Andy and I met each other whilst snowboarding, we had both been a part of the UK snowboard scene for a while and had both got into cycling independently. When I moved back to London a couple of years ago I started riding a bit with Andy and then Jonny. A ride a week soon turned into two and then three or more, we began taking more and more photographs and we were constantly exploring new routes and roads, so the natural thing to do was to start sharing some of these images, hence, the blog was born.
The name comes from the fact that most of our rides took place on a Sunday morning, that’s the typical club run day here in the UK. Cycling clubs all over the country meet up at their agreed point to ride, stopping for coffee and cake before returning in time for the football or a roast dinner.
For a little while we tried riding with one of the London clubs but found it wasn’t for us, we had our own spirit of adventure and preferred it that way. The Echapée part is obviously French and is a term used for the ‘breakaway’, which encapsulates our romanticised perception of many of our rides: off the front, 50km to go, working together to stave off the encroaching peloton.
From the three of us it kind of grew quite organically, we were riding with (and still do ride with) the Rapha CCLDN guys early every Thursday morning, fast laps of Regents Park are on the breakfast menu. There we met Dean, Karl and Tom, like-minded riders with a penchant for tearing each others legs off at any given opportunity!
It’s not a closed door or some sort of super exclusive club, we’re open to those who ride with us and get on, share our passion and enjoy the same roads as well as suffer and dish out some pain too, we love a bit of smashy smashy.
We all came to cycling at different points and times in our lives, but none of us were being bought up with cycling or bike racing. Some of us started out on track bikes and found cycling that way, Karl dabbled in triathlon but saw the light etc, I think that helped us form as a ‘team’ as we are all at the same sort of level and can push each other on the bike, as well as all get along off it too.
We all balance our riding with different professions; graphic designer, community organiser, urban designer, Rapha employees and someone who works the stock market can all be found in our ranks. We also all like riding different things and so our rides are pretty varied, we try never to ride the same route twice, recently we’ve been exploring a lot more of the un-paved offering around London, although its not for everyone, Karl isn’t a fan of gravel.
So Sunday Echapée has become more than just the blog, it is a collective of like-minded individuals on bikes. The aesthetic and the spirit of adventure and exploration is pretty central to what we do and something we want to carry forward and build upon. This is something we’re proud of and hopefully shows in the content we produce and share online. We’re really just at the beginning and just starting out so it will be interesting to see where this all takes us!
As we have developed as cyclists the natural progression has been to start to compete in local ‘crits’. A few of us have started to do so, with a little success so far. We have essentially become not just a collective but also a team and will be racing under the Sunday Echapée name next season, competing on road and track, and probably a bit of cross as well.
We have a few things in the works at the moment including our team kit and plenty of adventures, there’s always more road to ride. Hopefully we will see some of you on the road, so say hello and join us for some smashy smashy! (Words by Steve)