London to Varese

800 Miles from London to Varese for Luke and Leukaemia


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Saturday 26th October was the scene of another Team Handsome but Rowdy training day, 4 of the 7 were able to attend.

Gabriel and his Boris bike, JP and his lean olive skinned legs, the QT (almost QC) James H, and poster boy Luke set out to get some well needed training before winter really sets in.

Now most people when they think of Richmond park think of a vast amount of space with the odd cyclist riding around enjoying the stags making random but very loud noises and the possibility of seeing a man chasing his dog shouting ‘FENTON….COME HERE’ at the top of his lungs…..well so did we!!! It is definitely not the same as that, about a billion lycra wearing cyclists trying to go as fast as possible within their own 10 man/women pelotons whilst sharing the road with drivers who would, in a perfect world like to drive through in as little time as possible and not crawl at cycling speed behind some really rather impressive bottoms (good and bad).

It wasn’t until the last lap that things really took a turn for the worse. Luke and Gabes had to stop and control an incident between a cyclist and an over zealous driver who seemed to think that he owned the road (yes I know what you’re thinking….. Damn cyclists……but some of us are ok and some are bad, this also includes drivers!) . After the police got involved Luke had to stay and give a statement while Gabes thought he best go ahead and tell James H and JP what was going on. In an effort to do this with as must haste as possible he briefly forgot how to ride a bike. When he came to he was at the wrong end of a hill and unfortunately lost control. Long story short he took all the skin off one arm and his backside, but thankfully nothing worse.  With some fantastic help from the Met police he was soon waiting for Karim (who was ill) to come and pick him up and drop him off at hospital for a clean up.

So what started as just a little jolly around the park turned into a multi accident scene with police and an ambulance…but hey you live and learn!

The day ended with a London to Varese team planning meeting followed by a few well earned drinks in the pub where it all started, the Antelope in Sloane Square.

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Luke and JP being really helpful at the crash scene!

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Luke still being helpful…while Tim does some more casual training


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Looking the part

Fix up, look sharp! Everyone knows that the most important thing about road cycling is looking awesome… Look smart, ride smart as they say! With that in mind we are pleased to show off the official London to Varese 2014 kit. The kit was designed to take into account the various aspects of our ride – the central drop of blood on the chest representing Leukaemia and blood cancer for example. The green and red stripes, as well as the azurri blue shorts are a nod to our Italian destination, and the effortlessly classic and understated overall design is in tribute to the French and Italian heritage of road cycling in the glory days gone by. You will also notice our surnames will be featured on the side panels (#pro), as well as a cheeky union flag to help remind us of home. We were even clever enough to learn what the Italian word for London is – Londra, who knew?

A HUGE thanks to Andy Vasey (creative genius behind several of your favourite tv adverts) for the design.

Another big thankyou to the Nottingham based team at Godfrey Sports (godfrey.co.uk) for working up Andy’s design into the beautiful kit seen below. The kit is due in just a few short weeks and we cant wait.

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Get a Wiggle on

JP continued the winter training theme on Sunday 20 October by riding in the Wiggle South Downs Sportive. This was a 73 mile route taking in some gorgeous parts of Sussex and Hampshire and by all accounts was a wonderful ride. The only slight drawback was the hurricane that hit the south coast that day – landing just 5 miles from the course start and finish line. This added a somewhat wet and windy element to the day but its all good training! (JP had learnt his lesson from the below and actually bought a waterproof top in advance). A solid 5hr 30 minutes ride, including some punchy climbs – well done JP!

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The reality of Winter training

So the harsh reality of Winter training has well and truly set in! It didn’t take a lot, just one foul weathered 50km jaunt around the Biggin Hill area of Kent was enough. Early morning, Sunday 13th October, Luke and JP set off like true heroes into the cold, wet, dark unknown. Returning 2 hours later we were freezing cold, wet through like old dogs, but weirdly still smiling. The main lessons we learnt were that decent winter waterproofs are a must (we learnt the hard way), and that winter training really isnt for the faint hearted. Its going to be miserable most of the time, and lonely probably all of the time….but with Varese April 2014 firmly in our sights, its just going to have to be part of the journey!Untitled