Yorkshire-based framebuilder Ricky Feather and friends will be road racing this year under the colours of the newly created Feather Cycles Racing.
Ricky, whose bikes have won best road bike and best in show at Bespoked, the UK’s handmade bicycle show, is now creating the steel race frames the team will ride. The frames and team kit will be on display at Bespoked 2014, from 11-13 April at the Lee Valley Velodrome, London.
Feather Cycles Racing will race locally in Yorkshire and southern England. Its riders will be Ricky and his friends James Fairbank, Adam Wright, Kendal Noctor, and Ultan Coyle. It is intended to be run as a co-operative, with every member pitching in both on and off the road to contribute to its success.
Part of the inspiration for the team was to resurrect the link between framebuilder and road racing; thirty years ago, many UK framebuilders supported local racers or teams but, with the advent of aluminium and carbon fibre and the decline in framebuilding by hand, this link was broken.
Ricky Feather said: “Riding with the York Cycleworks lads gave me the itch to race, but I’ve always been one to do my own thing. So rather than join a club, James and I started to throw around the idea of starting our own racing team, a very tight-knit, DIY effort. This is the next step for Feather Cycles and my personal favourite part of running it – hand-crafting bikes for your mates and riding them together. In this case, racing them and hopefully taking steel to the podium. The idea is to take what we know, learn, apply it, and give something back to the sport we love.”
James Fairbank is also Head of Brand Marketing at Rapha. He said: “When it came to setting up the UK Continental we wanted to put together a blend of builders and Ricky was one of the first on the list. That Continental bike went on to win best road bike at Bespoked in 2011. At the same time we’d become firm friends. I’ve raced on and off for a while and when I relocated to York last year I knew that riding for CC Hackney wasn’t going to get me into races in the Yorkshire region. Ricky was talking about racing and I started asking about clubs before the penny dropped and we decided to start Feather Cycles Racing. We wanted to put together a team of friends who could contribute creatively and that left us with the line-up we have now.”
Feather Cycles Racing is supported by Rapha, Easton and Giro.