When is a club not a club? When it’s a Phoenix Peloton!
Phoenix Peloton is a new online community for the Emergency Services, NHS, Armed Forces and their supporters. People working in these organisations have jobs that are fulfilling and meaningful, they can also be incredibly stressful. As we are all becoming aware, stress can cause harm in many ways, physical, mental and emotional. Dealing with that stress requires a different approach depending on the individual and the situation.
As cyclists we know that the simple act of cycling can be a fantastic way to de-stress. Whether that is the endorphin release after a hard session, enjoying a chat with mates, or riding through a beautiful landscape. However when you’re a member of the Blue Light or Armed Forces, fitting a ride in can be difficult with irregular shift patterns. Also sharing your experiences on a ride can be difficult if your ride partner isn’t familiar with your work.
A relaxed peloton
So the idea of Phoenix Peloton was born. This would be a a mainly online community, where members could organise rides that fitted in with their work patterns. There would be no comments when you have to miss a ride again because of a shift change; other riders would be familiar with that. Rides would allow members to socialise and un-load with their peers. Most of us have probably experienced chatting with another rider and how easy those conversations are. Whether that’s the shared experience of riding together, or lack of eye-contact, you often find the conversations flow much quicker with people you’ve only just met.
I spoke to Colin Nye who has set up Phoenix Peloton. Colin said that he was “passionate about helping Bluelight worker’s mental health, wellbeing and wellness”. He went on to say that he wanted Phoenix Peloton to “provide opportunities for like minded people to come together, ride their bikes, enjoy each other’s company and make new memories.” Colin prefers not to call it a club, with all the connotations of fees, hierarchy and politicking. Instead it’s a peloton, a group of cyclists working together, sharing the load and making for an easier ride.
The Phoenix Peloton heads to Europe
In June 2023 with the support of Sporta Bike+ and Irwin Mitchell‘ members of the Phoenix Peloton decided to ride from London to Paris over three days. While there was no compulsion to raise funds in order to take part, many did. While these kind of rides can be great ways to raise awareness and funds, they can cause a lot of stress for participants. So the Peloton decide to let members decide if they wanted to raise money or not. As Colin said “Our underlying aim is to have fun riding our bikes and provide a safe space for all cyclists and their nearest and dearest.”
In 2024 the Phoenix Peloton are organising another European Adventure, this time a three day trip from London to Brussels. This ride will be a mixture of history and cycling. On day 2 riders will pass landmarks of WW1 such as the Menin Gate and Tynecot Cemetery. Day 3 will be an ‘Ode to the Tour of Flanders’! The Peloton will get a chance to ride some of the cobbled roads that make the Ronde van Vlaanderen special. If you’d like to join the Phoenix Peloton, you can email them: firstname.lastname@example.org . Or if you want more details about their 2024 European Adventure you can email: email@example.com