Thursday 15 September 2016

OnTor Cycling @ Haytor

Here's my blog for OnTor Cycling with my reflections on a brilliant weekend on Dartmoor to celebrate Stage 6 of the Tour of Britain 2016. Who would have thought at the beginning of this year that I'd be such a keen cyclist by September and, as an unexpected part of my portfolio career, working with Dan (a top Yorkshire man, who combines humour and inspiration in equal measure) on his cycling start-up. I'm having a blast.


On Thursday, I headed down to Devon to visit my mate Dan (the founder of OnTor) and his family to watch the Tour of Britain summit finish on Haytor. We’d worked together on a design to celebrate the Dartmoor finish and we were really chuffed with how it looked on the first OnTor T-shirt. We were hoping to spread the word about our T-shirt and OnTor to the assembled cycling fans. Dan sent me a message whilst I was on the train to say that he’d been contacted by the Devon stage organisers. One of their clothing sponsors did not have sufficient stock to attend on Haytor so we were delighted (and a little daunted) to be invited to step in at the last minute. The team leapt into action to prepare our stand and source some top notch emergency rations for the day (viennese whirls and jaffa cakes).

By the time I arrived in Devon, all was prepared, so we got an early night, ready for our 6am start to Haytor. Mandy, a friend and loyal fan of OnTor, joined us and we headed off on the drive to the Stage 6 Finish. Dan satisfied the officials with our credentials and we were let through the roadblocks, arriving at the PromoZone area beneath Haytor which was shrouded in cloud.

 Haytor was an intermittent presence throughout the day. Our excitement was not dulled as the big boy brands and stands arrived in a wagon train through the fog. Although we couldn’t compete with them on their display budget we made a valiant effort to show our jerseys, t-shirts and caps at their best in quite challenging conditions. We’d also been expecting the team buses to be parked up very close to us but unfortunately they were relocated due to the poor weather. This scuppered our chances of a glimpse of our favourites (Mandy = Wiggins; Dan = Cav and me = Dumoulin). Mandy and Dan had brought several flasks and the regular brews and emergency rations were hugely appreciated by our little team! After our first cuppa we waited expectantly for the crowds.

And the crowds did come. We soon got into the flow and were chatting to cycling fans about our startup and how things had developed since Dan first had the idea in late 2015. Since then, Dan has worked with Milltag to design and produce the first OnTor jerseys and we worked with Primal, a local cycling apparel company, on our first T-shirt. I first met Dan in early 2016 whilst we were working in our days jobs as interims in HM Treasury (Dan, accountancy; me, organisational psychology). We soon began discussing OnTor and I started to produce some sketches and ideas for social media. Dan’s enthusiasm also re-ignited my love for cycling but that’s a whole other blog! The OnTor strapline really does reflect what we’re about. We love cycling and we love Dartmoor. Any ways in which we can get involved and promote both are great. Dan has also begun to produce guides to some of the famous climbs on the moor and these will grow over the coming months. If you’d like to contribute by recommending or describing your favourite ride, be it on road bike or mountain bike we would love to hear from you. We’re very keen to welcome guest bloggers to our community.

We’d like to sincerely thank all of you who visited our stand to find out more about OnTor and also those of you who purchased our jerseys, caps and t-shirts. Your support is much appreciated and after the brilliant summit finish on Haytor, we hope to see you at a future event in the area soon.

In the meantime you can see our first range of merchandise in our online shop.

Thanks for reading - Ross


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