Wantage – lap of the Isle of Wight – back to Wantage
Meet the Team!
Left to right…this photo was taken by Harriet and Adam at our first team meeting; Brian was there in spirit.
This ride was Phil’s baby; he kindly invited me to be on the team. His drive and passion to raise money and awareness for the Delete Blood Cancer charity has to be seen to be believed. A close family member and friend have both suffered from blood cancer recently; fund raiser, organiser, grafter, mad–keen cyclist, he has stopped at nothing to make this challenge a success. Phil completed Land’s End to John O’Groats on his bike in 2010 taking 9 days.
Sarah has done a first class job on social media to keep people’s interest going before, during and after the ride. She puts up with Phil’s cycling obsession without complaint, her organisational skills are second to none with a refined eye for detail (she is pretty good at spellings too; I’m always asking her to correct mine). In short, an all-round good egg who wears her heart on her sleeve and looks for the positive in everything.
As a support van driver, Simon’s role will come into its own as we ride. Additionally, he has spent time and effort to help with the leg waxing event and generally talk up the challenge. It’s comforting to have a qualified electrician on the team in case the lights go out suddenly or something crucial requires fixing with gaffer tape.
Jamie is sharing the support van duties with Simon, his unique sense of humour will be much needed in the early hours when the malt loaf runs out along with people’s patience with each other. Additionally, I can talk to him about cricket; he turns out for Hanney on a Saturday. Jamie and Simon are neighbours so at least starting the van at 5am will not cause a disturbance…well not to them anyway.
King of the Mountains would be an apt description for Mark; he is strong up the hills and drags us along behind. He has a stealth machine that he built himself; it rolls well and cuts the air nicely for those following. A laid back chap with an ironic sense of humour; I suspect he has a great music trivia knowledge too and is no stranger to the rockumentary ‘Bad News’ being a guitar player in a local band. ‘Flippin’ ‘eck Vim, it’s a Marshall…..’ etc. etc.
Desperate 40 something whose mid-life crisis takes the form of exercise, riding bikes and podcasting Radio 4 Programmes. Cycling has been a revelation; it doesn’t hurt my knees as much as cricket. Inspired to ride Land’s End to John O’Groats by Phil, I completed it in 2012 taking 12 days. I bloody love cycling and Radio 4 me!
Brian is a key player as he is taking responsibility for getting our tired carcasses around the Isle of Wight without getting lost. He has spent hours looking at and driving routes to obtain the optimum path; being a resident of the island is a real advantage for the team. It was great to see him at the leg waxing event held in Wantage on 14th September.
Brian knows first-hand how important stem cell transplants are having recently beaten Leukaemia; two lots of chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant later and he is now in remission. He’s a quiet lad but full of passion for the charity, our ride and life in general.
Read the next blog post for the Wantage to Lymington leg….
If you liked this blog please take a moment to check out my book describing the solo Land’s End to John O’Groats ride in 2012, all profit from sales to www.criduchat.org.uk
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