One of the more endearingly daft things anyone’s done in the run up to the Tour de France’s visit to the UK has to be the attempt by Dave Barker, Dave Parkes and Andy Sloan to ride the route of stage one on Boris bikes and get them from London and back in under 24 hours.
Roadworks on the M1 scuppered their plans to get back to London in time to avoid a fine for keeping the Boris bikes for more than a day. They called the Barclays Cycle Hire operators, explained they were raising money for MacMillan Cancer Support and begged a bit and were excused the fine.
They’ve now recovered enough to edit together the video footage of the challenge — or rather, to persuade their mate Brian Becker to edit it. Grab a coffee and a biscuit and settle down as the trio and their helpers tell their story of over 200km around the Yorkshire Dales on a Boris Bike.
So far, the guys have raised just shy of their £3,000 target for MacMillan. You can pitch in via their Just Giving page.
Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.
Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.
Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.
The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.