London to Varese

800 Miles from London to Varese for Luke and Leukaemia

The Team

In no particular order of importance other than intelligence and ability to actually ride a bike:

Photo 15-09-2013 16 19 29 (1) If you had to describe Gabriel in two words, they would probably be handsome and rowdy; he was born for this (ok, maybe not his physique, but his dedication and love of the banter).

As an expert at managing major construction projects by day, Gabes is undoubtedly the most practical team member and without his mechanical prowess it is unlikely we’d make it past out first puncture.

Gabes has been putting in some serious miles in preparation, which will not only prepare him well for the tour but will also have him looking trim for his wedding day, only a matter of weeks after we get back from Varese.

Gabes’ tremendous sense of humour will keep us smiling on the most brutal rain-lashed climbs and the team certainly wouldn’t be complete without him.
Xhbx-2F1a6xjs-BTAi2P8-8PC7i1-zi31anpu1bBQOo As a cavalry officer by profession, you would expect Lieutenant Holliday to know a thing or two about riding to victory.

When he’s not busy keeping this country safe/making American girls croon in his Household Cavalry uniform, he can usually be found making sure the Handsome but Rowdy team get sufficient R&R at his mess.

The team will no doubt benefit from Edd’s leadership experience however his inability to remain in the saddle without a pair of stirrups remains an area for improvement.

Edd has christened his steed “Lindsey”, which Hennah is hoping is inspired by one of Edd’s horses rather than Hennah’s sister.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          LUKE PONSONBY
Photo 15-09-2013 16 22 22 As the whole reason that we are undertaking this endeavour, Luke has a lot to answer for, and no doubt as the miles rack up he’ll be chosen first to be the team’s sudocrem applicator!

Luke was unfortunately chosen by the powers above to fall unwell with Leukaemia, but in the same breath was fortunate enough to be on the right end of some strong breeding and thus there was never a single second that he, and indeed all of us, weren’t positive that he was going to come through the ordeal with flying colours. Similarly Luke is lucky enough to have a dedicated family, brilliant medical team and (of course) the bestest friends anyone could wish for around him.

All this means that although he is the poster boy for this campaign, he is (just 1 year since treatment) also just one of the boys and will go through every pedal stroke, drop of sweat and sore muscle that we all do. Naturally gifted in the thigh department, Luke should be strong in the climbs and his prop-forward sized upper body will enable him to use gravity to his advantage on the downhill sections.

Joking aside, we know that Luke will be smiling the whole way through training, planning and riding, and I’m sure this will be all the encouragement the rest of us need to smile all the way to the finish too.
a6rCeWTEz2FXNgqhkrKkY1DxaS8ydZPSgG7RSF4phLE As the token doctor on our little adventure, Kareem has inadvertently volunteered as the plaster distributer, hydration specialist and chaffing analyst. His usual career as pediatric doctor sees him dealing with all sorts of serious illnesses, however I doubt he realises that he is going on a journey with 5 fully grown children, probably making more noise than the average 2 year old.

Being a gifted sportsman, he should have no problem traveling the 900+ miles and will most likely leave us in his wake on his trusty steed, bumble bee. Lets hope it does less stinging and more floating when it come to the large ‘hills’.

Kareem will be a well valued member of the handsome but rowdy team and this journey will put us all to the test.
Photo 15-09-2013 16 21 47 JP is 6ft 3” of pure olive skinned goddess. That is the first thing that you need to know about this man. Between spinning classes and hot yoga to increase his flexibility (that’s right ladies, form an orderly queue), he is quickly turning into the ultimate cycling machine.

Working for the FSA he is punctual, organised and he gets things done. With these attributes he has been a major driving force in the organisation of the group in this epic expedition. He works hard and he means business.

Being head boy during our school days he is well aware of the responsibility of leadership and the taming of the rowdy but handsome boys. He leads from the front but is not afraid to hang back and give support to some of the more unsteady riders in the group – we’re looking at you MR. Tumbles Holliday.

JP knows what we are doing this ride for having dedicated a lot of his time to charity work and the others around him in the past. He helps to keep the guys focused on the task at hand and concentrating on the end goal. He is a crucial member of the team, but most importantly he is a great friend to be cycling through the unknown with.
                                                                                                                                                                                                              JAMES HENNAH
Q4_Of8HgxTZqABfziZtkNcSlQ3cqIvzTFd0grtrf9d8Imagine Patrick Bateman, if you will, but on steroids.

As a classically overworked lawyer, James’ profession sees him have the unfathomable ability to seemingly work a solid 24 hours, whilst managing to sleep, eat and play at the same time. Some say he eats whilst sleeping, sleeps whilst working, works whilst cycling and cycles whilst cultivating the luscious hazel mane that is his hair. All we know is, we’re looking forward to seeing this sort of drive on the trip.

Already a keen cyclist with his pert little pony, Carmen, and a relentless connoisseur of the banter, James’ mental and physical stamina and general good-bloke character will boost the team when it’s needed to survive the journey ahead.

And should anyone get in trouble with the law on the trip, we have our token legal counsel for conversations with local constabularies, gendarmeries and polizia.
xCYxLXmmNSmU0kaS3t3Hejp65a5yHeoL85GYUprLCgk Tim is by all means the creative catalyst of ‘The Handsome but Rowdy’ team. All that time spent sipping organic skinny soy chia tea lattes in think-tanks with London’s top PR gurus has developed Tim’s already nonchalant and too-cool-for-school persona, leaving his innovative mind to roam freely outside the proverbial ‘box’. Often, Tim doesn’t even know where the box is. A central team member, Tim has really taken it upon himself to be the driving force in spreading our charitable message to the masses. No doubt his talents will help us raise a great deal for a great cause. The team would simply be a group of several males in lycra without him.

An ergonomically exquisite specimen, very much like the Hells Angels, Tim was born to ride. His 6ft 2” frame boasts a biomechanical engine that will simply not run out of steam (at least that’s what the girls at school used to say!). Physique aside, Tim’s real asset is his unfaltering positive attitude. An ever reliable source of good spirits and encouragement I am sure that, in times of pain and peril, we will take turns in riding alongside Tim so as to find that little bit extra to give.

Although Tim acquires all the necessary artillery to be the next Bradley Wiggins he is lacking one fundamental piece of equipment, a bicycle. With under a month to go until the big 100 mile London Bikeathon, Tim has yet to make Tshayelu with his mountain banshee (Avatar reference and NOT a reference to the girls at school!). Regardless, shoes have been shined, suits dry cleaned and camera batteries charged for the much anticipated matrimony ceremony.
mathiasWhat can we say about big Will Mathias? Widely acknowledged as the biggest man on the planet, he has the hair and roar of a lion, but thankfully for us also the heart of a lion. Will was without hesitation in signing up to be our support driver for week 1 of our journey – recognising the chance to support the cause, and of course Luke, and spend some quality time bonding with the chaps along the way. Will probably hasn’t been on a bicycle since the 90’s so is happy to be coming on this journey on 4 wheels in our support car, as opposed to on 2. Having spent several summers in France grape picking, studying agriculture and making contacts, Will’s knowledge of the continent will be very useful along the way, and he has a long list of friendly French farmers willing to host and feed us along the way. Seriously though, it is amazing to have an old friend there with us on the journey, and we couldn’t be happier to welcome him to the team.
greigThe only person that could also put in a claim for the biggest young man you’ve ever met is Will Greig! Having grown up on a multi-award winning meat producing farm in Devon, Will has grown into a countryside loving, business orientated young specimen. Will’s marketing knowledge and business nous from his day job will be of huge assistance as we look to spread the word of our good cause and raise as much money as possible. Will has kindly agreed to support us on week 1 of the trip, taking the duties of hundreds of miles of driving, puncture repairs, and most probably chief in charge of finding a suitable lunch-spot each day! Will G supports charity work fervently through his family and friends network and so is no stranger to putting in the hard work on behalf of others. No doubt he’ll bring some big smiles and plenty of laughter to the trip – thrilled that he’s coming with us.
picklesYoung Tom Pickles was good enough to jump (he literally did a tiny little jump off the ground) at the chance to be part of this adventure. As soon as he heard about the trip he was un-moving in his view that he needed to be a part of it in some way – that says a lot about our Tommy’s kindness. Unfortunately as Tom’s professional life puts him in charge of running his own business in Bristol, he works 25 hours a day, 366 days a year! Therefore whilst sadly not able to commit to the cycling training that takes up so much time, he has committed strongly and fully to the adventure as a support driver for week 2, taking us into Italy and the finish line. He’s already had lots of great ideas on the team’s behalf which shows how serious he is about being part of the good cause, and will bring a real edge and drive to the team – welcome aboard!


One thought on “The Team

  1. Luke I am so proud to be reading all the info about your bike ride. What a team, I send heaps of love and good luck wishes. G

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