Not every Wattbiker is a cyclist first and foremost. When Kris first got a Wattbike, he didn’t yet own a road bike – his smart bike was a first step to improving fitness at home, taken at a time when everyone was finding themselves with more time at home on their hands, along with some of the drawbacks that entailed, too.
“I found I'd put on a bit of lockdown weight like a lot of people, so I decided I had to do something. I had a cheap spin bike in the garage that I started using following some sessions on YouTube, but it just wasn't engaging enough to keep me interested and being a big fan of the performance side of sports there wasn't enough to measure myself against. I decided I needed to up my game, so started searching online as to what were the best options out there.
"I was really drawn to the fact Wattbike was a name I knew from my minor knowledge in performance cycling. A British brand with real pedigree, trusted by some massive sporting organisations – I knew I was getting something that would tick all of the boxes.”
Once he took delivery, Kris’s first stop was tackling climbs on the Wattbike Hub.
“It's all well and good spinning the legs, but we don't live in a flat world. My first attempt didn't go well, an absolute baptism of fire. I got going on Chappies and started off nicely, but I ended up absolutely dying. I managed to complete it, but it was absolute hell.”
With the fitness won on the Wattbike, Kris started to explore where those newfound cycling legs could go – choosing to take on the the iconic Lands End to John O’Groats, 980 miles of riding in 9 days.
“Climbing is something I've had to embrace, especially after I signed up and started preparing to ride LeJoG. I knew that I had to get my body tuned into doing some pretty brutal climbing.
"I think one of the great things on the Wattbike Hub is that they're mapped to real life climbs, and if you're gearing up to do one, you can always do a few dry runs in the comfort of the garage first.
"Whilst I'm never going to be an out and out climber weighing close to twice as much as what a pro climber does, there's a massive sense of achievement to be able to tick off another climb, plus I'm an endorphin junkie so that certainly helps!”
From not riding at all to taking on the UK’s biggest cycling events – and raising money for charity in the process – what’s next for Wattbiker Kris?
“This year I'm gearing up to ride Chase the Sun, 200 miles in a day from Whitley Bay to Ayr. My preparation will be similar to LEJoG – just putting the hours in on the bike.
"The Wattbike allows me to be very structured in my training, 60-90 minutes each day during the week from the safety and comfort of my garage – providing the temperatures are above freezing. It's also quick and easy, as I just need to throw a pair of bib shorts and a top on and crack on.
"Working from home, I can even do it during my lunch break, come rain or shine. Then on a weekend, I can get out on the road for a longer ride so I can remind myself how to handle a bike and the joys of the pot-holed UK roads!”