Rob Hayles- World Champion & Olympic Medal Winning Professional Bike Rider -
"Since 2004, I have been the President of i-Team. This team has been set up by one of my oldest friends in cycling, Guy Watson. Guy was a member of my first ever cycling club, Portsmouth CC, way back in the late 80's and he helps me today with the Team KLR Elite Team. I like original ideas and i-Team is a unique concept, that works for a hell of a lot of cyclists."
Kevin Knowles - Kendal, Cumbria
"I took up cycling after fell-running took its toll on my body! I tried to follow my previous footsteps on a Mountain Bike, but after a holiday in France I came back a convert to road biking. I was looking for help and support, but not really confident enough in my ability to join a traditional club, so I thought I'd give i-Team a go. After 2 years I am now riding sportives, audax and social rides. I even attacked the Etape du Tour last year. What an experience! (albeit let's just say I have some unfinished business in this event!)
I've gone from complete novice to competent rider in no time at all, thanks to the help, information and support given to me by fellow team members at various events around the country, as well as a few that even traveled up to my local sportive event, The Fred whitton. Plus the members only forum is in my opinion the best forum of its kind in the world.
My partner, having seen my experience and confidence grow since I joined has also now joined the team. Will you be next?"
Phillip Chandler - Portsmouth, Hampshire
"I have been with i-team for nearly a year now and can confidently say that joining the club has been the best move that I have ever made. Prior to this I used to puttle around the back lanes of Purbrook at my own sedate pace in an attempt to lose a bit of body weight and trying to achieve a modicum of fitness. I had always enjoyed cycling but was very sceptical about my own ability level and whether somebody of my age (49) and weight (ex prop forward) would fit in with the numerous club opportunities available – A vision in Lycra I am not! What I really needed was a little bit of 'positive stroking' or a 'kick up the backside', then somebody at work suggested I look at the i-team site – from that point I have never looked back.
You can do as much or as little as you like and there are no pressures or commitments placed upon you. Everybody (and I mean everybody) that I have met through the team has had the time to listen to my probably naive questions with great patience and has proffered me some excellent advice. The camaraderie of the 'team rides' really does have to be experienced. At first I was always at the rear but coached and encouraged by my fellow i-teamers, I can now at least hold my own and thoroughly look forward to these weekly events.
With improved performance, comes confidence. This time last year, if someone had told me I'd be entering 65 mile-plus sportives, I'd have referred them to the nearest psychiatrist. Now, I've invested in a new bike and am looking forward to new challenges. The team is run in a most impressively professional manner. The Team Manager always has time for everyone (where he finds it, I know not) and his coaching advice is of the top drawer.
So, if you're like me and would like to improve but are a little self-conscious and unsure – take the plunge and join the best cycling club in Britain. Trust me, you won't regret it.
Jonnie Woodal M.B.E. - Shrewsbury, Shropshire
"This is just to say thank you and to let you know how much I've enjoyed my first year with i-Team. I have ridden 5168.26 miles since acquiring the Zeppelin and 4680.79 in the 12 months since 1 Jan 04. My weight has gone from something like 110kg down to 97.1kg and my RHR from 53 to 45. I feel about 10 years younger and am no longer knackered at the end of every day. A great deal of this is due to the support and encouragement that membership of i-Team brings and the good advice I have received from our Coach. So I can honestly say that joining i-Team, more than anything else, has had the biggest impact on my cycling."
Kevin Astle - Ibstock, Leicestershire
"Before I joined the i-team in May 2004 I weighed about 15 and a half stone.Since then over the past 7 months I have lost about 10 pounds. Although I still weigh about 14 stone 10 pounds,I feel generally fitter and I am enjoying cycling once again after a 14 year lay off,during which I gained weight and led a mostly sedentary lifestyle. Being part of the i-team has given me some focus and has inspired me to aim for new goals,the usual ones for those on the comeback trail; Get fitter,lose weight,train more,race again etc. Of course when one is middle aged as I am,it is not easy to get fit again after a long lay off.However I have found that age is no barrier to fitness as other members older than me are much fitter and have given me the inspiration and self belief to continue to strive to achieve my goals with determination. I believe that the i-team has been so successful because of it's non-elitist policy towards all comers that are made welcome regardless of age, experience,sex etc.I can easily foresee that in a few short years the i-team could go on to be one of the biggest cycling clubs in the U.K.
Certainly, the clubs website has been the key to it's success.With such ease of access ability and great communication between the club coach and founder Guy Watson,it's president Rob hayles and members it must have one of the best cycling club websites on the internet.Whilst being art of the i-team I have found new avenues of the sport that I have never tried before. This year for the first time I have ridden a number of challenge and endurance rides that have revealed a much loved non-competitive branch of the sport as a way of building up endurance fitness and socialising with other riders from all over the U.K.This has further demonstrated to me that cycling can be enjoyed by anyone at any level regardless of age,sex or fitness. It is my ambition to further develop with the i-team throughout 2005 and to continue to ride challenge and endurance rides. I would also like to race again in road races and time trials as well as perhaps ride on the track for the first time. I look forward to many more years in the sport and with the team as I continue to develop and contribute as a rider and member.
I wish our founder Guy Watson,our president Rob Hayles our sponsors and all of our members every success in the future."
Andy Jones - Winchester, Hampshire
"At the age of 40 years, it is safe to say that I have belonged to a few cycling clubs and sports clubs over the years. I can honestly say that the i-team concept is a master stroke that fits perfectly with my hectic lifestyle. As an amateur racer it is always hard to find the time to train, get good advice on how to improve your performances and hold down that all important job. I used to train very much on my own, the clubs that I belonged to always seem to be unable to organise and co-ordinate training or race meetings etc.. this is something that i-team excels at and the communication between the club members is superb! I don't think I turned up to single race last year to be without a team member at my side, sharing the work, absolutely fantastic. Advice is always available from a huge user group that are always willing to give support at the click of a button. This has saved me countless hours in trial & error experiments on deciding new training routines, type of diet best for me, to the latest bit of kit for the bike. I recommend anyone interested in cycling, whether it be for a bit of fun or to become a serious racer to join i-team, you won't regret it!"
Jon Williams - Alderley Edge, Cheshire
"I found i-team in the winter of 2004 while looking at various web-sites, I could see from the start that this was the team for me and my son, Sean.Why? because it different, modern, up to date, very friendly and most important, is doing all it can to get "Bums on Bikes" to improve them and if they want to help them to race/train better - this as always been one of my main objectives. Up until 2000 we were in a Racing Team that had strong links with the cycling mad people of Ghent in Belgium, due to the death of the co-founder of the team and the winding up of it we were not happy with the "old ways" of our other local clubs and needed more. We found it with i-team..........."
Robert Towers - Gosport, Hampshire
"i-team is more than a club for me, its a chance for people to share their knowledge and experience with others in a friendly environment. Which works very well, the members are first class as is the way the club is run. People are always willing to help others. I look forward to staying a member for a long time and the beauty of i-team is if i move away i can stay a member.
Steve Smith - Lee On Solent, Hampshire
"I've been with the i-team since September 2004 and during that time have gained in fitness on the bike I used to be in a cycling club about 20 years ago and made some good lifelong friends, only problem was that it was another night a week out of your life, with the i-team web based club you manage to keep more of your free time available for everything else that is just as important having real names and real pictures of members on the bulletin board is something that really helps, also the ability to look back at previous posts means that the information is always available to those questions you need the answer for I would say that for todays pace of life, i-team is the perfect solution for the busy cyclist."
Nick Fitt - Bognor Regis, West Sussex
"i-Team is the only club I have ever seen or heard of that caters pretty extensively for any kind of cycle sport at pretty much any level. Hats off to Guy for creating cycling Nirvana!"
Richard Stephens - Shrewsbury, Shropshire
"I echo all the comments above. I was introduced to the club by Trevor Payne in Portsmouth (spinning instructor and top end biathlete) and have not looked back since. For me the club is ideal; I live in Shrewsbury @ weekends and leave periods and work in Portsmouth. To that end, I train @ weekends with Jonnie Woodall and the boys and during the week meet up with the Portsmouth boys whenever possible (Goodwood racing in particular and hopefully training @ Mountbatten centre during winter on Thursday nights). The strength of the club is the website; this medium enables me to keep in touch wherever I am (once logged on in Canberra Australia while awaiting a flight) and act as a very effective on-line training manual by drawing on the vast array of talent out there, from doctors to coaches, as well as very experienced enthusiasts. I look forward to many more years with the club and would encourage anybody interested in cycling, who wishes to receive a warm welcome and encouragement, whatever their age, sex or ability, join at the earliest opportunity. PS: The team kit is very noticeable as well (my wife thinks I look like Spiderman!)"
John Rogerson - Southsea, Hampshire
"It is now one year since I joined i-team. I initially joined with the sole purpose of getting through the Etape, crossing it off my list of things done and then finding another challenge to get my teeth into with a see you later i-team. Needless to say, I've thoroughly enjoyed the year. I'm signed up for next year's etape and am currently getting my teeth into some racing. I think I'll be sticking around for some time - Cheers"
Edited by Guy_Watson