- Cycled to school on a red Raleigh “racing bike” as a teenager.
- Lots of mountain biking – to around “red run” standards. I wasn’t great but I liked the suffering of the uphill to earn the thrill and speed of the downhill.
- Huge fan of professional road biking since Channel 4 started covering it in the mid-1980’s. Initially this was just the TdF but over the years it has progressed to all races.
- In 2012 I discovered a safe-ish route for commuting 11 miles to work. For this pan-flat route I bought a single speed bike, although I wasn’t hipster enough to do the beard as well!
- Over Christmas 2013 I drunkenly agreed to ride the L’Eroica sportive (http://eroicabritannia.co.uk) around the hills of Bakewell the following summer with 3 friends. This is a modern “historic” event requiring a bike built before 1987, no clippy shoes and woollen jerseys. This is my 1984 Raleigh Royale with all of 10 gears! Not the red Team Raleigh TI replica unfortunately that I wanted.
Amazingly I made it around without climbing off on any hills with a time of 10 hours!
Dittons Velo Club
I joined in July 2014 virtually straight after the L’Eroica. I rode my Eroica bike with old trainers, baggy mountain bike shorts and flouro yellow commuting gear. You can probably see how I won the “Best Dressed” award at my first DV Christmas Dinner! After my first club ride I got home and slept for 2 hours, I was that knackered . . . but I was completely hooked. It was exactly what I was looking for: friendly but challenging.
My Cycling Words of Wisdom
- An expensive bike will make you feel better but you will be no faster than on a medium-priced bike.
- I can repair a puncture (sometimes!) but that’s about it. I have no idea when technical conversations go on.
- Lycra = Cycling, get over it!
- Lycra should always be as tight as possible.
- All distances/ascents are measured in km/m and never miles/feet, not because French is the language of cycling but because these numbers always sound larger!
- All cake/beer consumed on/after a ride do not count towards your daily allowance.
- Strava will one-day take over the world.
- Ralph still rides in our hearts.
Palmares (>150k distance or >1500m vertical ascent)
June 2014 – L’Eroica (long route): 160k / 2400m
July 2015 – Alpine 3 summits incl Col du Joux Plane: 65k / 2868m
August 2015 – Prudential London Ride100: 186k / 1354m
September 2015 – ASO London L’Etape: 211k / 1273m
October 2015 – Non-DV ride around Buxton incl Goyt and Mam Nick summits: 101k / 1699m
March 2016 – Twickenham CC Surrey Rumble (Long): 150k / 1191m
March 2016 – Cycling Weekly Surrey Cyclone (Epic): 139k / 1533m
2016 Objective – ASO L’Etape du Tour: 146k / 3335m