Fat Can Stories: John Midgley

We are back with some more Fat Can stories to share. If you are new to the concept of Fat Can stories, it’s all about celebrating the amazing achievements that members of the FLAB community have smashed and saying actually FAT CAN. You can learn more about FAT CAN here.

Today we’ve got John’s telling his journey when he conquered the Way of the Roses in one day! 

“Basically, my friends tell me I'm just exceptionally stubborn (rather than fit and strong!!) Being a Yorkshireman, breaking down the mental barriers for any ride for me is about the potential wasted hotel/B&B at the end of the journey and this was no exception, other than the fact it had been planned for a few months and I really wanted to do it. 

I had done the Way of the Roses twice previously, but both times over three days. A friend suggested we tried to do it in two, to which I replied, why not one day!? 

Despite regularly having to get up early for work, I hardly slept worrying about missing my alarm and ruining everything! I set off from my hotel in Morecambe at about 3am, planning to meet my friend Simon in Settle. However, I misjudged the timings slightly and was going quicker than expected so he got off his train early at Gargrave and met me there, where he greet me with coffee and caramel shortbread. Vital bike ride snack! 

In order to make it manageable in my head, I split the ride up into the day legs that I had done it in before (Morecambe to Settle, Settle to York and York to Bridlington) so a particular moment of "wow, I might actually manage this" was riding through the grounds of Fountains Abbey and into Ripon, knowing that the biggest hills were behind me.

Simon left me on the other side of York but again, knowing that what I had to come was relatively flat was a big boost. My legs only really started to feel painful about 20 miles from the finish and I eventually rolled along Bridlington seafront at about 22:45, just about enough daylight left to get the second sea view of the day!

I am overweight and always have been, no matter how much cycling I do and what I eat. Despite being average height and having a bit of a cake belly, once I had to ask if the shorts I was trying on came in an XXL because even the XL didn't fit. Which is utterly ridiculous. And it makes me really appreciate FLAB gear for making me feel like I have a place on a bike. 

I think I have definitely proved that FAT CAN do mega-long rides, even if it requires some caramel shortbread and almost 20 hours to do it!

I want to say thanks a million to Simon who did the middle stretch with me–which went by almost unnoticed–because I had such good company and of course his tasty caramel shortbread. This undoubtedly made the whole thing possible, I just don't think mentally I could have done all 20 hours alone! Also to my wife Emma for driving in a van behind us and kept us fed and watered!"

Anyone else now craving caramel shortbread? 

If you want to share your amazing Fat Can story just like John did, feel free to email us at fatlads@fatladattheback.com

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