As 2016 draws to a close, we wanted to take a moment to reflect and to thank all of those people who have helped us on our journey this year. It has been a tremendous 12 months. We have done some amazing things, we’ve learnt a lot and we are eager to get 2017 started, to bring you more amazing cycling clothing and rides.
The year “kicked” off with our Kickstarter pre-order in February, where we unveiled the Mont Ventoux-inspired Spring/Summer collection. The London art gallery where we held the press party and Kickstarter launch was very fitting for the occasion – all inspiring & inspired by women empowerment.
The Spring/Summer kit landed from Italy in March and the reaction was overwhelmingly positive. Seeing those coral & teal coloured kits out on the road and on Instagram gave us a very warm & fuzzy feeling.
We are just as chuffed to end 2016 on a bang, having launched our first winter collection, inspired by Col de l’Iseran – the highest mountain pass in the French Alps. This mountain has challenged, tortured, and inspired many cyclists over the decades, and we have shared our Founder’s intense story of pushing through blizzards and conquering her fears in the face of Iseran.
Throughout the year we continued the tradition of our Tuesday and Thursday morning rides, that started way back in 2015. We recruited many new faces, especially on our Thursday Richmond Park rides where we teamed up with Bella Velo. Tuesday laps around Regents Park have also grown, with a dedicated group heading out every week without fail, braving the elements and always finishing with the best coffee in London.
On the first Sunday of every month we took women cycling through the English countryside followed by brunch at some great cycling cafes. We are expanding these rides further afield during 2017 to some new cities and countries. Edinburgh, Melbourne, Singapore….watch this space!
Our pop-up store at Spin London and Spin Manchester Festivals during May this year were a huge success and we’re excited to return in 2017. It was here that we met many fellow cycling entrepreneurs and our Founder Alicia was part of a panel, chaired by Jules Walker (Lady Velo) with fellow women entrepreneurs such as Joyce from As Bold As and Caren from Hartly Cycles on what it’s like being a female working in the bike industry. Alicia did a similar talk in Manchester sponsored by Velovixen.
Another highlight was our Women’s Week collaboration with 1330 Road Cycling. Where we took a group of women out to France for a week to conquer some of the toughest mountains in the Alps. Suffice to say it was so much fun that we are running two trips this year – Women’s Week in August and a trip to Girona in June for the Cycling Festival.
We cannot forget climbing the three sides of Mont Ventoux – all in one day! Ascending the first side in the dark and reaching the summit just in time for the sunrise was absolutely incredible. This feat meant we joined the notorious Club des Cingles (in English, the Crazy Club).
At Silverstone Race Track we had our first time trial team competing in Queen of the Mountains’ colours, which has inspired more women to race and compete on the bike. Simone Dailey, our brand ambassador, has raced consistently in our kit during her time trials and road races and we cannot wait to see what she has install for 2017.
Wow! What a year! And what topped it off was the nomination by Total Women’s Cycling for Best Women’s Cycling Clothing brand of 2016. We were up there with the big boys & girls, which totally blew our minds.
This year has been an incredible and a wonderful journey for Queen of the Mountains. We wanted to take a moment to sincerely thank you for all of your support throughout the year and for coming on the climb with us.
We have exciting plans for 2017, plus a few surprises! But ultimately, we look forward to making many more beautiful cycling kits to inspire your rides.
Happy New Year and Keep Climbing.
x Queen of the Mountains