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.
John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farrelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.