Friday, 29 June 2012

Just giving and all that

Hi there,

Just a quick post today to thank those of you that have already got your justgiving pages set up, and a massive thank you to Sophie Holloway and Ryan Sivyer for getting us started with early donations.

In the particular environment (economy-wise as opposed to weather etc.) that we find ourselves in, almost everyone I know is doing some form of sponsored event. Timing, and the way you ask people to sponsor you can make all the difference. Be persuasive, but also sensitive and give good reasons as to why you are asking.

When you email your colleagues/friends it may help to remember the following points:
  • Is it just after payday? catch people straight after they get paid and they are more likely to donate
  • Have I explained that I've paid for my ticket and the cost of the ride. All the sponsorship money goes to Cancer Research
  • Have I explained what the charity does and why Bike to Bestival supports it?
  • Is it too cheeky to send a follow up email jujst before I go to remind people that I can still be sponsored? (I always do, and remember to thank those who've already donated. In fact the second email should thank everyone for their support and remind people that it's not too late if they haven't got round to it.)
  • Have I been polite?
As part of the justgiving site, you can set up a txt giving code which allows people to text you a donation. It's free and it can go on posters or flyers or even the bottom of an email. Top marks to Vera Gulbranson for getting her poster up at work already. You can do this in something simple like word, or a poster app on your phone... or pester anyone you know with fancy design software...
If you make a request personal it is more likely to succeed.  This is the first Bike to Bestival and we're all very excited with the progress and support you've all given us so far.

Don't be shy and don't forget to ask friends and family. We're going to have a great ride and a great festival to follow it.

Take care


Wednesday, 27 June 2012

First part of the route

Hi there bikers!

I thought you might like to have a look at the first half of the route. On monday we showed you where we were going so today I thought you might like to see how you are getting there. Bear with it... the map does take a little time to load. Warren and I are going to ride it in the next few days to check it for timings etc (is the lunch stop in the right place etc...) but I thought it'd make it a little more real for you. If you don't want to look at the embedded map it should be saved just here

View Larger Map

Monday, 25 June 2012

Very happy campers…

Cor, it’s all getting to seem pretty real, ain’t it? We’re very happy to announce that we’re now booked in to a campsite for the evening of Tuesday 4 September. And get this for an appropriately Bestival-ish moniker… 

It’s called Mellow Farm Adventure. Yes, that’s right.

And it’s a cracking looking place, too, a properly idyllic countryside spot on the Hampshire-Surrey border, set on the River Wey and surrounded by grassland and woodland. And we’re allowed to light fires! And there’s showers! And we may have the run of the whole flipping place! Perfect for settling in for a barbecue, a couple of ales and perhaps a few songs after a day in the saddle…

The distance from central London (we’ve mapped the route out now – we’ll post it up here soon) is just over 45 miles, which is nigh on perfect; it means that the second day’s ride (when we have to make it to Southampton in time for the ferries) will be a little less taxing.

Check out Mellow Farm here:

It couldn’t get more Darling Buds of May. Except that that was set in Kent.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Time to get yo’ asses into gear… Tips and ideas for B2B training

(Editor’s note: Warren’s training list is a guide for those of you without much consistent cycling practice. It is a guide only. Please feel free to get in touch if you have any questions)
With under three months to go until the big push off from central London, it’s probably about high time we thought of warming those saddles and making sure that cometh the day, cometh the hour, cometh the, er, bike ride, we’re all in good shape to hit the road with confidence…

Crucially, and as we’ve said all along, the two-day trip is a testing one – but very much do-able. I know that quite a few who have signed up (we’re pushing the 30 mark as I type this, by the way – looking good!) are seasoned riders. Those of you among that happy bunch will probably be well aware of what it takes to stick it out for 45 miles (twice!) – but for those of you who don’t, a few words of advice and some practical tips for making sure you’re up to speed come the 4 September. I’ll try not to witter on too much.

Your training regime for the ride has two main goals. The first, clearly, is to make sure that you’re physically in good shape and accustomed to going the kind of distance we’ll be taking on. The second aim is to gradually pick up the speed at which you cover the miles. B2B is definitely not a race, but it is important that we’re covering ground at a reasonable rate. By the time we get to September, the idea is that we should all be able to manage 10 miles per hour, or thereabouts. 

Again, if you’re a bit of a biking novice, don’t let this worry you – it’s definitely achievable with a bit of practice.

Which brings us to the first, most obvious, yet most important tip: from this point on, Get Out On Your Bike As Often As You Can. See, I’ve even used capitals. How Annoying Of Me. Even if this means 3 or 4 miles to work, or to your mate’s, or to the pub: a little goes a long way in terms of conditioning yourself for the saddle – and it’ll also mean that you’ll start to pick up your average speed without even realising it.

For those of you doing this kind of ride for the first time, perhaps we should get a little more specific about this. It’s not gospel, of course, but below I’ve laid out a fortnight-by-fortnight outline of the kind of bike-time that will definitely put you in good stead for B2B:

Monday 25 June to Monday 9 July
At least three five-mile rides per week, plus one ten-mile ride over the fortnight.

Monday 9 July to Monday 23 July
At least three five-mile rides per week, plus one 20-mile ride over the fortnight.

Monday 23 July to Monday 6 August
At least two ten-mile rides per week, plus two 30-mile rides over the fortnight.

Monday 6 August to Monday 20 August
At least two 15-mile rides per week, plus one 40-mile ride over the fortnight.

Monday 20 August to Monday 3 September
At least three 15-mile rides per week, plus one (or more) 45-mile rides over the fortnight.

It’s all a little arbitrary, of course – if you’re already in good physical shape (and younger than me and Dom... which is quite likely) you may be able to cope with less training. But for those of you looking at the schedule and thinking, ‘when am I going to fit it in?’, again, don’t worry: remember that a 10-mile ride should take you little longer than an hour (depending on hills ‘n things); the longer rides just take a little bit of forward planning. Set aside four hours or so at the weekend – and hit the road! 

And don’t forget to remember amidst all of this: being out on your bike is actually effing good fun. I definitely wouldn’t do it otherwise.

A really good site for biking routes, covering the whole of the country, is here:

It has routes of all different lengths and all levels of difficulty – so just pick one and get cracking!
A couple of other quick, but important things…

Take plenty of water. Probably a couple of bike bottles’ worth will do you.(we'll cover nutrition and hydration in another post)

Take a puncture repair kit and a spare inner tube. Make sure you’re confident with changing an inner tube – easy enough when you know how, but do gen up before you head out…

Enough for now – but as ever, do get in touch with any other questions. And if you fancy hooking up with other B2Bers for a training ride, why not head over to the Facebook page and post a message? In fact, that’s a grand idea – be good to catch up with some of you for a limber up!

Toodle pip for now


Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Bike to Bestival JustGiving team page

Howdy Bikers,

Good news..... I think!
We've had a few little problems getting the Bike to Bestival event listed on JustGiving, however we've had someone join our team page (well done Ryan!) so its clearly out there and it may be our technical skills that are lacking somewhat!!

So if you have bought a Bike to Bestival ticket already, please sign up and get fundraising!

If you're not familiar with how JustGiving team pages work theres a basic guide on their website here, have a read:
First you need to set up your own JustGiving page linked to Cancer Research UK which you then link to our team page, we then get a notification to approve your membership of the team.  We have to cross reference this with the list of people who have bought tickets so please bear with us if we don't do it immediately, we'll get there!

Bike to Bestival is going to be a really fun way to start the Bestival week, but its really important to us and the folks at Bestival to raise as much money for Cancer Research UK as we can at the same time.  We know a few of you are a bit anxious about raising the £200 minimum we have asked for but you've got over 2 months before the event. 
Thats plenty enough time to beg your family members, and get your mum/dad/granny/sister/brother/dog to ask around and tell all their friends what a brilliant project you're involved in and collect a few pennies (or preferably pounds) for you.  Shout loud and shout proud, because its for a very worthwhile charity.
If you're a student and your mates are saving their pennies for pound a pint night, how about cooking them dinner or doing their washing up for a donation.
Basically be creative!  Every penny helps.

We know some of you have family or friends who have been affected by cancer, so will know all too well how important the charity is.  If you're lucky enough to not have been touched by the disease have a read of the Cancer Research UK website and find out about the work they do and the people they have helped.

Last year after the Buskers on Bikes event we went along to a fundraiser evening at the CRUK offices where we heard from CRUK fundraising staff, a CRUK scientist and a long term fundraiser called Tony Selman.
Tony has been a fundraiser for CRUK for many years following his wife's long battle against cancer which she sadly lost in September 2010, his sister also died of cancer four years earlier.  Tony himself was diagnosed with prostate cancer in March 2010 and is undergoing treatment.
It seemed desperately unfair that someone who had lost 2 close family members and has raised thousands of pounds for Cancer Research UK should themselves get the disease.
Tony's message was clear though...... Cancer doesn't care.
This really struck a chord with me.  You can read more about Tony Selman and other stories on the CRUK website here:

So our team page is here please sign up, set your target at £200 and get fundraising!


Monday, 18 June 2012

Answers to your questions

This weekend I’ve been looking through the emails we’ve received so far at B2B towers and there seem to be a couple of basic themes that it’d be good to cover. Below i’ve sketched out a few thoughts on each of them. Please feel free to comment, question or add to the discussion.

What bike should I ride?

I suppose the answer to this question is "Do you have a bike at the moment?" If you have a bike you are comfortable with then that is the bike to do the ride on. Warren and I both ride road bikes (Warren's is modern and fancy materials and mine is retro and steel). On the ride last year (Lands' end to john o'groats that the buskers on bikes did) there was also a guy on a homemade bike (“The lady in red”... yes it had a name) mostly made from rust and another fella on a mountain/hybrid bike. If you don't have a bike already then something that you will use afterwards is a great
buy. I wouldn't suggest buying a mountain bike, unless you usually ride on rough terrain as the tyres are bumpy and make things slow on the road, but if you have a mountain bike you can always change those for more slick tyres.
Through all this it’s a good idea to think about what you will be doing. On the ride to Bestival you will be riding for 5-6 hours a day with 2 or 3 snack stops and a main meal break. We will aim to average about 10-15 miles an hour (or thereabouts). This is a steady but brisk pace starting at only three times as fast as walking, but it’s an average including the hills we may actually walk up. The obvious choice for this type of ride is a touring road bike, but whilst not the ideal, I would happily do this distance and speed on a Brompton, mountain bike or city bike. That is me though. Whatever bike you choose get used to riding it for more than an hour at a time so your bum gets used to it and your leg muscles are comfortable.
We will only be riding for two days, but we want to be ready to party when we get there. If you regularly ride a bike I would suggest getting out for a few 2-3 hour rides before we go. If you don’t or haven’t ridden much recently, then get in touch telling me what you’ve got to ride and what experience we have and we can work out a light training programme to help you along.

I’m not that musical/I only play a .... Is this OK?


We are going to pick easy songs that most people can sing/play along etc. Warren plays guitar and I will have a banjolele or mandolin. Quite a few will be bringing ukuleles so there will be a small group of you strumming together. If you play an odd instrument, however well/badly, consider bringing thast and we can make a feature out of it.
Warren is in the process of booking a couple of weekend socials for those that can’t get here in the week. We can have a bash at a few tunes then. We aim to record a video of some songs with Warren and I playing so you’ll have something to practice to.

Monday, 11 June 2012

So... hands up who wants to play on the main stage?

In my quieter moments, I've always considered myself to be a fairly moderate, modest kind of fella. In louder, more honest times, I realise that that's probably a load of old tripe. In fact, it definitely is. I'd like to out myself to those who don't already know me as a raging show-off.

So when I was out for dinner the other night with my good mate (and member of the Bestival boiler room) Duncan, and the subject of getting the Bike to Bestival gang up on stage to belt out a couple of songs came up, I felt the old rock-star tendencies stirring. I've always fancied one of those Freddie Mercury Live Aid moments, getting a bit of a "daaaaayyy-oo" call-and-response thing going with fifty thousand compliant people...

A first meeting with some likely bikers in Camden the other week got the juices flowing, too; among the 20 or so folks who've signed on the dotted line at this point (with quite a few more to come, we hope), there's clearly some talented (and very keen) musicians.

So this is me putting my cards on the table: over the coming months we'll organise a couple of socials (at least) where we can settle in to a decent pub, get the instruments out and etch a (short) set-list to delight the Bestival massive. We've had a fair amount of correspondence from those of you outside of London asking that these be at the weekend so that you can make it down - so that's what we'll be doing... And if you can't make it, but still want to be part of the greatest travelling band ever to go on tour from London to the Isle of Wight on bicycles, never fear: we'll make sure that the songs we pick are easily relatable via chord sheets and the odd instructional video...

Any ideas for big, group numbers, by the way? Let us know, let us know! Leave a comment here, head over to our Facebook page or drop us an email.

In other news, happy to say that we're booked into a campsite for the evening of Tuesday 4 September. It's a really wonderful place, set deep in the rolling Surrey countryside... Just triple-checking that we've got the distances right and that we're not setting too heavy a task for the first day's ride; but I'll post details of our rural haven very shortly.

Happy biking for now... and if you haven't signed up for this corking adventure yet: why the flip not?

Friday, 1 June 2012

Bike to Bestival tickets now on sale!!!!

Hi Guys,

The BiketoBestival tickets are now on sale!! We sent out the link to those of you who expressed an interest a few days ago, and got to meet a few of you at the pub the other night.

The FAQs are on an earlier email, so please just take a minute to read them all. You need a ticket to bestival and you need to be over 18 are the key things to remember. If you have any questions then plaese email us at My phone number is on the ticketing page, and I'll be off-grid, or camping as Sophie likes to call it, until Tuesday.

Just a reminder that we are raising money for Cancer Research UK.  Once you have your ticket we will send you an invite to the Just Giving Team page. We ask that everyone who is fundraising aims to raise at least £200,however if you want to do 10 times that, knock yourself out. A glittering prize to the person who raises the this space!

To keep up with our news, keep an eye on the blog and facebook/twitter. All the links are below...

We can't wait to meet you all!!


Warren, Dominic and Sophie - Bike to Bestival

Tickets now available for
Bike to Bestival