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.

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