You Know We Belong Together




And so it came to pass.







Two cyclists toying with their own destinies buoyed on by a crew of Supermen and one Superwoman survived the coldest March since the Ice Age to scale the length of Britain in 99.8 hours on an indestructible piece of steel and shove its Greatness back up its own arse.



Here's an imprecise and uninformative account of what may or may not have happened.



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Plug yourself into the official Jogle theme tune to take you through the next five minutes.








The Crew



Ben the Lense






I specifically told Ben to smile in this photo. But this man shoots people for a living. So don't fuck with him. Bearing within him the vision of Lucas and the sensibility of Polanski, Ben was responsible for documenting the odyssey form start to finish on 83 disposable cameras he bought with the amassed points on his Boots Card account. The slide show is going to be mental. He suffers from a strange aversion to prescription drugs that he might need to get help with. His favourite fruit is apples. In his own words, who the fuck eats guava.



Dom the Ubermensch





This man eats, sleeps, talks and cycles harder better faster and stronger than any human being i've ever met. Dom was the resident mechanic, sports scientist, rider chaperone, chef, and Space enthusiast. He has a penchant for overcooking pasta, but this has never been mentioned until now. He is the only man i have ever seen stir Lemsip into hot coffee. If the camper van had broken down, Dom would have pushed it down the M6. His favourite fruit is guava.



Kiki the Grootest






Kiki was the motherfuckin lynch pin of the whole damn tripGrootest is Dutch for Greatest. Seeing as Kiki originates from Holland, calling her that is a nice touch. Bringing a much needed dose of oestrogen to dilute the manliness pervading the confines of the camper van, she also Schumachered the shit out of the whole country in her Volvo so Ben the Lense could get rude snaps of the riders with his disposable camera. Even when plumbing the depths of sleep deprivation she still managed to proclaim she was three quarters dead with a smile on her face. This ability to sustain morale in the face of doom, her massages, and her retarded sense of humour is what makes her the Grootest. Her favourite fruit is apples.



James the White Van Man






Co-founder of the Brother empire, sadly James has fallen prey to a clinical addiction to Dairylea Lunchables. Obviously the DLA meetings were hard to come by en route, and going cold turkey could have wrecked the success of the trip, so the rest of the crew turned a knowing blind eye at every petrol station as James got back on the wagon with reckless abandon. Drooling Lunchable froth from the corners of his mouth he channelled his energies into driving the camper van literally non stop from the very tip to the very toe of Britain. Over four days James accumulated little more than 7 hours sleep - less than anyone - and was always the first one on hand to answer distress calls from the riders. Which never happened. Except for each time Will got on the bike. His favourite fruit is not a fruit. It's Lunchables.




Riders:




Will the Brave






Wilma the other Brother was one of the two designated riders. He kicked things off up north in John o' Groats on a windswept beach from where we waved him goodbye, watching him as he disappeared into the rainy twilight shouldering the huge weight of expectation of the entire trip, the unknown of the impending 900 miles, and the unignorable fact that he's a total pussy. Nevertheless Wilma fought away the pain of a serious knee injury all the way down the country, stubborning out mammoth head winds in Glencoe and freezing night rides through the Northern counties. At times his knee got so bad that it slowed his pace to a point where he couldn't generate enough heat to warm his body, so to complete the 450 miles in those conditions shows pretty monumental strength of spirit. His favourite fruit is whatever fruit is brought to him by the side of the road when he decides he can't be fucked to cycle any further.



Me




I dig mango.




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Kiki has documented the trip pretty well already, but for those who haven't here's a vague recap.



Although the weather was savage we could have had it worse. Had we left one day later we might not have got across the border to England. Glencoe's unforgiving skies waited 14 hours to let us through before shitting 3 feet of snow all over this pass.







There was twilight riding..






20 mile climbs into unrelenting headwinds..







Go Pro kit which didn't work at all but still made you look like a pro..






Non-movement meant snatching sleep wherever possible.






Or if you're Ben, maxing out on the riverside dreaming of large black women.






The camper van was where shit kicked off.






Sometimes it really kicked off.






Amongst the sleeplessness and pain there were small triumphs.






But still, nothing remained constant.



Despair..






became delirium..






which in turn became hallucination.






By the end our meal plan had gone so far out of the window we'd resorted to sinking neat whisky.



That's me moments from setting off for a 5 hour stint.






But finally, gingerly, and painfully after 99.8 hours of mentalness we arrived at our destination.






The one constant - apart from James' intake of Lunchables - was the indefatigable Stroma, named after an uninhabited island we'd spied off the top of Scotland, which had carried the two riders and the hopes and fears of all involved from the starting point to the finishing line, with nothing but a couple of broken spokes and not a single flat.







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I wouldn't buy a bike from these guys if you paid me. 









But what they lack in basic facial tissue and semblance of normality they make up for in the Brother bikes that they build. There's so much mad stuff lined up for the company in the coming year it's gonna be big. And a new website is launching any day now. For my part the last week was an experience which will die hard in the memory, and a pleasure to be involved with such a safe group of people over such a gnarly few days. 


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One more time.








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