Scroll to the bottom to read Simon’s reflections now the ride is completed.
Q. Simon, could you tell us a little about who you are what youd do? Why did you get involved with Three Men on a Bike 2012?
A. I’m one of the owners of Anthem Publishing based in Bath, and Publisher of our music making titles including Music Tech Magazine, Music Tech Focus, Guitar & Bass Magazine and Guitar & Bass Classics and their respective online editions. I’ve spent 30 years in senior management roles in press and magazine publishing and finally decided to set up and run my own business with 2 colleagues.
I’ve known the team at Roland for over 10 years and did the Lands End to London Ride 2 years ago so as soon as the words cycling and charity were mentioned again I was in!
Q. What is your favourite quality about yourself?
Q. What is your least favourite quality about yourself?
Q. Do you play an instrument?
Q. What is your claim to fame?
A. Played rugby for Wales (under 19’s).
Q. What was your favourite outdoor activity as a child?
A. Anything involving a ball.
Q. What are your favourite and least favourite types of music?
A. Favourite : R&B : Least Favourite : Mariachi.
Q. What are your favourite and least favourite foods?
A. . Favourite : Taters : Least favourite : any meat or fish … (been a veggie for 30 yrs).
Q. Who taught you to ride a bike?
A. My Mum.
Q. Who is your favourite sports personality and why?
A. Currently it’s got to be Wiggins : he’s achieved Olympic sprint titles on the track and now won the greatest cycling endurance race of all : it’s like Usain Bolt winning the 100 metres one year and the marathon the next : incredible athlete.
Q. Who is your favourite musician/artist/band?
A. Super Furry Animals.
Q. What do you do to unwind and relax?
A. Ride my bike.
Q. What is your favourite place in the world?
Q. When people look back at your life, how do you want to be remembered?
A. A good bloke to have around in a tight spot.
Reflections on the ride, now it’s complete:
Time wounds all heels they say …..
So my predominant thoughts looking back on 10 pretty momentous days are of pride in what we achieved as a group and pride in what every individual achieved. Rides like ours will never be the same for every person. One man’s delight is another’s agony. I loved all the climbs, especially Scotland, and the Cornish rain and hills were great fun, though I suspect I might have been in the minority with that!!
But I’m ahead of myself … when we gathered at John O’Groats my overriding objective was to help get everyone safely from north to south and on schedule, though I was not entirely sure how I was going to pull that off given that there was such a wide range of personalities, skills and fitness throughout the team, so please accept my humble apologies if I occasionally barked or grizzled at any of you along the way ……
For a rag-tag of non-cyclists with little experience of group riding to have achieved in 10 days what we have is frankly astounding. There were times to the untrained eye when we looked suspiciously like a team, there were others particularly through Carlisle town centre when I feared for us all and we looked more like we were part of a Reclaim the Streets event….. but we did it.
I’ll remember the relentless and merciless banter, Glencoe, Paul Hughes throwing himself at some poor woman shopper in Worcester, Sean falling off twice, the chance meeting with the grandmother and aunt of a little lad called Elliot in the car park of MacDonalds all clearly struggling with far more permanent suffering than any of us, James brilliantly bullying our bikes into the Premier Inn at Fort William, and the oasis that was Rose and Terry’s van.
I miss being able to wake up each morning and look forward to another 100 mile ride, (my commute is only a 50 mile round trip), I’ll miss my old and new friends, Ruth’s rolls, the wit and wisdom of Terry Jones, the privilege of being able to be self-indulgent and explore bits of Britain I’ve never visited before.
I won’t miss Premier Inns, Jules, Simon and Neil’s chronic inability to control their bladders, Premier Inns, midges, road surfaces like corrugated iron sheeting, Premier Inns, certain un-named directors whining about saddle sores, Jules riding like a ballet dancer, the tandem, and Premier Inn service, food, receptionists, menus, wi-fi and generally anything else Premier Inn related.
I know that I am a better man for having done this.