"Bionic" Brian Tilley is recovering in hospital following a nasty bike accident on the Tuesday evening "BRAT Bash" this week.  There were no cars involved, and no other bikes came down either.  The probable trigger was a "touch of wheels" at speed, resulting in Brian falling onto the road, fracturing his left shoulder, several ribs and his pelvis.  He also suffered a punctured lung.  Although he has little memory of the accident, he specifically wanted to thank all of the BRATs who helped get him to hospital and on the road (as it were) to recovery, including Mark Hirsch ("he was magnificent"), Washy (who broke the news to Clare), Cocky, Chris and Speedy Dave.  Brian is also pleased to report that his bike appears to be relatively undamaged - although he now has matching scrape marks on both brake levers (the first sustained following his accident and broken hip a year ago).

The BRAT Bash is a regular training session during the lighter months consisting of a group ride over a fast standardised 26 mile loop from Wythall through Hockley Heath to Rowington and back through Knowle.  Despite this accident and its challenging nature, the BRAT Bash has one of the best group ride safety records - this is only the second major accident in 10 years.  Please refer to the updated BRAT Club group riding etiquette (attachment). Get well soon, Bionic - you will be back, stronger than ever.

Published in Cycling News
Thursday, 08 August 2013 09:04

What the LEL?

Once every 4 years, several hundred cyclists gather in front of Buckingham Palace at 6am and set off on the adventure of a lifetime.  In just 5 days, they cover over 1,400 kms (900 miles) of glorious British countryside, from the fens of Cambridgeshire, the Yorkshire moors, over the Pennines, the desolate borderlands, to Edinburgh and back, through the wind, rain and night, supported by many willing volunteers.  Debbie and I did it this year over 4 1/2 days, ably supported by Hannah, along with 1,000 other cyclists from 33 different countries.  It was an amazing adventure, with weather and terrain conditions ranging from sunny, flat and following winds, to freezing cold mountains in thundering downpours, to exhaustingly hot (38 degrees C) with debilitating headwinds.  The roads were generally quiet, country lanes and the scenery was incredible, indescribable, incomparable and quintessentially British!  There was an endless supply of food and volunteer support at each of the 13 control checkpoints, and a not quite endless supply of toilets, showers and blow up mattresses - although sleep wasn't easy among several hundred other snoring people...

Published in Cycling News
Wednesday, 05 June 2013 21:56

Grace's Great Adventure!

On Saturday 8th June, Grace Christian sets off on the 963 mile Deloitte Ride Across Britain challenge. In nine days, she will be cycling from John O’Groats to Land’s End with a team from Mondelez (who own Cadbury). Contrary to popular belief, riding north to south does not result in a largely down hill ride… on some days Grace will be climbing over 3000m (9000ft).

Grace kindly agreed to do this exclusive pre-ride interview, just for BRAT News

Brat News: What are you most looking forward to about RAB Grace?

Grace Christian: Seeing the sign posts at either end of the country (great photo opportunity!), the amazing scenery along the way, the buzz of people’s stories of the day at camp each evening.  Then having a few days off to stay at my Aunties B&B in Penzance after. Then to share the amazing experience afterwards!

BN: Tell us about your training and preparation….

GC: During the early winter, I started with regular spin classes at gym, and then first ventured back outside this year at Easter despite the snow. I’ve then been steadily building up to doing two long rides over every weekend. During the first May Bank Holiday I did the Coast to Coast from Whitehaven to Tynemouth - 50 miles a day for three days. Then the following weekend, two sportives (165 miles in two days). Last Saturday was the final big ride; an 80 Mile Audax from Wem in Shropshire to the beautiful Lake Vyrnwy in mid Wales.

BN: And how are you feeling now… with just a few hours until you fly to the start?

GC: Well, now the bike is on its way to Scotland on a lorry and bags are packed! I leave tomorrow morning and overall I am excited about setting off on the big adventure!

BN: Aside from the personal challenge, why else is this event so important? 

GC: The event aims to raise over £1million for the British Paralympic Association, the charity generously supported by the BRAT charity ball, which raised over £1400. I also have a personal Virgin Money site which has raised approximately £1000 already. I’m is looking to hit £1500 if possible. Thanks to those who have already made donations – let’s keep them coming!

BN: Thanks Grace, that’s great. Have a great ride - the BRAT club are supporting you all the way!!



Day stages:

DAY 1, 8th June- John O'Groats to Kyle of Sutherland  (Bonar Bridge)

DAY 2, 9th June- Kyle of Sutherland to Fort William

DAY 3, 10th June- Fort William to Glasgow

DAY 4, 11th June- Glasgow to Carlisle

DAY 5, 12th June- Carlisle to Aintree

DAY 6, 13th June- Aintree to Ludlow

DAY 7, 14th June- Ludlow to Wincanton 

DAY 8, 15th June- Wincanton to Launceston

DAY 9, 16th June- Launceston to Lands’ End











Published in Cycling News