We're going cycling – and we want you to join us

iwoca is now sponsoring a leading cycling club, giving business owners in the Lake District free membership. But that’s only the beginning.

1 November 2019

Contrary to popular belief, Lorem Ipsum is not simply random text. It has roots in a piece of classical Latin literature from 45 BC, making it over 2000 years old. Richard McClintock, a Latin professor at Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia, looked up one of the more obscure Latin words, consectetur, from a Lorem Ipsum passage, and going through the cites of the word in classical literature, discovered the undoubtable source. Lorem Ipsum comes from sections 1.10.32 and 1.10.33 of "de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum" (The Extremes of Good and Evil) by Cicero, written in 45 BC. This book is a treatise on the theory of ethics, very popular during the Renaissance. The first line of Lorem Ipsum, "Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet..", comes from a line in section 1.10.32.

The standard chunk of Lorem Ipsum used since the 1500s is reproduced below for those interested. Sections 1.10.32 and 1.10.33 from "de Finibus Bonorum et Malorum" by Cicero are also reproduced in their exact original form, accompanied by English versions from the 1914 translation by H. Rackham.

You might have noticed that we recently cracked out the

paint rollers and have undertaken a bold new rebrand. Avi Ashkenazi, iwoca's Head of Design, has been hard at work with his team to visually represent our core mission: opening doors for small businesses.

We caught up with Avi to learn a bit more about the rebrand process – a dream project for any head of design.

Watch the video below to find out more.";

Running a small business can be extremely stressful,

Our friends at Xero recently found that 80% of small business owners say they’ve experienced stress in the past six months. The British Heart Foundation tells us 20 million Brits are classified as inactive – that’s almost a third of the population. Plus, the FSB estimate that 75% of small businesses employ no-one beyond the owner.

We think cycling can help business owners and their staff live healthier, happier and more socially active lives. Because of this we’re getting actively involved. Our first foray into the sport is with Kendal Cycle Club (KCC) – one of the fastest growing clubs in the country – based on the edge of the Lake District.

The sponsorship gives small business owners and their staff a year’s free membership to the club, as well as providing an injection of funds to help KCC promote cycling in Kendal and the surrounding area.

iwoca and Kendal shoreline

We recently visited the club to speak with its members and find out what KCC’s business owners get out of being part of the club.

"Wow this quote, is oh so inspirational you wouldn't believe it even if you read it's contents"

“Don't get me wrong, I love my work, but work can be hard and can be stressful,” says KCC member and business owner Andy Taylor, who founded the Anything Technical ski shop in Kendal. “You don’t generally get stressed on your bike. Cycling, for me, is one of the biggest parts of my life – it is my freedom.”

Sylvie Heath is a musician and founder of Creative Heights, an outdoor adventure and education business. Sylvie started the business after experiencing burnout as a teacher and being signed off work due to stress.

“For me, as soon as I just get on the bike I'm in my happy place,” she says. “I know it sounds cheesy, but I just love the feeling of the motion. I do a lot of outdoor sports – swimming, running and various things – but there’s something about biking in particular, just that motion that just feels good.”

KCC is an inclusive club with 680 members spanning all ages, abilities and interests. Founded in 2015 it incorporates almost all aspects of cycling including road, track, cyclocross and triathlon. There are even junior racing and training programmes, as well as the Wheels for All project which aims to help anyone get riding including those who need adapted bicycles.

By March 2017, Fisher was ready to launch. He had 10,000 food pouches ready to go, which worked out to be about seven months worth of production, and 15,000 food labels. But, he had no money to market the meals. So he spent a month researching adventure bloggers on social media and offering them free food. “No one ever says no to free food. We would send them two pouches each and wait,” he says. The reviews started to flood in, his phone buzzing with mentions in blog posts, Instagram reviews, and picture tags. “From that point onwards, it went nuts, we had to move out of our new kitchen in eight months and we were running out of food month, after month, after month.”

Fisher had previously been selling his products direct through the Firepot Food website to people who placed orders for months-long trips. While he has now signed on with a distributor and has plans to expand into Europe and America, he says building that genuine connection within the adventuring community has been invaluable.

A blog on his website, run by Roberts, helped to almost instantly give the brand credibility and build connections with fellow explorers. She would interview people taking off on interesting trips - canoeing across the Atlantic or exploring barely touched corners of the world - who had brought Firepot Food to fuel them. A special milestone came when one hiking group called an unexplored ascent in Greenland the ‘Firepot Couloir’ (or Firepot Corridor), which he found out about third hand seven months later. “That is so awesome, that means a piece of the world is named after us for eternity,” says Fisher. “If you’ve got a good idea it's going to work. You’ve just got to be brave about it.

It’s not just businesses in the Lake District who can get involved. We’re also launching our own digital club on Strava, the social network built around sport and exercise. Join us to enter competitions, be the first hear about new projects and events, and be in with a chance of getting your hands on some exclusive iwoca kit.

Click here to learn more about free membership to Kendal Cycle Club. Click here to join our club on Strava.

Words by Dan Smith

Dan Smith is Content strategist lead at iwoca. He's written for a number of publications such as The Guardian and WIRED on topics ranging from finance to sport.

Article updated on: 1 November 2019

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