops of Anton Stiniog, it's time to point the bike downhill and let that adrenaline flow! So, with fatherhood on the horizon I've got just enough time to see the sights, ride the bikes and get as much done as possible. Luckily Rutland Cycling are here to assist again in my final push. It's time to clip in.
I have been riding bikes since the mid-seventies. Starting out on a Raleigh Budgie with stabilisers, progressing through many bikes including a Raleigh Strika and BMX Raleigh Burner to my first mountain bike in 1988. I initially started out using the mountain bike as part of my training for Motocross which I had been racing since the age of 6. Due to family issues at the age of 20, I decided to stop racing Motocross so needed something to fill the void which it had left and XC mountain biking racing fitted the bill perfectly. So, after many, many bikes (just ask the wife!) and travelling across the UK for the last 26 years, I am still competing (well trying to) in the ultra-competitive class of the Vets - those who really should really know better, but hey it goes to show age is just a number!
Apart from the racing side, I just love to get and out ride, anything from commutes to work or midweek social rides. My goals for this year are to continue to race, this will be in the Southern series, Eastern series, selected Nationals and the local Friday Night Summer series, I also plan to do the following supportive rides, Summer Solstice 100 miles, Leatherheadz 3 Shires ride and the Numplumz marathon. Last year I managed to ride just under 5000 miles so need to beat that this year! I also look forward to finding new routes in the countryside we are blessed to have around Northamptonshire, Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire, so will hopefully see some of you out and about!
Riding bikes started two years ago, as a new way to keep fit and quickly it developed into a great way to escape sitting at my desk, and an amazing way to see more of the world. Despite living in the rather flat Northamptonshire I am a keen mountain biker and whenever time allows I am in the car, heading to Scotland, Wales or the Peak district. I love the adventure and variety of a natural ride but it's always great to hit a trail centre and revel in fantastic man-made berms, jumps and drops. Getting on my bike and turning my legs clears my mind like nothing else. I love the connections I've made and the people I have experienced some truly amazing adventures with.
I don't think there is anything quite the same as pointing my bike downhill and threading my way through some sweeping singletrack, rocky bridleways or rooty woodland. It's one of the best things in the world and I love sharing that experience with other people. Over my relatively short time mountain biking I have inspired other people to get out on their bikes - sharing my love for this sport is really important to me and I can't wait to inspire more people to join me. I'm a firm believer that anyone can ride a mountain bike anywhere in the world, it's not all about fancy kit and amazing trails, it's about getting out there and having fun.
I'd always been surrounded by bikes and growing up in Kings Cliffe gave me the opportunity to be able to cycle on a daily basis as a kid. We would always be in Fineshade Woods or around Rutland Water but we were doing 40 odd miles most days. It was an amazing place to cycle and grow up. I went to University in Southampton, as most of my money was spent on Noodles and Jager bombs which meant I never had enough cash to buy a bike. One day my friend let me borrow his BMX to get to my bar job (which was near Portsmouth) and it stirred up a lot of old feelings, I really missed cycling!
I came back to Kings Cliffe in late 2009, bored one Sunday I stole my Dad's Scott Speedster and just peddled as far as I could. It became a regular thing to get on a bike and go off cycling with him and his cycling group- the 5As. As I got better at cycling, I decided to give up my holidays and raise money for charity during the summer. I have managed to cycle to Paris twice in under 23 hours nonstop, a couple of Land's End to John O'Groats, London to Rome and I am training to cycle from Kings Cliffe to Finland all for Sue Ryder Hospice.
While training last year I managed to develop sepsis based in my Kidney which led to it being removed. My goal while lying in hospital was to complete my 10 years of charity cycling. It has been a tough road trying to get back to fitness and I will get there. Cycling is such a wonderful sport; I will do all I can to get people off the sofa and on the bike!
I began cycling in 2015 as I wanted to build some fitness for a charity challenge I was taking part in.
It all started on an old bike found in my parents' garage that had seen better days, but short 10- and 12-mile routes gradually became longer and in six months I had ridden my first century, I remember feeling so proud! Things have moved on since and I now train for racing and time trialling. I compete in local road racing and time trials but also enjoy riding Gran Fondo events. This year I rode the 229km route at the Tour of Flanders, and later in the year will be riding La Marmotte Gran Fondo and then also London to Paris across three days.
I'm passionate about women's cycling and encouraging more women to have a go at racing and competitive events. We have a great team of women competing in my club Leicester Forest Cycling Club in a number of disciplines which is great to see and be part of. I love sharing stories of your everyday riders and their achievements on my blog. Most importantly I just love riding my bike, seeing the countryside, trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle, being the best, I can be and enjoying it along the way.
Born onto a bike, you could say my veins carry cycling to the heart of what I'm about. Having experienced most cycling disciplines over the decades, my competitive/riding love is 'cross'. After a prolific cross career, my commitment is now getting more and more people riding bikes at all levels and sharing my passion for two wheels.
In 2012 I was recognised for my contribution to cycling and was chosen to carry the Olympic Torch through the center of my home town. Most recently I was shortlisted for the BBC East Midlands Sporting unsung hero. A driving force in setting up the Leicestershire Cyclo-cross League, I'm also heavily involved in promoting events from grassroots to National events within the region on and off-road. Riding is more commuting or training for the World's Toughest Cyclo-cross in September, the Three Peaks. Following a second place in the 90's, I'm still inspired to train the extra mile for this unique test of rider and machine.
I love riding when you wouldn't venture out to take your dog for a walk. With the right clothing and equipment, anything is possible in the worst of the British weather. Celebrating my 50th birthday this year, I'm still as keen as one of the young Welland Valley Whizz Kids, I want to celebrate everything cycling.
I'm 25 and my Dad and I run FJ's Barbers in Spalding. I grew up riding BMX at skate parks, but didn't pick up a road bike until 4 years ago. I'm currently in my 4th season of racing and love Criterium's and XC MTB. I'm keen to race anything though as I also TT, and have been known to get involved in the odd Enduro. I generally love riding bikes with all different people and can't wait to work with my trusted bike shop Rutland Cycles for the year, it's an honour!
About Rutland Cycling
An independent family-run chain of cycle shops established in 1981, Rutland Cycling now has 12 stores across the Midlands and an extensive online presence. Much has changed in the world of cycling over the last 37 years, but our core values remin the same: to offer excellent customer service, stock the world's best cycling products and inspire our local community through our passion for cycling.
We are the UK's largest E-Bike retailer with 5 dedicated E-Bike Centres and also offer cycle hire, servicing, bike fit, led rides and demo days. We are produ to have been voted the UK's Best Independent Cycling Retailer by BikeBiz in 2013, 2011 and 2010, and nominated for BikeBiz's Best Mainstream Dealer in 2018, and equally proud to have won the inaugural Total Women's Cycling Award for Best Independent Cycling Retailer in 2014, recognising our support for the long-underserved women's cycling market.