We want to be able to support friends of Sommet. Sommetiers. Those who make beautiful things, have great spaces and give great services; in the right way. It’s not all about us, not always about cycling, but always about those who share a desire to follow their passion and work with their passions, in the right way.

Meet Sommetier Dan Pullen and (n+1), Brighton

Sommet will be supporting Dan and a mates in the Trafalgar Way Sportive, from Cornwall to London, later in the year – a 480km, 6,700m ride, which they managed in 22 hours last year – 17 actual ride hours. With Sommet to help out, hopefully we will see that already incredible effort bettered…it’ll certainly be a great journey.

Who and what are Dan and (n+1)

(n+1) is a café, workshop, shop and cycle hire centre located in Brighton’s Cycle Hub right in the drop off zone of Brighton train station. A place where you can get speciality coffee, your bike serviced and stored for free and where you can ask any question, however ‘silly’ it may seem. They also support local events and run regular rides. It is run by Dan.

Dan Pullen is a “a husband, father to a beautiful 3 year old girl and a mad keen cyclist “ who has rather a penchant for endurance events. He has just completed the bonkers Everesting challenge; you basically find a hill/mountain and ride it enough times to accumulate the same metres climbed as the famous Everest. Sound nuts? Yep.

We’ll come back to Dan’s Everesting later.

It’s a cliché somewhat to say a business is about someone’s passion. But when that person is someone who went to do a winter season in snowboarding one year and didn’t come back for 12 years because he got hooked and met his wife, Jenny, there in his last year, it’s fair to say it’s not fluff. (n+1) café and workshop is founded on Dan’s passion for cycling and service, small batch coffee and only products he really cares about and is proud to stock and use.

A ski racer as a kid he stumbled into snowboarding in his teens then when he and his wife returned to the UK to “grow up a bit”, he set up a lawn care business and since has gone through running various businesses from the lawns to restaurants and bars and now, (n+1).

(n+1) sort of fell into Dan’s hands, by now the mad keen cyclist of many a year. What (n+1) offers is more that the sum of it’s parts written down; free bike storage in Brighton’s Cycle Hub, bike service, puncture repair while you wait, great coffee, hand picked bits and pieces and kit for sale, bike hire at great prices, regular organised rides and more. Whether you are just a commuter at the train station and want a coffee – small batch, roasted in house! – or need a bike to hire for a day out in Brighton, or if you are regular rider who needs to drop off your bike for a service on the way to work and pick it up on the way home from the free storage. And have a coffee.

The heart and soul of the place is Dan and his small team. A self-confessed control freak, he keeps it small so he knows the team have the same passion as he does. He has a hand in most sales and in all choices of what is sold in (n+1). Take Zappi clothing. A fantastic brand of race clothing, that puts all it’s profits back into it’s youth racing team. That’s the ethos of (n+1) too. It’s a business, but because of its ideals and outlook, it’s about doing it in the right way; the best quality while giving back to the community.

There are regular Thursday evening rides to support the local riders, but also in September, (n+1) and Zappi clothing are jointly running the Brighton Gran Fondo – 224km and 3,189m of climbing, though there are shorter options to look after all appetites. Not quite Everesting, but nonetheless enough of a challenge for anyone, and quite possibly a little more varied scenery than Everesting.

Everesting

So, how about that Everesting then, Dan, why? It seems it was a seed planted from reading something, sometime ago. Being a bit of an ultra endurance freak, the more such events he did, the more this kept cropping up and the more it appealed. A challenge of self-discovery that the ultra endurance events can provide. Where? On a hill in the Denbies Wine Estate in Dorking, Surrey. A 6% climb on a 4.4km lap meant 314km hitting 9,000m! A huge amount of planning beforehand with friends and Dorking CC and during the day, visits from friends and family with cold Red Bull and Mars Bars on the way.

Onwards and upward then. (n+1) has the Gran Fondo to look forward to, and it’s regular day to day support of the local cycling community. For Dan, on the agenda is the Trafalgar Way, the Cingles de Ventoux in August with a few mates – having never climbed any iconic climbs it’s about due – Mallorca 312 next year, perhaps Haute Route and Race Across America (crowd fund pending…perhaps…). We need to get Dan and (n+1) on some more European icons with Sommet, so go and support (n+1) !

Four friends set themselves a challenge of cycling Britain. From Lands End to John O’Groats. They chose twelve days, for various reasons. Along the way, birthdays were celebrated, rain was battled in true British summer fashion, but natural beauty, a sense of accomplishment and the joy of riding with friends were constant companions.

We were delighted to support Alastair, Mark, Dan and James from toe to tip, cycling Britain.

Here are a few snippets of the ride. The guys will be enjoying a full set of personal images from their journey. All part of the Sommet Journey.