This is the first time I have ever ventured down this path of creating my own cycling kit, and if it wasn’t for the encouragement, support and drive of Sarah and Sonya, I doubt I still would have! The thought of dropping that much coin into one project to make it happen was daunting. The cost wasn’t just the purchase of the kit, but also engaging an artist for some of my graphics, and a significant investment in time between a group of us to make it happen.

We waited nervously and expectantly for the parcel to arrive, so that we could see what the kit would look like in the flesh. I know we had the design graphics from Champion Systems, but these were still only pictures on a screen, and could not be relied upon to be a true reflection of what they would look like in reality. I had a a heads up from Champion Systemes that the parcel would be arriving, and it was a long day waiting. When I went to Fedex to collect it, I was tempted to tear it open then and there to see what it looked like, but knew that would not be fair on Sarah and Sonya, so instead I had a long wait until the three of us could get together that evening.

Even though it said open immediately, I waited. And waited. And waited.

Even though it said open immediately, I waited. And waited. And waited.

What we found when we opened the box was better than Christmas for us. I have never seen Sonya as excited or nervous, nor heard so many girlie squeals of delight from her! The kit looked amazing. The fabrics for the items we had chosen all felt great, and looked as good, or even better than we had hoped for. From there ensued a general rush from the kitchen to various rooms so we could all try garments on, and finally get to strut our stuff in our very own kit. Such an awesome feeling.

Sonya on the catwalk. Well, in the kitchen at Monkee central anyway.

Sonya on the catwalk. Well, in the kitchen at Monkee central anyway.

We had a weekends riding planned in the Clare Valley for a few of us as training for our upcoming ride to Lorne for the Amys Gran Fondo, and knew this would be the perfect opportunity to test the gear. Sarah and I had deliberately chosen knicks with the Performance and Endurance chamois, so that we could work out for ourselves what we prefer, and what we would recommend for others. With 170km planned for Saturday, and a recovery ride of 110 for Sunday, what a perfect chance to test new gear!

Awesome coffee and cake at Cogwebs!

Awesome coffee and cake at Cogwebs!

We were stoked. I wore the endurance Saturday, and the performance Sunday, and Sarah wore the reverse. After many hours in the saddle, I had no soreness, tenderness nor numbness in any of those areas where troubles can arise! The jerseys were extremely comfortable too, in both the race and club fits, and the vests were also awesome. I had made the brave move of attempting to be pro on the Saturday, and unzip the vest on the move, which of course only lead to some technical difficulties with the zipper. Unzipping stationery, not a problem, guess I am still just a Hubbard!

Nice kit!

Nice kit!

We then wore the kits on Tuesday night, and it was fantastic to wear at night. Our previous kit was very dark, and even when riding in shaded areas, we were quite difficult to see, even by others in riding with us in the same kit. In our new kit, with the orange that has been used, awesome visibility!

No hiding in these colours!

No hiding in these colours!

So, with it making the grade in Clare, we now feel comfortable recommending it to other friends also wanting to ride in our kit. We had had a number of pre-release requests, but there was no way we were going to set anyone else up in it before the testing was done!

Many thanks and much love from us at Monkee Central to Sonya, Senior Design Consultant, and to Champion Systems for helping us throughout the process.