Cycle Solutions is brought to you by Wheelies Direct, as a provider for the Cycle to Work scheme. The Cycle to Work scheme takes advantage of generous tax benefits provided by the UK Government in support of the Bike to Work scheme. This cycle plan has been set up by the government specifically in order to promote the use of bikes as an alternative mode of transport. Substantial investment is being made to develop and improve local cycle routes in order to make cycling safer and more enjoyable. The aim of the Bike to Work Scheme is to get more people cycling to work on a regular basis. This should in turn reduce traffic congestion and pollution to the environment and also improve the health and fitness of the general public.
After having supplied bikes for the hugely successful implementation of this scheme at Bentley Motors, Cycle Solutions were massively positive in supporting Project Torpedalo by providing over £4000 of cycling equipment and components for the boat and for training. This includes a pair of road bikes, two turbo trainers, a vast array of cycling clothing and all of the cycle-based components for the drivetrain of the boat. We’re going to have to get used to wearing a lot of lycra! Special thanks go to Nicholas Price-Jones for making the sponsorship deal happen.
The Lewmar name is known and respected by boat builders and yacht owners the world over. Lewmar’s design, craftsmanship, reliability, innovation and commitment to supporting the marine industry have made their name synonymous with consistent quality and global market leadership. These are the values their company is built on. And that’s why Lewmar is the most recognised name in control-focused boating equipment. With a wide range of steering systems, anchoring system, winches, hatches, hardware, portlights and thrusters, Lewmar empowers boaters with a greater sense of control.
Lewmar’s Marketing Director, Ian Stevenson, kindly agreed to supply us with all of the hatches we need for the boat. These hatches will be our portals to the outside world, and will also separate and seal the three watertight compartments that the boat will feature. Lewmar hatches are recognised as being the best in the world, and as such they receive many requests for sponsorship from crazy people like us. Fortunately, they saw the uniqueness of our challenge and we’re so glad that they’ve chosen to invest in us.
Gates Corporation is the world’s most trusted name in belts, hose and hydraulics. Gates is the only non-tire producing rubber company with sales and manufacturing operations in all of the world’s major markets, including North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and South America. Every day, customers around the world rely on Gates products in an almost endless range of applications. Gates hoses transfer a variety of materials, from the finest wines to chemicals, steam and crude oil. The company’s industrial belts provide power to all kinds of machines, from rock crushers, copy machines and motorcycles to snowmobiles and machine tools. Car, truck and heavy equipment stay cool in the harshest conditions thanks to Gates coolant hose. Their automotive belts transfer power to engine accessories such as air conditioners, power steering pumps and alternators. And Gates hydraulic hoses and coupling assemblies provide fluid power to coal mining, timber harvesting and construction equipment.
When we realised that a belt drive was the best solution for the boat, we set about finding a sponsor in the industry who would be willing to help. Gates was top-of-the-list that we drew up, as the recognised world leader in the market. We are extremely fortunate, then, that after just one phone call and one e-mail Gates were 100% onboard with the project. Their commitment and enthusiasm have been incredible, and they’re now helping with the design of the drive system and will be providing all of the parts that we need.
Elior UK is the market-leading catering, hospitality and facilities management group. They are passionate about providing great food, excellent customer service and exceptional value to all their clients. Their brands cover a broad spectrum of catering and facilities management services, but they all share a passion for exceptional food and service. One of their brands is Avenance, which is an innovative food service solution provider, committed to providing food and service tailored to specific expectations and tastes of clients and customers.
Avenance provide catering services to Bentley Motors, which is how Mike got to make contact with Regional Director Stewart Smallwood. As a charity fundraiser himself, Stewart instantly understood and appreciated the project, and since has been working tirelessly to help. Avenance are launching a range of Torpedalo-branded sandwiches at Bentley, created especially for us, with the sale of each one donating money in to the project. Avenance have guaranteed at least £2500 through this, which is enough to pay for all of freeze-dried food for the voyage! Elior is also helping us with catering options and services for our planned publicity events, and we are hugely indebted to them for their help.
Since 2000, Stainless Steel Solutions have provided high quality stainless steel wire rope assemblies and fittings with an approach to customer service that is second to none. They can offer a huge range of stainless steel wire ropes and cables, for any number of applications from construction, architectural, offshore and lifting, to landscaping, marine and DIY. They are a member of the British Stainless Steel Association, and offer a full range of stainless steel hardware including eye bolts, carbine hooks, wire rope, shackles and rigging fittings.
The Torpedalo boat requires a variety of external rigging fittings to attach, guide and control our various ropes and lines. The marine environment that the boat will operate in is extremely corrosive, so they need to be made of a material which resists corrosion superbly. We are delighted that S3i have agreed to supply us not only with top-quality stainless steel fittings, but also all of our grab lines “pad eyes” made entirely of titanium. Titanium is an outstanding, but extremely expensive engineering material, having superb corrosion resistance and the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any metal. Such equipment is a luxury afforded to us by S3i, and means that we can stick our weight-saving philosophy.
Born out of passion in 1992, SiS are recognised as the world leader in sports nutrition. SiS evokes the desire of performance excellence, focussing on the needs of athletes, where a fraction of a second can stand between success and failure and one performance can change the world. Each of their products has a core function to energise, hydrate, recover and enhance sports men & women. Their open attitude and constant dialogue with the sporting fraternity ensures insights which deliver the facts to allow them their unrivalled results. SiS products have scaled the heights of Everest, passed from pole to pole, crossed deserts and the World’s oceans.
The performance of our boat through the water is determined by factors. One of the most important, if not the most important, is how we fuel our bodies to power the boat. We’ll each be pedalling for 12 hours a day, so optimal nutrition is incredibly important. With SiS onboard as our official Energy Products Partner, we’ve taken a huge step in ensuring we feed ourselves correctly. They’re providing a fantastic complement of energy drinks and bars, protein bars and recovery drinks, plus some key nutritional supplements. These products will undoubedtly power us across the ocean – hopefully to a new World Record! Special thanks go to Michael Fish at SiS for making this partnership happen.
Rohloff has repeatedly shown its innovative power by developing new products in the field of motive power engineering for bicycles. When no major improvements of derailleur systems could realistically be expected, Rohloff started devising a transmission system which would combine all the advantages of a derailleur system (low weight, high efficiency and wide range of gears) while avoiding its weaknesses (enormous maintenance, susceptibility to dirt, high wear and low shifting speed). The SPEEDHUB 500/14 was the result of many years of research and development, and has been developed for both pros and performance oriented hobby cyclists who appreciate its reliability, perfect single gear ratios, wide range of gears, low maintenance and easy operation.
When we took the decision to go from a single-speed powertrain to one that involved variable gearing, we knew an internally-geared hub would be the most reliable in a salt-water environment. We wanted the very best geared hub available, and every cycling expert we asked said the same thing: “You need a Rohloff.” Rohloff have supplied us with one of their incredible Speedhub units, which is a sealed hub containing 14 gears with a range of 526%. This means that Mark and Mike will be able to make the boat easier to pedal in rough seas, or pedal harder in calm seas or tailwind conditions to make the boat move faster.
Rockmount Northwest are registered as a residential care home that offers qualified nursing input/care for persons with mental disorders. They also provide a service for persons with learning disabilities who experience additional mental health problems. They are a person-orientated centre for special people, and their ethos is to strive to remove barriers. They promote, encourage and value even the seemingly smallest of positive steps taken and then celebrate the achievements gained.
When Mike cycled from Crewe to Le Mans for charity in 2007, team member Louis Warburton secured a comprehensive first aid kit for the trip from Rockmount. When Louis heard about Torpedalo, he offered to see if Rockmount would be interested in supporting this project as well – an opportunity that they fortunately took! The list of mandatory medical equipment that we must have on the boat is defined by the race organisers and is three pages long, so to have all of it supplied for free by one company is a huge benefit for us, and one that saves a great deal of money. From several different kinds of antibiotics, to bandages, medications for just about everything and even a neck brace, the Torpedalo now features a comprehensive medical pack. Now we just need to work out how to fit it all in to the boat!
Cyclepowermeters Limited is a company with big aims: to bring powermeters and power-based training to the masses. The price of these systems has (in the past) put many people off – so they set out to make it affordable to most cyclists and triathletes. They are the first company to offer powermeter rental – with prices as low as £47 per month. This brings powermeters into the price range of most amateur cyclists and triathletes. Cyclepowermeters sell SRM, Powertap and Quarq powermeters. They also sell Enve, FFWD, Mavic and ZIPP wheels. They rent PowerTap complete wheels for periods of 3 months or more.
We approached Bob Tobin at Cyclepowermeters when are rig-based training started to intensify, and it became apparent that we needed an accurate way of measuring our power output. This would not only allow us to work out our target speed and power for the boat, and so design the drivetrain accordingly, but it would also allow us to monitor our training closely. Bob kindly agreed to lend the project a pair of power meter kits free of charge, which helped us immeasurably.