Fat Lass 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!



    November - Claire Craig


    Recently, we’ve been talking about barriers into cycling and your thoughts on how to make it a truly inclusive sport. And while some of you cited ‘fences and gates’ as the biggest obstacles for riders (touché), others came up with a whole host of tangible issues. These included:

      • A lack of well-fitting, affordable gear
      • Fear of being judged by so-called ‘elite’ riders
      • A shortage of groups/clubs aimed at genuine beginners
      • Abuse from drivers and fellow riders
      • A general lack of confidence, often stemming from fear of traffic
      • HILLS! 

    For our rider of the month, Claire Craig, the principal barriers into cycling were a lack of motivation to get fit and poorly fitting cycle wear.

    Despite her boyfriend Martin being an avid, competitive cyclist, Claire admits that she was never keen to join him on his regular rides:

    I had never considered going out for a ‘proper’ ride with him, especially as I’m overweight, unfit and can be a tad lazy - not to mention I couldn’t find any women’s kit in my size!”

    After receiving a bike from Martin for her birthday, Claire joined Martin and her children for the odd Sunday pedal. Uncomfortable on the saddle even for short periods, Claire was forced to purchase a pair of mens 3XL cycling shorts, which she wore for a while under a knee length skirt.

    However, since spotting an advert for Fat Lad At The Back in a magazine, Claire has gone from reluctant pootler-round-town to fit and FLABulous cyclist, now making it out 2-3 times a week.

    “Once I discovered that FLAB jerseys really do fit - I didn't have an excuse any more!”

    Feeling confident in her new FLAB gear, Claire decided to purchase a road bike and attempt a longer ride with Martin, who initially pushed her up the hills. Despite feeling, in Claire’s words, “like some sort of dying, asthmatic animal”, she has since become hooked and continues to cycle 2-3 times a week for rides lasting between 20 mins and 1¼ hours.

    Now I keep my bike by my bed - a daily reminder that I need to ride it.”

    Since starting to cycle, Claire has noticed a difference in both her physical and mental wellbeing: “My overall physical and mental health have improved hugely. Of course, hills are still a challenge, but I’m no longer on my knees and Martin can keep both hands on his handlebars!”

    She also notes that while her reasons for cycling have never been specifically weight-related, she now feels much trimmer - “a pretty satisfying side effect”.

    At the moment, Claire is enjoying the winter nights and the comfort of knowing approaching vehicles can definitely see her - “I’m hard to miss in my hi-vis getup!” She also explains that she finds inclines and descents far less daunting when she can’t actually see them!

    While Claire assures us she won’t be entering the Tour de France anytime soon, she does have plans to attend FLAB’s BIG FAT BIKE RIDE 2019. Claire told us, “Your sportive happens to coincide with a rather important birthday, so I’d like to tick it off my 40 before 40 list…”

    As a proud member of The Bulge, Claire loves visiting the FLAB Facebook page “to ask for advice and read about other people’s challenges.” She exclaims, “This supportive community reminds me that we don’t all need the fitness and energy of an elite rider, that every kilometre is an achievement, and that cake is as beneficial to cyclists as water!"

    Claire states that principally, she is cycling for herself: “After a ride, I get a kick out of knowing that I went a bit further, a bit faster, or that it’s not taking as long to catch my breath. I still ache the morning after, but I am happy.”


    If you know someone who deserves to be our Rider of the Month, get in touch at frankie@fatladattheback.com

  • It's Time To Show Off Your Cycling Clobber!

    Spring is here and it’s time to show off your cycling Clobber!

    We asked Lynn Bye, our Arty Farty Lass and Creative Director at FLAB to tell us about her inspiration for the Lasses Spring Summer collection. Here's what she had to say!

    I think cyclewear can be fashionable, as well as technical, so the women’s collection is very much influenced by what’s on the catwalks and the high street.

    This season I want customers to get much more out of their gear than it just being practical and doing a great job when they’re cycling. Feeling great on your bike is such an important part of the overall experience, so I want our customers to really enjoy their cycling clothes and to be inspired by some of the colours and pattern combinations we are suggesting.

    The women's collection is built around central colours which mix and match, so you can wear various different jerseys with the same jacket and shorts for example, to create different looks and keep your cycling wardrobe fun and interesting, just like your every day wardrobe.

    We have added a Rainbow padded short and windproof gilet to the collection for 2017, which is bang on trend and has the added advantage of going with absolutely everything in the collection.

    Colours are strong and vibrant for 2017 and we have introduced 2 new colours to our pixel jerseys, which are both key colours for this season.

    All jerseys_2


    These jerseys can be mix and matched with the rest of the collection for lots of variations and looks. For example all the long sleeve versions of these jerseys work with the new Geometric top (BELOW RIGHT) and the Beacon Neck Doo Dah, so you can pick and choose whichever colours you like best, knowing they all work together.

    Geo and long sleeve Sunshine rainbow shorts_2


    Florals have been gradually creeping onto the high street since Autumn 2016 and they are now a key theme throughout 2017 and into 2018.

    Our Nar Then Flower Jersey (BELOW RIGHT) comes in a short and windproof long sleeve and focuses on peach, which is another big colour for Spring Summer. Here it’s shown with the Blush jersey, Rainbow shorts and flower neck doo dah.

    Blush Flower and Rainbow Shorts_2


    Sticking with flowers, the new Floral jersey (BELOW LEFT) has a delicate multi coloured print and goes with a lot of pieces from the collection, including our best selling In The Pink jersey. Here we have teamed it with this seasons turquoise jersey (BELOW) and purple to show two different options, which work equally well.

    Floral with rainbow and kingfisher_2


    Purple is a really strong colour for 2017 and 2018, even making it onto a lot of the mens catwalks. For FLAB it’s inspiration for our new women’s Stealth collection – which is our unbranded range. As well as the short sleeve, we have added a women’s long sleeve windproof jersey – we call it the Jacksey (BELOW MIDDLE). This is the perfect item for the transitional weather through Spring, where it’s not freezing but you need protection from the chilly wind and even a bit of a drizzle.  It has the added advantage of matching perfectly with our Gaffer jacket, so it will give people options throughout the seasons.

    Floral with Purple shorts and long sleeve


    For more information about the Fat Lass At The Back women's range checkout our website.


  • 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!

  • The Beginning - Kendal Briggs

    11960279_10156027273150504_6953329738244869180_nRecently, Kendal posted on Facebook a photo of herself at the top of her first Col in the French Alps, we had such a great response to the shot, we invited Kendal to blog about her  cycling experience.

    I was with the response I got on Facebook from my picture. People used words like inspirational and many said it was the kick up the bum they needed to get out on their bikes and pedal away some miles.

    I was very touched, but you have to know, I am nothing special! I’m just like every other FLAB following the Fat Lad At The Back page and wearing the kit. What I do on a bike is not fast and I think the only thing that makes it remotely pretty is the lovely FLAB kit!

    I’m delighted to have been invited to Blog for FLAB and thought I’d start with how I started my cycling journey. If one person gets out on their bike as a result then I’ll be incredibly proud! But an idea had been put in my head. So I borrowed a bike. I borrowed some kit (I swear I looked like a bright orange version of the Michelin Man!) I put on a borrowed helmet and off I cycled to a local café popular with cyclists.

    It was one pleasant April day. I was in my favourite place, curled up on the sofa… I probably had a bar of chocolate to hand too. A couple of friends were taking part in a 100 mile Sportive at the very end of August. 100 miles?! 100 miles of sweating, saddle sore, leg aching miles!? No way. Frankly I’d rather stick pins in my eyes!

    But an idea had been put in my head. So I borrowed a bike. I borrowed some kit (I swear I looked like a bright orange version of the Michelin Man!) I put on a borrowed helmet and off I cycled to a local café popular with cyclists.

    That ride was 13 miles - 6.5 miles each way. 13, completely flat, windless, traffic free miles. Well I was like a spoilt child. I whined and I moaned and when I got back I thought I’d died. I didn’t think my legs would carry me, I didn’t think I’d ever be able to sit down again, and my face was beetroot red and covered in sweat. It was not an attractive look!100 miles was never going to happen.

    But what about 60? 60 miles in 4 months was achievable wasn’t it?

    So, after one 13 mile ride that I was convinced took me to deaths door I went online and booked myself on the shorter route of this Sportive at the end of August.

    I was committed to it now!

    The training was hard, really hard, until I found a lovely bunch of Lasses through British Cycling. Lads and Lasses check them out, they have rides for all abilities, rides you can take your kids on, rides you can have cake on, rides with pub stops, but most importantly rides with other like minded people. Cycling is such a social hobby, and cycling in a group makes you much more likely to be seen by those pesky cars too!

    So if arrange to meet the girls (I had some responsibility to them to turn up that way) and little by little, plenty of coffee and cake, and even more gossip the miles started to tick away. And you know I even started to enjoy it!!!

    13417707_10157022849320504_2851687168352298045_nThat August I completed my 60 miles. I think there was a lot of stubbornness and determination on there but I did it. And that feeling of crossing the line and seeing 60 miles on my cycle tracking app was indescribable! I’d done it. I’d chuffing done it.

    The only problem was the big hole I now I had… I’d nothing to aim for now, I needed a new challenge – there was born London to Paris a year later, and I completed that to

    So just over 2 years on from that day laid on the sofa. I’m still a Fat Lass. I’m still slow. I take good selfies by it’s still not pretty.But I’m out there and doing it. If I can do it, anyone can. I genuinely mean that.

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