Saturday, 2 May 2015

Team Pannier Ride Again: The Riders

Finally it was time to hit the road again, dust off those panniers, brush out those Harvest Valley crumbs (OK no one has enough time to do that) and stock up on enough sugar to fire us up a gazillion hills. This time we were to hit the climbs, as Spanners and myself concocted the hilliest way to head from Sheffield to Ashbourne, at the bottom of the Peak District and then head up through the national park to Huddersfield and then back to Sheffield again. Sheffield of course being like Rome "built on seven hills" the mantra everyone repeated whenever someone starts to point this fact out.

It's starting to get like Avengers Assemble at Team Pannier. Riders from across the country coming together at different times. Each rider has their own alter ego and their own strengths. It might be useful to remind you of the team and also to introduce the new comers.

Rich AKA Spanners has really stepped up his cycling involvement over recent years. Already the man with the most knowledge about the workings of our vehicles he now knows what it's like to be part of a cycling club.

Training - Thanks to the wonders of Strava we could track how each team member was getting on in their preparation for our next ride. Spanners was consistently out on his bike and regularly top of the leader-board for who had done the most miles and climbed the most feet. That included a mental ride, longer and higher than any one day we had planned in the most unimaginable weather.

Jon AKA Chef is the bulldog of Team Pannier, head down and powerful, churning out the miles. His cooking skills have come to our rescue in the past as we've been left to fend for ourselves in the less salubrious venues.

Training - While his appearances on Strava have been limited, they have also been impressive as he's been training for, and taking part in, a half marathon. Only a week before he completed the hilly Sheffield course in a cracking time.

The singer of the team, Neil keeps us entertained with his apt tracks throughout our rides. Over the years we've gone from the cool tracks to amazingly catchy kids songs as we've all had kids during our time on the bikes. What would it be on this ride?

Training - As with Chef, Jukebox was training for the Sheffield Half. Despite lots of running miles stacked up on Strava he hadn't had the time to get much time on the road. Would his running fitness translate to the road, had he and Chef had time to recuperate before the big ride?

I'd love to say I got this name because I was the youngest of the original team but it was in fact that I was handed a small child's horn as the three other members unveiled much bigger and noisier versions.

Training - A mix of training fitting in between the others, with a half marathon under my belt a little while before the ride giving me enough time to top it up on the road. Jack of all trades, master of none?

Having ridden an unofficial Team Pannier ride with myself and Jukebox last year on the ride-that-should-never-have-been John kind of knew what he was getting himself in to. Although hopefully it was going to be a different beast this time (the ride not John) without a constant head wind. With three Jo(h)ns in the Team I'm calling him John-J (as in @johnjsills) until he earns his own nickname.

Training - John packed the riding in right before the off, catching up his miles in the final week before we set off. With a largely flat route last time which John thought was hillier than he expected how would he get on with the hills of the Peak District?

The true newbie to Team Pannier, Andy had only done day rides with some of the team. How would he put up with our singing, cooking and small horn instruments?

Training - Andy had been commuting to work so surely he was good but he'd been ill and hadn't managed to be out on his bike. He'd even missed football so he must have been ill. Still, like all of us he'd managed to squeeze in one or two rides before the big off.

1 comment: