Local Riders Q&A - Neil Phillips

Neil Phillips hails from Cornwall and has been living in London for over 8 years. He has been road racing for Kibosh for a couple of years and is “pretty average” by his own admission, which is rather humble considering some of his other bike-exploits. The Kibosh team doesn’t seem to take itself too seriously, with its witty #youaintprobro hashtag you may have seen on Instragram. 

Neil has ridden the Transcontinental Race twice; once as a pairing with Timothy France finishing as first pair also, coming second in the solo category the next year - finishing with a time of 9 days, 17 hours and 35 minutes. 

Which are your favourite stretches of road to ride on locally and what is it that you like about them?

Living in east London, Essex is kind of the go to for most weekend riding. It's open, gently rolling and there are some really nice quite lanes. Although I am a big fan of any road that points up, the lanes in Essex allow you to keep a really nice consistent tempo and when in a group allows for some pretty spicey rides.

The same question for roads anywhere in the world?

With the Transcontinental, I've been pretty fortunate in seeing quite a few countries in the last couple of years, one stand out country has always been Montenegro. Although my route planning through often took the roads most travelled for speed, I still hit some absolute gems, I need to go an explore the country more. Durmitor National park, Lovcen (climb out of Kotor bay) were stand out and included two of the best climbs I've riden. But being from Cornwall, my love for spinning around the counties lanes is up there with anywhere. You can ride through woodland, exposed high moor land and sweeping coastal roads all in one ride. The two sections that I always return to though are the coast road from St Ives to Sennen and the Whitsand bay coastal road, both unbeatable.

What is your most memorable moment on the bike or involved with cycling?

Arriving in Canakkale at the end of last years TCR, with a final 30km of tailwind and knowing baring disaster I was about to take the number two spot. It is amazing the energy your body can find when in theory it should have nothing left, just over 40 minutes of fast miles. Sitting on the ferry after, I think it is one of the only times I have cried through joy. The sites that were seen, miles covered still blew my mind, even though I had done them. 

Mudguards, mudguards and mudflaps or racing bike with clip on guards through winter?

Mudguards and flaps for sure, have gotten to love them during winter months. It's winter and as long as the legs are spinning who cares if the bike is a tad slower, only makes you stronger come spring.

What is your favorite piece of cycling kit (either something you currently own or have in the past)?

A tough one, technically the Rapha climbers shoes or insulated gilet, but emotionally the jersey I wore on the first TCR, still stained from two weeks on the road, ripped pockets from trying to stuff two much in.

What do you think about Strava?

It's a bit of fun, it can be taken too seriously but for long flat segments in the country or climbs, it's nice to have some friendly competition with friends or locals from a different area. 

What do you think about Sportive rides?

I sit on the fence, there are some great small sportives around the country run by big clubs or small local companies, they give people an easy way to explore roads they may not ride or a challenge to get out and ride. However, I feel big brands are taking over the market to make money and with events getting bigger can sometimes turn communities against cyclists. There is the obvious common dislike for people who treat it as a race.

Cotton cap or helmet?

Safety first, although a cotton cap is always worn under the helmet.

Frame pump or mini pump?

Frame pump all the way, even on the race bike during training. Who cares about weight and personally think they look pretty good tucked up under the top tube. Less time working the arms and more time turning the legs.

Photos by Kristian Pletten // www.kristianpletten.com 

Check out Kibosh Racing here // http://kibosh.cc 

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