At the start of the year, we had this idea to set up a multidiscipline gender-balanced supergroup of cyclists to take on the world and a few challenges along the way. By April, as the world began to open after yet another lockdown, we got up and running. We honestly couldn’t have done it without our partners and as riders got issued with their team bikes, they took out policies to protect them too.
As we began to ride as a team, we had this idea to set out on a bit of a trip across the UK. In early May as we tested ourselves on the Coast 2 Coast – a team-building ride which turned into a bit of a Spectra Smash fest and an Epic ride. Check out how we did it on The Draft
Inspired by the awesome fun we had in a cross-country adventure this time we set our sights on a goal close to home with distance in mind the 180 off-road Pennine Bridleway running the spine of Britain. We decided (probably with the benefit of hindsight stupidly) to ride it on gravel bikes despite much of it being essentially an MTB path. 330KM of riding with over 8000m of climbing it proved to be a true test. If you have 4 days spare and the weather looks good, we’d suggest adding it to the must do bike trips.
All in Racing – We loved being part of the initiative by our friends at All in Racing set up by friend of the team Josh Jones – All in is a new initiative within competitive cycling to increase visibility and inclusion for LGBT+ riders and which aims to become a standard for championing diversity in amateur and professional racing.
They provide free resources for LGBT+ athletes and allies and are working with us to help grow competitive cycling by making it a more open and inclusive sport. We took part in the UK’s only standalone UCI CX race in Clanfield, Hampshire where all the riders took part in the iconic rainbow socks, Josie even won!
Belgium, Belgium, Belgium – how we love you for your gruff sensibilities, fantastic cycling infrastructure, frituurs (chip shops) and enthusiasm for field riding aka; Cyclo Cross which is ultimately what drew us across the channel this year.
We learn a huge amount in the crucible of racing in the biggest sport in Belgium and with its 100,000s of live TV viewers and huge crowds it makes for a great place to race a bike.
Coming back to racing for riders who’ve been away – We had a few bike riders join the team who we’ve managed to bring back into the racing scene and seeing the smile on their face and excitement to grow into race winners once more is truly what makes Spectra worthwhile.
Gravel, aggregate, Bridleways we love you. We might not have Kansas, but we do have Wales which is where in July we headed to for some gravelly Grinduro action. An awesome weekend with more of a party vibe than a bike race, we threw all our energy into dancing like we do to the sprint of a road race.
Looking back on 2021 in the first week of 2022 reminds us of how far we came in a year. But how far we’ve got to go to grow into the best multidiscipline team in the world whilst retaining those Spectra Vibes. Because to go fast you must have fun. And We’ll keep having fun as long as they let us.
We’ve got some big goals for this year but until then… we’ve got a national Cyclo Cross championships to race – and you can watch us live.