All of us have dreams and aspirations. Some of us fantasise about scaling mountains. Others yearn to publish a bestselling novel. Still others long for the day that they buy the Porsche they’ve had their eyes on since childhood. For us at Peloton, cycling from beer garden to beer garden and spotting stylish ladies and gents wearing our jerseys rates highly on our list of goals. Since we have been preparing to launch our website, it has emerged that some of our friends harbour some surprising modelling ambitions. So, after a rigorous selection process, we were delighted to launch the modelling careers of Sam Owens, James Huppler, Adam Broadbent and Alec Stevens. Or, as we prefer to call them, The Dream Team. Alice and Richard made cameo appearances before the lens too but, as some laughably awkward photos reveal, natural models they most definitely are not.
Organising a photo shoot was something new to us, but with the help and direction of our friend Nick Gates, wildlife photographer, presenter, producer and journalist, we approached Sunday with a sense of excitement rather than trepidation. Having been worried about the likelihood of rain on the day of our shoot and the devastating effect it would have on the carefully coiffed hair of our models, we were delighted to wake up to sunshine. Our models flocked to our makeshift studio in Clapham for a few product shots and a bacon sarnie before we piled our bikes, camera gear and beautifully attired selves into a van and a couple of cars to make our way in convoy to Richmond Park, where the real action was to take place.
Clambering out of our vehicles in the car park, we couldn’t help but notice the admiring looks directed our way from fellow cyclists clad in stern looking black lycra. Heads continued to turn as we cycled up and down the same stretch of road, and mostly for all the right reasons. Only the occasional car horn objected to our carefully choreographed group cycling formations, which did not always allow maximum space for cars to overtake us. Despite the odd grumpy driver, our morale did not dwindle for, as Adam piped up with bright-eyed enthusiasm, “it feels so good wearing this. I feel like part of something, part of a team”. And, cringe as much as you like, but we did feel good. The fresh breeze in our hair, the sun on our faces and majestic stags emerging from the woodland to witness our ride, we began to feel much more confident in our role as models. Alec began to execute the ‘Blue Steel’ look he’d joked about over coffee that morning. Adam started issuing commands to the team to get us flying past the camera as one. And we all began to value Nick’s expertise as a wildlife photographer – his experience of photographing untamed British mammals really came to the fore when trying to capture James Huppler wildly flying along with his seat out of the saddle and a look of hunger on his face.
It felt like the time to become more ambitious and attempt some moving shots. With Nick hanging out of the boot of the car with his camera and Richard at the wheel, our cycling models’ taste of celebrity became more intense as we were papped from a moving car as we flew effortlessly down the hills. Less glamorous were the shots of us desperately trying to keep our cool chasing the car up the hills when Richard hit the gas. Perhaps a little more training is required before we form our own Tour de France team.
Breathless from the car chase, we decided it was time for some casual ice cream / bench shots. Needless to say, our models proved to be naturals at sitting down and having a good chat. From there, it was back into our fleet of cars and to a pub by the river in Richmond. Strolling along the banks of the river in the sunshine, we didn’t feel remotely out of place in our jerseys. In fact, sitting as a group outside the pub, drinks in hands and pre-lunch crisps being shared around, we felt entirely relaxed and in keeping with the atmosphere of the place. A few envious pub-goers even complimented us on our attire. They admired the colours and the pockets on the back in particular. Hopefully we’ve met a few of our future customers.
Satisfied by our tasty lunch, a successful batch of photos and, most of all, a great day out with friends, we returned to our respective homes and I for one felt a little glum as I changed my Peloton jersey for more pedestrian clothes. But, looking through Nick’s remarkably professional shots, I can’t help but feel excited about the future of our website and the Peloton brand. In the words of The A Team, there’s nothing like a plan coming together.