Fat Lad At The Back

  • Pants on or Pants off?

    We still hear that some of you out there are wearing pants under your padded cycling shorts! Whilst it might seem bold, the pads in your shorts are specially designed to be worn next to your skin.

    Wearing something underneath the pads can mean more sweat collecting, can stop the technical fabrics working, can ruin your pants and can cause chaffing and a whole lotta pain!

    Pads in cycling shorts used to be made from chamois leather back in the day before the high tech fabrics we now know. Yes, the stuff you use to clean your car with! Well it’s little wonder that ‘CHAMOIS’ cream was introduced to help keep the pad supple and help prevent chaffing. Thankfully we now have high density technical foam pads to keep us comfy but they are often still referred to as chamois.

    For many, chamois cream is an essential prevention of soreness during the hotter weather, when (without going into too much detail), it can get especially warm and sweaty in the undercarriage area. Modern chamois creams are formulated to help reduce friction, chaffing, skin irritation and some have anti-bacterial properties. Cream can be applied on to the skin and /or pad before a ride but avoid intimate areas or riding a bike will be the last thing on your mind!

    These creams won’t help with aches and pains in your sit bones from your saddle but a good fitting pair of quality padded shorts, chamois cream and absolutely NO pants will certainly help to keep your nether regions feeling peachy.
    Pants on? Pants off?

    There are many brands of chamois cream on the market and which one you get depends on which one suits you best. If you have very sensitive skin, we can recommend Assos which is formulated to have a cooling effect and also provides a lovely pre-ride tingle! Some creams have been formulated specifically for women, such as Hoo Ha Ride Glide which has a slightly thinner formulation.

  • Rafe's Cycling Terminology

    It can be hard to find motivation and even harder to get out of our comfort zone and push ourselves further, so here are some top tips on achieving both.

    Firstly I need you to think about where you are on your own cycling journey - don't compare yourself to others, but think about your own health, fitness, experience etc. With that in mind, what is your "comfortable distance" (CD) and "slightly scary distance" (SSD)? With regards to your SSD, this might be a distance you've already done, or a distance you'd like to achieve, but it's important that it's your personal goal.

    Sometimes just getting out on the bike is hard even if it's well within our CD range. The faff of getting changed, getting the bike out the shed, thinking of somewhere to go. Much easier to not bother.

    I find the best way round that is to commit to something "comfortable" in the very near future - whether that's agreeing to meet a friend, signing up to one of our social rides, a ride with a local club or something from www.letsride.co.uk Finding the motivation to make that commitment is really quite easy when you're sitting on the sofa in the cozy warm.  Finding the motivation to go out on your own when you're all tucked up in bed on a weekend morning isn't, especially at this time of year. Arguably no-one will care if you actually turn up or not (well, maybe your friend will if you chose that option!) but I find that if I've said I'm doing a ride, then I will and I'm sure you will too.

    So that's your CD rides taken care of... but what about your SSD ride? For that we should take advantage of a human trait known as "construal level theory".

    Put simply, CLT says the further away something is, the less we are able to think about it - we're unable to focus on the details.  For us as cyclists that means we're always going to more optimistic about events that are a good while away. For example, if I asked you to cycle your SSD instead of your CD this weekend, you'll come up with reasons why you cant (if you don't then replace your CD with your SSD and come up with a proper SSD!) - it's too cold, you're not fit enough, you're not sure. However, if I asked you to do it at the end of the summer, you're likely to agree - you've loads of time to get fit, the weather will be better, you'll have done training etc.

    So go and find that SSD event in the summer (preferably The Big Fat Bike Ride 2019!) and sign up for it. Now.

  • Rafe's FLAB Challenge

    Back by popular demand, it's Rafe's FLAB challenge!

    The challenge is simple, but is a great way of taking you out of your comfort zone and boosting your confidence! Follow Rafe's instructions below:

    "I first did this as a very inexperienced cyclist. My wife and I were going to a wedding that was around my max-cycling-distance from home (as the crow flies) and staying the night. I put my bike in the car and drove us there. The next morning my wife drove the car back whilst I cycled. We met half-way for lunch at a pretty little town – my wife had obviously got there before me but not by far and had a nice mooch round whilst I was pedalling. After lunch, I got back on the bike and she got back in the car."


    1. Think of the maximum distance you feel comfortable cycling unsupported. It doesn’t matter if this is 5, 10, 20, 50 or 100 miles/km.
    2. Go to this https://www.doogal.co.uk/Circles.php
    3. Enter your home postcode in the “Find a place” box and hit “Find”
    4. Enter the number from step 1 into the “Distance from centre” box and hit “Show circle/s”.
    5. Be amazed at how far that covers.
    6. Move/zoom the map around to find a place near the edge of the circle that resonates with you. Could be because the train goes there, you’ve a friend there, it’s a nice place, whatever.
    7. Get to the place in step 6 via train or a lift.
    8. Cycle home unsupported.
    9. Realise a) you’ve probably just cycled 25% further than what you identified in step 1 (because roads don’t go in straight lines), b) you’ve got home under your own steam, c) you’re awesome and can do anything you set your mind to.
    10. Be proud.


    So many good reasons for doing this challenge:

    1.  Home is a nice destination and you’ll be motivated to get there.
    2.  You have to do the distance as you’re already on the shortest route home.
    3.  At least half of your ride will be in a place you don’t normally ride in (assuming you normally start/end at home).
    4.  People will be shocked/impressed when you tell them you cycled from x back home.
    5.  It’ll open up your eyes to a whole different side to cycling and your abilities.
    6.  Because the distance chosen was the maximum you’re comfortable with, the challenge is as difficult for you as it is anyone else – we’re all equal!

    The Rules:

    There aren’t really any rules, but just to be clear:

    1.  You’re allowed to pre-plan your route/stops (in fact I’d encourage it, getting lost & adding unnecessary miles/hills is no fun).
    2.  You can do it solo or as part of a group.
    3.  In endurance cycling, unsupported means no backup/support car following you or meeting you at pre-arranged places, you must carry everything with you or purchase it on route from shops/cafes that are available to everyone. However, if it means you do it rather than not do it, then feel free to break this rule! NB: Yes I realise the above anecdote seems to contravene this rule, but I took nothing from the car/wife.
  • THE BIG FAT BIKE RIDE 2019 - What's your excuse for not signing up?

    It’s 2019 and that can mean only one thing: The Big Fat Bike Ride is looming!

    It’s our 4th Up North Sportive, which means we’ve got pretty good at recognising when people are making excuses for not signing up. While some people’s reasons are legitimate (fine, we’ll let you off if you live in Australia...), others have expressed the same worries we hear every year about fitness, confidence, hills and other things that in our opinion, you shouldn’t let stop you!

    And we get it - the Sportive can seem like a daunting event for newcomers. But like joining a new gym class or getting out on your bike for the first time in a while, it’s never as bad as you imagine and you never regret doing it! 

    Here are some of the most common worries riders have surrounding the sportive - and our advice on how to overcome them:


    1) “I haven’t booked the time off yet” or “I don’t know which mileage to do!”

    Just commit! January can be a pretty bleak time and it’ll make you feel great to get a date in the diary and have something to look forward to. Booking the time off might also give you some extra motivation to train if you’re feeling the post-Christmas slump.

    Unsure which ride to sign up for? Our rule of thumb is that if you can comfortably ride 80% of the distance you’ve signed up for at 10mph, you’ll complete the Sportive no problem! Set yourself a realistic target and consider signing up with a group of similarly-able friends for an added boost of confidence on the day.

    Our Fat Lad team are also here to advise you. Email fatlads@fatladattheback.com with any questions - no matter how silly!

    2)  “I won’t get up the hills!”

    This is perhaps the most common excuse we hear. The main thing to remember about hills is that the worst possible thing that can happen is you have to get off and push. Is that really a problem? Of course not! No matter how slow you go or what place you finish, you’re still lapping everyone on the sofa who didn’t sign up!

    Every year, riders walk up the hills and our Ride Marshals are always there to make sure no-one gets left behind! If you want to volunteer to be a Ride Marshal, email us for more info.

    3) “Something might go wrong with my bike and I won’t know what to do!”

    With 1000 riders taking part, it is inevitable that some will get a puncture - but this isn’t the end of the world! If you don’t know how to fix a puncture, it is worth learning beforehand. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to master after a few practices! There are loads of basic YouTube tutorials with step by step guides on how to change an inner tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwwfV99VV8I

    We do recommend that you carry a puncture repair kit with you just in case. But most importantly, don’t panic! There will always be people willing to stop and help you if it’s not something you can fix yourself.

    4) “I’m not fit/confident enough!”

    If you’re worried about your fitness level, signing up to the Sportive can be a really great way of motivating yourself to get fitter! It’s still 3 months away, so you have plenty of time. Our 25 miler is a great ride for beginners, although don’t expect it to be totally flat - this is Yorkshire after all!

    All participants also have the option of riding in a group supported by one of our FLABulous Ride Marshals. These friendly groups are full of like-minded people all encouraging one another to do their best! If you’d rather ride on your own, each route is fully signposted and can be downloaded before the event. We also make sure to set the longer distance riders off first so you won’t have many people overtaking you!

    Our Sportive is well known for being the most inclusive, friendly event in the cycling calendar. Don’t believe us? Check out our Sportive page to read last year’s reviews: https://fatladattheback.com/sportive/flab-sportive

    Tempted to sign up yet? We hope so. One lad once forgot his shoes and still managed to take part, so you've really got no excuse! We can’t wait to see you all there for the biggest, fattest Sportive yet!



    Dominic Irvine - Ultra-distance cyclist and FLAB rider

    “You shouldn’t be wearing that kit - you’re not fat enough.” If I had a pound for everytime that comment is made to me. More often than not I hear it from those who’ve sat on my wheel as I’ve pounded out the miles. I wasn’t always a super fit endurance monster. Let me take you back a few years.



    It was the summer of 1999 when I headed out the door and walked to the top of the street I lived in in Ilkley. I was 112kg and about to start my first run in years. I made it to the next lamp post before having to stop and walk. For the next mile I ran between every other lamp post and walked the rest. I repeated the run a few more times before realising I could not lose weight and at the same time get fit. I also felt very self conscious. It was all too much for me. So I decided to focus on weight loss and 4.5 months later I was down to 82.5kg. What no-one ever tells you is losing weight is incredibly hard, often demoralising and requires epic amounts of motivation. You spend your life hungry and being a bit miserable. It’s definitely not as simple as calories in versus energy expended. That’s the sort of nonsense spouted by thin people who’ve never tried to lose a lot of weight. The reward for me came from standing on the scales every day and plotting the overall trend downwards. Once lighter, I started running and it was so much easier. Within a few months I was really starting to enjoy it, I particularly loved off-road running and even entered a few fell races.


    One drunken evening, a neighbour talked me into entering an Ironman triathlon. I hadn’t swum since I was a kid and my bike had a shopping basket on the front for carrying groceries. I rarely rode to the shops a mile or so away, the car was always easier. In the pool, I was out paced by elderly ladies swimming breast stroke and chatting whilst they made their way slowly down the lane. I managed a couple of lengths of thrashing around before being exhausted. My first ‘serious’ bike rides were not much better, I was dropped almost before we’d started the ride. I kept reminding myself that at least I was out having a go and surely that was better than sitting on the couch? What I remember from my first Ironman distance triathlon was the marathon. It was off road. The sun was shining and I was running along eating a packet of crisps listening to a play on Radio 4. I cruised over the finishing line a shade under 11.5 hours and decided if this was sport - I was loving it. 8 Ironman races later my knees called time on running. Incidentally, I got to my lightest weight during my Ironman phase at 79kg and 5% body fat, but at this level I was almost always miserable, ill and cold. I realised I was too light.



    But back to the story. I was always a dreadful swimmer and with running no longer an option I decided to focus on long distance cycling. It was back to being the Fat Lad At The Back - in my first ultra-distance race, I was the last rider to make the cut off taking 30 hours to complete the 525km and 13,500m of ascent. In the final 12 hours of the race I kept vomiting and could only eat an occasional boiled sweet as long as I just sucked on it and didn’t swallow (I had a lot to learn about nutrition and hydration). At about this time, a casual comment in a conversation led to what was become a 5 year obsession with the Lands End to John O’Groats tandem bike record. It had stood for decades at 50 hours 14 minutes and 25 seconds. The record had withstood attempts from Olympians and National cycling champions. It felt as crazy as doing an Ironman as a first triathlon. Once again I was back to novice status this time learning to ride a tandem. It was about this time I came across FLAB. I totally related to the brand. It was about getting up and getting out there - not taking yourself too seriously but at the same time not being afraid to give it a go. It was this spirit that kept me going through the two failed attempts on the record. Finally, at the age of 47, in 2015 along with my riding partner we set a new tandem world record of 45 hours and 11 minutes for the 842 miles that is LEJOG (this stands to this day). Building on the back of this fitness led to a win and a 3rd place in a couple of European Ultra Distance races.


    The learning curve from running between lamp posts to standing on a podium in Italy had been huge and so it made sense to commit these lessons to paper. So I wrote a book co-authored with Professor Simon Jobson, who coached us to break the LEJOG record. These days I’m lucky enough to have one of the best cycling coaches and a world class levels of fitness. I work with a nutritionist, a psychologist and my race bikes are custom made to deliver the riding characteristics I want. But once again I am the Fat Lad At The Back. Now I’ve shifted to ultra distance off-road. My next race is 2750 miles. It’s highly improbable I will win, unlikely I will finish (most riders don’t) but in the true spirit of FLAB, I’m giving it a go. I’m still no weight weenie at 84kg and 9% body fat, and I get my butt kicked on long climbs, but who cares - the important thing is getting out there and enjoying your cycling.


    What I have learnt is that FLAB is an attitude, it’s a mindset, it’s not a specific weight or body mass. It’s a philosophy that recognises ordinary people can do extraordinary things when they set their mind to it. I wear my kit with pride.

    You can read Dom's book on ultra distance cycling here.



  • FLAB Social ride locations 2018

    FLAB cog black


    All social rides are listed on the https://www.letsride.co.uk/social website. Please note these are social rides,  not led rides. All participants must book a place via the website and read the T&C'S of taking part in a ride social available here https://www.letsride.co.uk/terms 

    County Town Names Social Link
    Berkshire Lower Earley, Reading Neil Warwick FLAB Social rides Berkshire
    Cheshire Congleton Wendy Bibby FLAB Social rides Cheshire
    Derbyshire Swadlincote & Ilkleston Will Fisher & Steve Wadey FLAB Social rides Derbyshire
    Greater Manchester Bury Lucia Cronin FLAB Social rides Manchester
    Hampshire Sherfield-on-Loddon James Morrison FLAB Social rides Hampshire
    Lancashire Morecambe Craig Townson FLAB Social rides Lancashire
    Preston Bill & Lou Shaw FLAB Social rides Preston
    Leicestershire Loughborough Emma Dickson FLAB Social rides Loughborough
    London (South East) Forest Hill Dean Nicolson & Charlotte Levitan FLAB Social rides SE London
    Merseyside Crosby, Liverpool Louise Collins FLAB Social rides Liverpool
    Middlesex Hayes David Gable FLAB Social rides Middlesex
    Norfolk Attleborough Dave Bickel FLAB Social rides South Norfolk
    Great Yarmouth Jamie Roberston FLAB Social rides Norfolk
    Nottinghamshire Hucknall & Newark Theresa Peacock & Andrew Saxby FLAB Social rides Newark / Nottingham
    Somerset Pill, Bristol Ian Hall FLAB Social rides Bristol
    Suffolk Levington David Shutt FLAB Social rides Suffolk
    Surrey Horley Adrienne Horne FLAB Social rides Surrey
    West Sussex Chichester Karen Wheeler FLAB Social rides West Sussex
    Wiltshire Swindon & Stevenson Rob Woods & Rafe Aldridge FLAB Social rides Swindon
    Yorkshire Ilkley Bella Duckworth & Emma Booth FLAB Social rides Ilkley
    Harrogate Dave Marson FLAB Social rides Harrogate
    Scotland Angus & Fife Kirsty Billin FLAB Social rides Angus & Fife
  • Why The Sufferfest?

    This month at Fat Lad At The Back we’ve been working in partnership with innovative cycling training app provider The Sufferfest. After all, it’s the start of a new year and we always need some reason and incentive to get on our bikes.

    Why The Sufferfest?  Well, we think there are many similarities between the brands. It’s easy to think that The Sufferfest is just for crazy fit people, and that Fat Lad At The Back only for ‘fat’ people. Both stereotypes are very wrong.

    As the community perfectly demonstrate, it doesn’t matter if you’re a 36” or a 58” chest, we are a people’s brand which anyone can be part of.

    IMG_5097 Liz Johns is a Dame of Sufferlandria and also flies the FLAB flag!  "What does being a Dame of Sufferlandria mean?"  For me, being a Dame - the very first one, too - means I am part of a group of amazing people who have all achieved something incredible. I found The Sufferfest at the start of my cycling journey, and it turned me into "a cyclist". Sufferlandrian Knighthood was the hardest thing I have ever done, physically and psychologically, but it also taught me that I can achieve more than I ever thought possible.

    The Sufferfest isn’t about being an elite cyclist because everyone suffers regardless of your base level of fitness.  The Chief Sufferlandrians want to encourage anyone and everyone to use cycling as a way to achieve their goals and this is exactly what FLAB is about.

    Cycling can be a very intimidating sport for anyone to get into, especially for larger people as there is a certain ‘image’ of being slim that cyclists are supposed to conform to. The Sufferfest gives you the opportunity to get on your bike in the comfort of your own kitchen.

    Some of our own are ‘fair weathered’ cyclists, so turbos are a good way of keeping your fitness going in the darker months and because it’s constant effort, a 45 minute turbo ride could be seen as equivalent to a 90 minute road ride simply because there are no downhills or freewheeling. With this in mind, the deal allows you to get two months’ free access for new subscribers to the motivational The Sufferfest app, if you make any purchase from FLAB before the end of January.

    Within The Sufferfest there are people of all shapes and sizes. It makes sense to provide those Turbo warriors with kit options for optimal performance and comfort.

    David, Chief Sufferlandrian, told us:

    “We at The Sufferfest really like what you all are doing for those who don't fit the traditional cyclist mould. The future of the sport depends upon greater inclusivity and breaking down those barriers to entry.

    “Sufferlandria has always been a place that welcomes everyone. It doesn’t matter who you are, we just want you to Suffer and push yourself to new achievements… and we also have lots of Sufferlandrians who are big, powerful units!”

    There are big, powerful “units” in both communities. Of course, FLAB wearers already benefit from the comfort, fit and performance of the FLAB clothing and we wanted to help spread that word across Sufferlandria!

    We’re always so thrilled and motivated when we hear stories of our own members of The Bulge whose lives have been transformed by discovering cycling and improving their physical and mental health and wellbeing, not to mention making new friends and tackling new challenges.

    Perhaps The Sufferfest is another new challenge that might interest you. Richard’s got his own The Sufferfest plans, between the 4th and the 12th of February he will be taking part in the 2017 Tour of Sufferlandria, this is about doing 9 days of Sufferfest videos in a row. There’s still time to join him if you want to suffer together.

    We’ll leave the last word to Dylan Robbins, Head of Marketing for The Sufferfest:

    “One of the things that makes The Sufferfest special is the sense of community it creates. We’re constantly amazed by the stories of personal transformation and overcoming obstacles we hear from the community of Sufferlandrians, and are excited to share those stories with a wider audience.”

    As we are, FLAB followers. As we are.


  • Still stuck for Christmas inspiration? Here are some last minute gift suggestions! - For the Lad in your life.

    Cycling Inspired Christmas Shopping for the Lad in your life.

    No Excuse All Weather Jacket:

    Want to keep your lad in the saddle whatever the weather?  Lads Gaffer Cycling jacket is packed full of features and provides an Insulated, wind and waterproof layer yet it’s fully breathable, lightweight and has stretch to ensure a comfortable ride.


    How about a personalised memento of a special cycling achievement? These bespoke replica miniature mile markers and mug by Summit Finish are perfect and they’re made in Yorkshire!

     Sitting Comfortably:

    Good trousers are arguably the most important bit of cycling kit for a Lad and a top quality pad is essential. Stealth anatomical reflective cycling bibs are made from super soft fabric and have a high density ENERDRY foam pad so they are outstandingly comfortable.

     Keep It Together:

    The Cycling kit bag from KITBRIX is great for a Lad that travels to events and likes to keep all his FLAB kit together

    Hi Vis:

    A new take on high vis this innovative graduated jersey will make him stand out without looking like a giant Orange! High vis Beacon Jacksey

     For The Lad Who Has Everything:

    Every pair of these fine silver Fat Lad Logo cufflinks is unique as they are individually handmade by a local Ilkley Silversmith

     Get A Head-Set:

    How about designing a custom headset cap with a motivational quote to keep those legs pedalling when the going gets tough KAPZ custom headset cap

     Cold Feet:

    Winterproof his feet with these Northwave Winter cycling boots. Not only will they keep his tootsies cosy, they remove all the faff of trying to get your overshoes on top of your cycling shoes


    Not sure what size to get? Always get it right with a FLAB Gift Voucher

     Join the RIDE:

    A years British cycling “RIDE” Membership provides many benefits including Liability insurance for commuter, sportive and leisure cyclists British Cycling Membership

    Clock Watching:

    Help him count down the hours until his next bike ride with this Bicycle wheel clock

    Say It How It Is:

    Just in case anyone needs reminding this fab Bicycle print get’s right to the point.


    Making household objects out of bits of bike is all the rage and this ? bike wheel ceiling light creates an interesting ceiling effect.

    Money Money Money:

    Is your lad dreaming of a trip to France to watch a stage of the Tour? Or cycling through vineyards in the South of France? This adventure French trip money pot is a great way to start saving for a Tour de France adventure.

     Join Us And Be Proud:

    This is not just a T-shirt…it’s a FLAB T-shirt

     Close Shave:

    A nice little travel set for the French trip! Le Bicycle shaving kit

     Keep His Cockles Warm:

    Fill this Bicycle hip flask hip flask with your Lads favourite tipple to help warm the cockles…

     The Dogs ….

    Certainly a gift for a Lad with a sense of humour, this bright red light will bob along as he cycles and might even make a motorist smile  Bike balls lights

     It’s a Doo Dah/whatd’y’m’callit/thingy’m’bob:

    Keep those chills away with this practical Camo neck doo dah

     To The Shed:

    Does your Lad like to tinker with his bike? or maybe he’s thinking of doing his own bike maintenance?  Road bike maintenance book

    Get Dapper:

    Keep your Lad looking dapper even when he’s not on his bike with this Pure Silk Cycle Print Tie

    Fancy A Challenge?

    Getting something in the diary to motivate/scare you into is cycling throughout the Winter months is always a good idea and what better reason than the FLAB Up North Yorkshire Sportive entry Not only is it a great route through Yorkshire with epic feed stops but it’s also ‘the friendliest Sportive around’.

  • Still stuck for Christmas inspiration? Here are some last minute gift suggestions! - For the Lass in your life.

    Cycling Inspired Christmas Shopping for the Lass in your life.

    Stand Out From The Crowd:

    Our best selling In The Pink long sleeve reflective jersey offers high visibility, without looking like a high vis waistcoat. The outstandingly flattering jersey design and graduated body attracts the eye upwards, away from the lower torso and towards the head, neck and shoulders. It works equally well on all shapes and sizes.

    Important Places:

    This lovely chamois cream  is formulated just for Lasses and helps prevent skin irritation in the ahem..delicate area. It also comes recommended by one of our Flambassadors who has ridden thousands of miles with it and swears by it.

    Flower Power:

    Pretty and practical the Na' then Flower neck warmer helps to keep out the chill in style.

     Stay In Touch:

    This handy portable charger fits easily into a pocket and will recharge her smartphone when She’s on the go especially if your lass uses a power draining phone app to record her ride Pebble smartstick Charger

     Sitting Comfortably:

    Good trousers are arguably the most important bit of Cycling kit and a Female specific garment pad is essential for a comfy ride. Made from super soft lightweight  fabric that’s breathable and thermal they are outstandingly comfortable because of their high waist construction  Lasses reflective  Thermal Cycling tights


    Not sure what size to get? Always get it right with a FLAB Gift Voucher

    No Excuse All Weather Jacket:

    Want to keep your lass in the saddle whatever the weather? Our classic jacket has been debranded, it’s a lightweight thermal Winter Jacket made from the latest innovative fabric that provides an insulated, wind and waterproof layer yet is fully breathable. Lasses purple blue gaffer cycling Jacket

    All That Glitters:

    For the lass who’s cycling mad, what about some cycling themed jewellery

    Sweet Dreams:

    This Bicycle duvet cover is sure to induce lovely cycling dreams.

     Light me up:

    This funky metal bicycle lamp adds a quirky touch to a side table and we are reliably informed that the photos doesn’t do it justice!

    Walk All Over it:

    Where else would she be? This gone riding door mat says it all.

    Sup Up:

    Perfect for a post ride drink and she’ll be well happy if you promise to do the washing up? Bicycle mug and tea towel set

    Wet Wet Wet:

    Perfect for watching the kids play football, the FLAB Umbrella

    Fancy A Challenge?

    Getting something in the diary to motivate/scare you into is cycling throughout the Winter months is always a good idea and what better reason than the FLAB Up North Yorkshire Sportive entry Not only is it a great route through Yorkshire with epic feed stops but it’s also ‘the friendliest Sportive around’.

    Hankie Panky:

    Even nose blowing can be cycling themed with this  bicycle hankie

    Post Ride Pamper:

    http://www.purpleharry.co.uk/shop/muscle-cooling-gel/ This lovely cooling gel contains peppermint and menthol with the moisturising and soothing properties of Aloe Vera. Massage into tired muscles post exercise and relax!

  • There Is Always A Hill To Be Climbed!

    After seeing Keith's before and after pictures on our Facebook page, we were intrigued to know more about his journey from a 24 stone lad to a 15 stone Fat Lad!
    "I have to say I have been a bit overwhelmed by the positive response i've had on Facebook.
    I only wanted really to say thank you to Fat Lad Richard and the Team for creating a brand that the fat lads stuck at the back on a club ride, had an identity, had a voice, and had something they could wear with pride, and like me are proud to be part of the team!
    My story started when I turned 40, (I work as an Artworker, and so was stuck in front of a mac all day.  I worked too much, and never exercised at all, i had gradually got bigger, and bigger, i never really saw it though, until Christmas 2011, when i went to get Jeans and i was a 44 waist.
    I was depressed, looking in the mirror in the changing room... i was round, my shirt was tight and it was XXXL.
    I Decided that this wasn't the life I wanted.
    A work mate (who is ultra fit) suggested that him and i go swimming (i always loved swimming as i had canoed in my youth, and loved water)we would go twice a week before work (tuesday's and thursday's).
    I can remember that first time at the pool, i was very self conscious about how i looked, but Dave was brilliant, and told me just to get on with it, I swam 20 lengths, breaststroke, I was knackered! But once in the pool, no one even noticed how i looked, by the end of January 2012, I joined the Penicuik centre, I had increased my swimming from 20 lengths to 40, and was also swimming after work on a monday and Friday.
    Our publishing Manager Fiona suggested that i did the swimathon ad it would give me a purpose and something to aim for. It was 2.5km, (100 lengths) and was in March 2012, I had to push myself, and increased my distance 10 lengths a week. I got sponsored by everyone at work, so there was no backing out! I swam the 100 in 1hr 30mins.
    As a reward I decided to learn front crawl, and got lessons (yes I was forty, and was learning to swim again!). I swam regularly for 12 months... I met other like minded people at the pool, who suggested that I go to the gym, my membership covered access and an induction to the gym.
    I was back at square one, I was out of my comfort zone. I googled gyms and saw on youtube, men and women with beautifully defined bodies... in reality, Penicuik centre wasn't like that, it was full of people like me!
    The Personal Trainers worked out a program for me, to help me build strength and loose weight! I added going to the gym 3 times a week as well as my regular swimming, and continued for another year.
    Some of my swimming friends, suggested that I cross train and try spin classes, as it would be a great way to loose lots of weight. I could burn 800 calories a session! I had no idea about spin, I thought it was to do with wool!!
    I went along anyway... wow that was hard there were hills, sprints and jumps on a stationary bike, all meshed together with pumping music, and an instructor shouting instructions, it was intense, but even though I was melting, it was great fun, so went back increasing it to 3 times a week!
    The only problem was, sore feet using my trainers, so I bought some cycling shoes, and spd cleats and the spin bikes took spd's, wow sore feet were gone. By Christmas I was still exercising 6 days a week. (I got my first cycling top: Fat Lad at The Back in Navy Blue) I also bought bib shorts as my shorts kept falling down! I was a cyclist! Lol although i never actually cycled.
    One of the spin class mates suggested, that I should try cycling, and gave me some advice on a bike and what to look for, and how much to spend, so on May 2014, I ordered my first bike (Specialized Allez Sport) I also bought SPD pedals, I had been using them in Spin, so I thought it will be no problem!
    How wrong I was: 2 things happened first on the day the bike arrived. I was over keen to get set up, and so failed to tighten the cleats on the shoes properly, so while I was in the house I clipped in, but couldn't clip out, couldn't reach my phone, so effectively was stuck... luckily I hadn't tightened the pedals to crankshaft so just bent down and un did the pedals!
    Then I went out, on my first ride, having never clipped in on a bike that wasnt bolted to the floor... and ended up in a wall!
    I stuck with it, though and after a couple of months I was cycling 25km on a quiet single track road, with my partner as team support in the car following me!
    My friends at spin suggested I join them for a group ride, so I met up with them one Thursday night and did 30km! Not on quiet roads though but on main roads.. that was me, on normal roads, I gradually increased the distance over the coming months, 40, 60, 80, 100km!
    This year I joined Peebles Cycling Club, and took part in a time trial. I'm not the fastest, but what I love about TT, is its a race against myself! So here I am pushing further, climbing higher, always pushing!
    This is my life now, I cant ever go back, I need to climb the next hill! There is always a hill to be climbed!"

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