Best Use of Lockdown – The Finalists

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We’re revealing the Finalists in each of the Singletrack Reader Awards 2021 categories. Thanks to all of you for your nominations, and to our awards sponsors, Kona Bicycles. Here’s who made the cut for the Best Use of Lockdown.

Who made the most of the quiet hills and downtime? Did someone add new trails to a trail centre? Did someone set up a cargo bike delivery service, or a bike rebuilding service? Was there some enormous bit of cycling street art, or a video series that made you smile? Tell us which lockdown project gets your vote.

Rob Belsom – The STW Zwift guy

What happens if you shut a bunch of mountain bikers indoors? Do they tidy their garages? Replace their drivetrains? Service their forks? Apparently, they ride Zwift. Much to everyone’s surprise, Rob’s organisation of the Singletrack Zwift racing league became a highlight of many a rider’s week. It was a little off-brand for Singletrack, in that it was very professionally run, complete with carefully calculated handicaps, prizes, and race series results. On brand however, was the atmosphere of friendliness and fun. As the discussion on the thread shows, people found that their fitness improved, and they came back week after week to keep those improvements coming. What Rob thought might be 15 people at the most has become a regular turn out of 50 riders, and there’s a regular debrief/excuses session on the Forum afterwards. It’s not a mountain bike ride with the pub afterwards, but it does a great job of replicating that social feel. Thanks Rob.

Silverstrange Sessions

Aoife Glass started the Silverstrange Sessions during the first lockdown. They were a series of daily interviews, held using Instagram Live, around lunch time. As well as choosing a broad array of interesting guests, Aoife made the interviews a bit different to the usual format, making them feel like intimate and free form discussions or chats between friends, rather than a structured interview. The platform also allowed viewers to join in, asking questions or giving feedback on the discussions. The result was three months of daily interactive content on a wide variety of topics. Aoife is now working to build on this with her new Spindrift podcast, so tune in there if you enjoyed her style.


More properly called Daren Austin, OBE, TiRED brought sense, science and clear explanations to the Singletrack Forum in the form of his contributions to the Coronavirus Discussion Thread (Originally started with the title ‘Where’s the Coronavirus We’re All Going to Die Conspiracy Thread?). He batted back conspiracy theories with data, qualled panic with analysis and reassurance of more data, and was open about the unknowns that we faced. Without Daren’s input, the thread would have been a much more argumentative place, but his input encouraged measured and reasoned thinking, thoughtful questions, and insightful answers. He’s already got an award from the Queen for his work on Covid – perhaps she is a secret Forum lurker who found reassurance and comfort in his posts?

straw awards

To help you learn more about these three great finalists, we’ve got this podcast for you.

Help us make our podcasts even better

It’s all down to you, the public, to decide who wins each category – there’s no funny business or back room cheques. So enjoy our coverage of the finalists, and be sure to vote for your favourites. Voting will open on 18th October, and close on 1st November.

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Hannah Dobson

Managing Editor

I came to Singletrack having decided there must be more to life than meetings. I like all bikes, but especially unusual ones. More than bikes, I like what bikes do. I think that they link people and places; that cycling creates a connection between us and our environment; bikes create communities; deliver freedom; bring joy; and improve fitness. They're environmentally friendly and create friendly environments. I try to write about all these things in the hope that others might discover the joy of bikes too.

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  • Best Use of Lockdown – The Finalists
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    the Queen for his work on Covid – perhaps she is a secret Forum lurker who found reassurance and comfort in his posts?

    So guess Lizzie’s ID on here? My money’s on Jivehoney

    Full Member

    I reckon it’s Chewk!

    Full Member

    Toastie, anyone?

    Full Member

    I was worried by this comment

    “It was a little off-brand for Singletrack”

    Talk of brands reminds me too much of the sort of nonsense I come to Singletrack to forget about.

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