Playing To Our Strengths

It doesn’t matter how much money we spend on fancy bikes and fashionable kit, we have to acknowledge that we are just a couple of middle aged folk indulging ourselves.

We can try and look the part all we like, the fact is that when it comes to our biking endeavours it’s only the sheer volume of training we are doing and pure determination that will get us around France. Pace, power and youthful exuberance is something that only passes us on the road. On the many occasions after we have tried to hang on to the back of a bunch, and been emphatically dropped, we console ourselves by observing that we could probably be their mum and dad.

You donate we send you a limited edition work of art, in the form of a tea towel!

The generation gap has also been highlighted in our fund raising approach. We thought we needed a bigger social media base and had to connect with a wider audience. We have pestered our teenagers to broaden our appeal by liking and sharing to their friends and networks, “but really dad why would they be interested?” When I stopped to think about it I had to agree.

So to assist us with our fund raising efforts we wanted to offer something that sits with who we are and speaks to our demographic. After much deliberation it was the youngest teenager that hit the jackpot on our trip back from Adelaide.

“You know how much you love tea towels, they’ve got some good ones in that shop, you should also make TDF ones to offer in exchange for a donation”.

We do love a tea towel, we collect them. There I’ve said it, the secret is out.

It started when we went out to a gig a few years ago (even writing that makes me a little uncomfortable, we were trying to stay young!).

Robyn is the creative genius behind these highly sought after statements of modernism

The band didn’t appear until 10.30pm, it was way past our bed time and a tad too loud, so we retreated to the back of the venue. Whilst we watched from afar Robyn noticed they were selling tea towels on the “Merch Stand” (this is how the teenagers tell me I have to refer to the merchandise offering) – I am also reliably informed by our teenagers that buying merch is still cool when you go to a gig, maybe not tea towels though.

And so it began, seemingly a number of bands offer tea towels as part of their merch collection and as our teenagers spread their wings and head out to different events more tea towels appear on their return. And of course they are a staple at every place you visit, so tea towels from different locations now grace our kitchen.

A few years ago I would have thought this was a bit of a joke, “I went away and look I got you this tea towel”, but the truth is they bring genuine delight.

Lets face it, we all know this is going to happen. So we have screen printed an imprint from my own bike to get you started.

Standing in the kitchen using the tea towel you get to think about the story behind it. I know that sentence could be seen as wrong on many levels – Don’t you have a dishwasher? Why are you doing the drying not the kids? Don’t you have a life?

All I can say in my defence is that every tea towel, and every story that they come with, makes me smile.

So to help with our fundraising we are playing to our strengths. You donate to support our ride and we will send you a unique hand printed “Rather Be Riding My Bike” tea towel.

Every time you pick it up you will not only be genuinely delighted by Robyn’s creative screen printing, including greasy bike chain imprint, you can also think how you have supported two old codgers get around France for a good cause.

Maybe it will be the start of your own collection?

You can make your donation below and send us an email with your address to and we will pop one in the post to you. We have covered the costs for the tea towels and will pay for the postage so all your money goes to help out those that need it.

To donate click here:



Grounds For Divorce

I am not sure if it is a facet of old age, but I do like a bit of routine,  I am a creature of habit. I take great comfort in familiarity.

“If it ain’t broken, don’t fix it” is my motto.

Weetabix – We do have them with milk!

This routine extends to the preparation for a bike ride. Everything is organised the night before, the alarm goes, I get up, get dressed, have Weetabix for breakfast, then ride my bike. Occasionally I may have a bowl of Sultana Bran, but the routine is always the same.

So today’s decision to have bircher muesli for breakfast was a very left field decision. It’s what Chris Froome apparently has, there was a recipe on social media extolling its virtues. So conscious of needing to mix things up, given that I can’t really travel with over 100 Weetabix to France,  last night I made a batch.

Magical Chris Froome Muesli

It’s not cheap, after I paid for all the ingredients I probably should have paid a little bit extra to have Chris Froome come and feed it to me, but you need to invest in your health.

Robyn is a serious Weetabix consumer, if she doesn’t get her fix in the morning the rest of the day can be very hit and miss. But she also said she was up for the challenge, “if it works for Froomey then it will work for me”, was her approach.

So this morning at 4.50am, we were stood in the kitchen, dressed in our lycra making short work of the muesli. It tasted fine to me, a little exotic, but I was focused on the magical wholesome ingredients that were going to make me ride like a champion. I finished my first bowl and went for a second, yet strangely Robyn refused.

All was right with the world. It’s been warm here in Sydney and it was 25c as we set off into the inky dark of the morning. After a big day on the bike yesterday the legs felt tired but powered by the Magical Muesli I felt better than I could have expected.

We headed up out of North Sydney and onto Military Road, one of the main drags out of Sydney to the Northern Beaches. It was nice and quiet at this time in the morning so we could ride side by side.

I looked over at Robyn, “All good?”, I enquired.

“Not really”, was the blunt reply

“Why what’s wrong? Legs struggling after yesterday?”

“Legs are fine, that muesli had raisins in it, didn’t it?”, she asked somewhat accusingly.

“Yes, it’s part of the magical mix that makes you feel like a champion and allows you to ride for days”, came my reply. Well in my head it sounded something like that.

“Well they are going to be repeating for days, I don’t like raisins.”

So at 5.15 am on Sunday morning, the Mrs and I entered into a very heated discussion on the merits of raisins, how much effort goes into making muesli and how if the other party is not happy then they should bloody well look after themselves. On reflection maybe discussion is the wrong word, one-way rant would be a better description.

Once I shut up I could see that Robyn was smiling.

“What’s funny”, I demanded to know.

“If all we have to argue about is a few raisins then we are probably in a good space”, she replied.

She had a point, a very good point.  I apologised.

It is a good sign, as we increase the training and spend more hours on the bike we are in a good place. I’ll just remember not to put raisins in the Magical Chris Froome Muesli and she has agreed not to even suggest that we change anything else in our cycling routine.

That would be grounds for divorce.

With or without raisins it is rather good.