NplusOne and how it all started.

Dan Pullen

I was brought in to manage the new unit here in the cycle hub and shortly after opening the opportunity came up to take ownership. It kind of fell into my lap and it felt right.
We are situated right by the pickup / drop off zone in Brighton Station. It’s a ground floor L shaped unit inside the new Cycle Hub building.
Brighton has a million bike shops already covering every angle. What I wanted to build was an unpretentious place for people to have their bikes serviced. A place where people felt comfortable asking ‘silly’ questions and got honest, straight answers. Good value and good advice at every level. With limited space, I also wanted to have brands I really care about and ones that I could stand behind personally. I’m really proud of each and every item in the shop, and can pass on the items merits to anyone that’s interested.
We operate with a very small team at N+1, so I’m directly involved with every sale and service. I like that. I’m a bit of a control freak, so like to know what’s what.
The business foundations are built on my passion for riding. Simple as that. I’ve got so much enjoyment out of riding my bike and love the idea of turning new people on to it.
So what do we do? Well, we are a cafe and a workshop. Super busy serving locally roasted Lindfield Coffee and fresh pastries to commuters from 07:00-09:30 each day. During this time many people drop off / pick up bikes for us to work on. The model works best when people have access to the completely free of charge Cycle Hub. We can then fix up the bike and lock it up for customers to pick up after work. Most jobs can be turned around in a day or two.We stock all the usual bike shop bits and bobs,  and can repair a puncture while you wait.We are also the Brighton Sales Centre for Le Col. A fantastic clothing brand with top notch race kit.
We have weekly ride outs starting and finishing at the shop. We also run a few trips just for fun really. Flanders in March was memorable as it was snowing!A few years back we went out to Mallorca to take part in the 312 event.It’s early days but I’d really like to see more of these events happening over time just to encourage progression really.
Who am I? I’m a husband, father to Lili and Sophia (5 and 1) and a mad keen cyclist.I took up cycling as an alternative to snowboarding about 8 years ago. I was a ski racer as a youth. I took up snowboarding in my early teens. Went out to work a season when I was 19 and didn’t come home for 10 years!I met my now wife Jenny on my last season (there where a few of those!) and returned home together to grow up a bit.I set up a lawn care business in Surrey. Jen and I got engaged. My best friend back home had taken up trail riding and convinced me to get involved. I absolutely loved it. I did lots of big trail stuff for a few years. Then got more into XC and finally, after doing a charity road event, fell in love with road cycling. It’s all I do now.I’ve run a few businesses over the years and have been involved with so many different things. Everything from washing dishes right through to managing multi million pound turnover shops, restaurants and bars.Outside of riding and work I love food, wine, travel, music and a good box set.
Everesting was something I read about a few years ago. It seemed impossible to me then, but as I progressed and ticked off other ultra endurance events, it became something I really fancied doing.I love the self discovery you get from ultra long challenges.The hill we used was a bridal way through Denbies Wine Estate in Dorking, Surrey. It’s a beautiful spot with no traffic. Except for the tour train that goes up once an hour taking up all the road! A few sketchy moments meeting that in the wet on 30mph descents!!! There was a group of 19 of us that started out. There was a huge amount of planning and organisation between the group in the run-up. We took a room at the Denbies Guest House on the night of our attempt which proved really useful. Dorking CC was heavily involved and the support on the day was fantastic. My wife and daughter came to say hi which was lovely, my Dad popped by a couple of times and a good friend of mine came and rode a few laps with me. Him pulling out a can of cold Red Bull and a Mars Bar at the top of the climb was very memorable.I found it hard naturally. The average gradient was only 6% and each lap was 2.7 miles, so we had to cover 195 miles to hit 9000 meters. It’s a mental challenge more than anything.
What’s next? I’d love to do Haute Route one year. Race across America is a big dream of mine but could never raise the finances to compete. I wouldn’t rule out the Race Across Europe though! Maybe I should crowdfund it? 🙂
The n+1/Lindfield Coffee Works development team seemed like the most natural extension to what we do here and I’m so glad I set it up. It’s been an incredibly satisfying project and despite being in its infancy has shown its value already through supporting, enthusing, encouraging and educating our riders to become better and more successful at their chosen disciplines. 
We have some incredible brands supporting, Breakaway Digital, Hunt and many more and I’m really excited about what we can all achieve this year, and in years to come.

I’m a small 23 year old with a serious cycling problem

llewlyn

In one sentence, who are you?

Hi! I’m Llewellyn Thomas – I’m a small 23 year old with a serious cycling problem.

If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em –

The call to arms came shortly after a monstrous hundred mile tour of the Surrey hills in the late October sunshine. Dan P obviously saw something in me that day, it was either my ability to suffer through successive horrendous climbs or my capacity to consume my body weight in energy gels. Either way he had seen enough and decided to take me under the N+1 LCW wings. Onwards and upwards!

All aboard the gains train, next stop: Power, periodisation, plan.

Having never done any structured training, a power meter was my first port of call. I picked up a set of garmin vector 3’s and went out for several doses of pain administered through various timed tests to get some baseline data. Once I had that I used the wealth of knowledge in the team to think carefully about my goals for the year and develop my training plan. We thought about what would work for me based on time, fitness and previous experience and the plan started to come together. All I had to do now was commit to it and stay motivated through the cold winter months…

When you feel like quitting, think about why you started

Keeping myself motivated during the winter is hard. Period. You’re bound to get ill at least once or twice and this would usually cause me serious grief however since having been introduced to Trainingpeaks and a treasure trove of data I can spot periods of heavy fatigue and avoid potential time off the bike. My motivation to ride comes in many forms. First and foremost is the love of cycling, getting outside on my bike keeps me sane and keeps me fit – healthy mind healthy body. Second is my need to prove my success to myself and my teammates.Third is the desire to grow and develop, always looking ahead to the next challenge.

I am strong, I am light

Since training with power I have noticed dramatic, tangible gains across all durations of power output. I’ve (safely) dropped my weight while creeping my power up and worked on my aerobic ability alongside fatigue resistance over the winter months. These small changes combined have yielded me my biggest performance gains to date and have truly skyrocketed my performance. Perhaps even more important is the change in attitude toward my training and the support of my teammates. Being taught how to critically analyse my own training and performance has protected me from over training and kept up the push for continued gains. One of the best parts about our team is the varied experience and knowledge of each member – everyone brings something unique to the table which creates a fantastic buffet of advice and support.

Tomorrow, we conquer the world

Speaking of challenges, the coming season is full of them. Top of the list is getting some crisp cyclist tan lines. Next up is competing in two seperate stage races with the hope of a team top 10 in the GC.More importantly than either of those though is mine and the teams development, mentally, physically and as a community. I aim to develop my racecraft, push my body to the limit and have fun with a great group of lads who I’m lucky enough to call my teammates and my friends.