The eRace Chronicles: Introducing Real Handful Fuelled Virtual Cycling Team ‘LSDT’

INTRODUCTION
Hi this is Joe, Co-Founder at Real Handful. A few weeks ago we were dropped an email by a chap called Steve who was keen to tell us that he was a big fan of our Plant Protein Bars. I nearly discounted it as the usual shameless appeal for free snacks but as my finger hovered over the delete button I paused, read on and found that I was intrigued, very intrigued. Steve explained that he was using the bars to fuel competitive cycling during lockdown, and that this took place remotely using a stationary bike and an app called Zwift. He and a group of friends and cycling enthusiasts say goodbye to work, partners and the responsibilities of putting small children to bed and hole themselves away every Thursday night to race against competitors across the world. I was fascinated and keen to learn more about the team, this world and how they were progressing and keeping themselves in peak racing shape without having to leave their homes. And so without any hesitation we reached an agreement. Real Handful will help ‘fuel’ the progress of the team with plenty of stock over the coming weeks and in exchange Steve and the team would kindly introduce us, and our audience, to the amazing world of eRacing. Having cycled a bit in my now long-distant Ironman triathlon days I know that cycling isn’t just incredible exercise but is also a sport with a very passionate community. Hopefully, someone out there will read and be inspired to dust off their bike or challenge themselves to set some new cycling related goals!

Enjoy instalment 1 of the eRace chronicles…
Joe

Post 1: The Team

This blog is the story of our journey from real-life friends to a team of computer generated avatars speaking on discord from their sheds. We ride on Zwift, we pedal a bit on TrainerRoad and every Thursday – Work and Family commitments permitting – we join together as brothers in the World Tactical Race League ‘Team Time Trial’ event, hosted on the Zwift platform (https://wtrl.racing). Rotating courses, usually around an hour of racing – time taken on the 4th man (if riding 5 up as we are).

We started riding in the real world. We went to Majorca; we hammered the flatlands of Essex and North London. Then we moved, changed jobs and had families. Cycling suffered – a bit……but the love was always there and our digital footprint kept us connected to past endeavours and gave us hope for future adventures….the Alps, the Pyrenees, Ventoux and Formentor. Collectively we yearned for the train to get back together, to feel the wind in our neolithic lockdown hair again; to show off our brylcreem tweaked ‘taches as we cruised the beach road in Alcudia at 300 (ish) watts. To pull our socks up so high that our thighs were gasping for air.

But this is 2020. Travel is curtailed, yet we’ve seen there is hope. Hope in the form of a digital stage for our adventures. If we can’t take the train outside, we are gonna pilot the train from inside. Long Socks Development Team (LSDT) was born. A team that drinks too much coffee ,eats a lot of snacks and wears their socks unfeasibly high. It was this penchant for snacks that led to us over-ordering (fortunately!!) an interesting looking batch of snacks (Choc Orange chase, before you ask) on amazon. “I seem to be eating a lot of these bars before riding my bike; I need to talk to The Hand and tell him”. The rest is history – we added Real Handful to our name as a nod to the work Joe and his team are doing on their mission to shake up healthy snacking. This name change alone has made us roughly *12% unrulier and faster.

*in no way scientifically proven

Our Team:

Here is our current rider roster – until we expand our firepower and/or team mates are told by their other halves that they need to spend more time with their families.

Dan
Rider type: Slow
Favourite RH snack: Choc Orange Chase
Why? Initially I was like all the rest. One of the Caramellowati. Then I discovered Choc Orange Chase and thought “Why follow the crowd”? Now It’s Dark Chocolate for me every day of the week”.

Gav
Rider type: Wannabe mountain Goat
Favourite RH snack: Choc Orange Chase
Why?: I’m always the one chasing to get back on the group train…..

Matt
Rider type: Unruly Baroudeur
Favourite RH snack: Mint Choc Chipper
Why? As, like when I drop riders on the attack, it is refreshing, nutty and a proper handful.

Charlie
Rider type: Endurance specialist
Favourite RH snack: Sea Salt Caramellow
Why? It’s like me – relaxed, chilled out and free from artificial additives

Steve
Rider type: Watts up, Socks up
Favourite RH snack: Sea Salt Caramellow
Why? The Salt. It’s all about the salty edge. I thought I only ever had eyes for choc orange. But then I strayed. And now there’s no turning back.

Join us here as we progress our fledgling eRace careers…..And keep snacking!

Stay Unruly,

Steve & The LSDT Team