A PAIR of Worcestershire cyclists have teamed up to open a new business during lockdown.
Jenny Price, from Blackwell, and Sarah Watmore, from Hallow near Worcester, first met virtually a couple of years ago, racing for an online women’s cycling team.
When they realised they lived very close to each other, they started to meet up for outdoor rides culminating in a phenomenal week-long trip through the Pyrenees in Summer 2019, pushing themselves to limits they hadn’t realised they had.
Seven days in the saddle, climbing thousands of metres at a time, was a daunting prospect and both women were incredibly nervous.
Jenny’s husband Gareth told her to ‘treat it as a series of rides with mates’, focusing on the fun aspects and spending time with friends.
The phrase stuck with Sarah and in summer 2020, she suggested to Jenny they use it as the brand for a clothing company which produced comfy loungewear to put on after riding. And Riding With Mates was born.
The clothing – sourced for its eco and ethical qualities and printed to order – launched on January 14 and offers a variety of items, including men’s and women’s t-shirts and unisex hoodies.
The pair have other businesses which had been hit by the lockdown.
So Sarah, who runs jewellery and accessory brand Miss Milly, and Jenny, a training provider to the NHS and owner of Sporty Bakes food for athletes, needed a new relatively low risk business.
Sarah said: “Covid-19 has been terrible for much of the economy and many small businesses but it has also provided a bit of time and space for creative thinkers to come up with new ideas and offers.”
“The increase in appreciation of independent and local stores and suppliers is a huge positive to come out of this disaster and we’re hopeful that it will remain.”
Jenny added: “Setting up a business almost remotely has been interesting but fun.
“When we were able to meet up outside, we’d ride independently to a café to discuss the next steps over every cyclist’s favourite; coffee and cake.
“We’d then go home to work on them and get back together over video calls to share our endeavours.
“It added extra challenges, so it’s incredibly exciting to have now launched.”
Their clothing is available at ridingwithmates.com with orders placed now being delivered at the end of February.