September 25, 2013

Domestique: a Hells 500/Climbing Cyclist collaboration

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You might have noticed the new Domestique logo around the place in recent weeks and wondered what it’s all about. In short, it’s the logo for a collaboration between The Climbing Cyclist and Hells 500; a collaboration that started about a year ago.

When we were planning out last year’s 7 Peaks series we were looking for a name that captured what the rides were about. At its heart, the 7 Peaks series was about helping people to get up a bunch of challenging mountain climbs.

We like to think of ourselves as ‘domestiques’ — the French word for ‘helper’ or ‘servant’ — riders whose job it is to help others during a race. And while the 7 Peaks rides aren’t races, they are about helping people. And thus the Domestique 7 Peaks Series was born.

Last year we had a bunch of fun introducing people to some great climbs via the Domestique 7 Peaks Series. This year we’re inviting you to join us in completing a 7 Peaks passport but we are also planning on taking you on some great roads you mightn’t have ridden before. More on that shortly.

What it’s all about

So what is Domestique all about? As mentioned it’s about helping people to get through some challenging rides, but it’s also about bringing people together and introducing them to roads and climbs they mightn’t have experienced in the past.

There are also a couple of things we always do whenever we get people together for a Domestique ride:

We support the community

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Wherever possible we’ll get community partners involved to support our rides. When that’s not possible, we’ll ensure that we spend money in the local communities we visit for our rides.

This might mean a coffee stop at the local cafe or a night’s stay at a local B&B — whatever we can do to help support the communities that welcome us.

We are inclusive

Domestique isn’t about blokey smashfests and inflated egos; it’s about bringing people together and enjoying this great sport of ours in great company.

We support riders of a range of abilities, from all walks of life and encourage new riders to come along to our rides.

We’re proud supporters of women’s cycling and will do whatever we can to ensure that women feel welcomed and supported on our rides.

We are environmentally conscious

Wherever possible we’ll promote carpooling and other lower-carbon methods of getting to our rides. We always clean up after ourselves, never litter, and ensure that we leave no trace.

We show respect

Whenever we bring people together for a Domestique ride we ensure that other road users are shown the respect they deserve. We don’t ride more than two abreast (unless overtaking) and when we’re holding up the traffic behind us we single-up and wave drivers through. We are courteous and respectful to all other road users and thank those who show us the same respect.

We provide amazing value

Our rides provide incredible value and leave people asking how we were able to do it.  We cover the basics well, but highlight our attention to the little things. If things aren’t free we ensure you get more than you pay for.

Help us to help you

YourCustomBottle3We love sharing our passion for the hills through our Domestique rides. But there are a lot of expenses involved in running a free event — from permits and insurance through to sunscreen and first aid.

We’re currently working with VicRoads, Parks Victoria, Victoria Police, the Victorian alpine resorts and Tourism North East to bring the Domestique 7 Peaks Series to life. As with last year we are bringing these rides to you for free, but we need your help to do this.

By working with local suppliers we have been able to bring you a range of premium quality merchandise which will actually be useful for these rides — rather than ending up in the bottom draw with the scorched almonds and hankies. These items — including socks, jersey pouches, stickers and bidons — are now available through the Hells 500 shop.

There’s no obligation to buy something — the 7 Peaks rides are free and buying something isn’t in lieu of an entry fee — but if you would like to help us out, you can be confident that your hard-earned money is going to supporting, maintaining and building these rides. You can also be sure that we appreciate your support in being able to deliver these events for free.

Domestique Dirty Dandys

The first Domestique ride for the season will be on Sunday October 27  when we’ll take a group out to ride some of the lesser-known and certainly lesser-ridden roads in the Dandenong Ranges. We’re calling it the Domestique Dirty Dandys.

For more information and to put yourself on the waiting list (the ride’s limited place have already filled up), visit the Domestique hub page.

And don’t forget that the Domestique 7 Peaks Series starts on November 17. Check out the Domestique hub page for plenty of information about the series, including how to sign up for the rides and a whole lot more.

Thanks very much for reading and we hope to see you for a ride this summer!

Matt de Neef & Andy van Bergen

One Comment

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  1. Chamitha / Sep 25 2013

    Many thanks for your efforts in preparing this web site and organizing the rides. I certainly would have suffered a whole lot more without the inside information in these pages! Did my bit for the cause with an order :-)

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