Tuesday, 31 July 2012

How do...

How do bikers…

So then, just 6 weeks to go before the off! I must admit, what with all the coming and going this end, I’ve almost clean forgotten that at the other end of this bike ride is one of the greatest festivals known to man… Ace. Me? I’m going to be down the front for De La Soul, First Aid Kit, Hot Chip… and Chas and Dave (natch).

Before all of that, though, a few very important announcements – and things tofill you in on. Please take the time (I’m going to try and be and concise as I can) to have a read through. It’s all stuff you need to know!

Firstly (trumpet fanfare) some excellent news to give you a major incentive to raise as much money as you can. Bestival have stumped up two free tickets (yes, that’s TWO FREE TICKETS!!) to Bestival 2013 to whoever raises the most money for Cancer Research UK. So get your Just Giving page sorted (see below), get those emails out to family and friends – and bag yourself and a mate a free pass to
next year’s shindig!!

Leading the pack at the moment is Glen Orford with a whopping £260.99 with Sophie Holloway close behind on £250. Can you catch them... yes you can!

If you haven’t already set up a Just Giving page, then please do sort one out asap. It’s very easy indeed – just visit the Just Giving website and set up a personal page, remembering to set a fundraising target of £200. Then, click on the Bike to Bestival team page

https://www.justgiving.com/teams/BiketoBestival2012 and click “Join Team”.

There may be some of you out there who have set up a JG page, but aren’t yet listed as one of the Bike to Bestival team. Basically, if you’re not listed on this link, then your money is not going to Bike to Bestival – and you can’t win dem tickets!!

So please take a moment to make sure you’re properly hooked up!

A couple more bits and pieces…

Could you email us with, first of all, any special dietary requirements we should know about.

Second, could you send us your mobile phone number and an emergency contact. Obviously, these will be kept completely between us – but we need to make sure we have these details with us…

Next… Get out on your bikes! Myself and Dom have been trying out the first day of the route of late, and in terms of whopping hills etc, you’re pretty much clear… But you will still need a good level of bike fitness to complete the trip, particularly on the slightly longer first day. Any questions, as ever, do
drop us a line or take a look at the training tips on the blog.

And in the meantime, if you’re going on a practice ride, why not post it up on our Facebook page and get other B2Bers to join you?

Finally (phew!), if you’re one of those Twitter peeps, Sophie has asked if you can tweet us @biketobestival. Just another way to keep you in the loop – and help to build up the excitement as the 4 September approaches! Can’t flipping wait…

That’s just about it for now – but further announcements coming up very soon, so do keep ‘em peeled on the blog and on the Facebook page…

Toodle pip all,


Monday, 30 July 2012

Videos from the first rehearsal

Hi there bikers,

Quite a few of us met up on Sunday afternoon at the "Royal George" on Charing Cross Road. It was a great chance to get to know each other a little better. We worked through a few songs together and so I thought I'd post videos of them here to give those of you keen to join in, an idea of what we sounded like so far.

We should have faced the camera of course but we were too busy playing chatting and consuming beer to remember anything as complex and showbiz to be honest.

So we left the camera running and played thorugh the four songs we ended up trying... Warren brought a new track down on the spur of the moment... and a good job too. Here are the first two videos i have cut trimmed and credited etc...

Dreaming of you


Johnny too bad

More to follow. Check out the shiny book of face (...er Facebook) for the next meet... and come and join in!


Friday, 20 July 2012

Songs for the social

Hi there buskers,

The day of the first musical meeting will soon be upon us and it’s time to start learning the songs. I’m including links to the chords and words that we’ll be using below so that you can familiarise yourselves with these. As long as most of you are familiar with the chord shapes for the main bits of the song, and the main melody we’ll be able to work from there. Whilst I think all the songs below are great, they also work well as acoustic-busky-sing-alongs which is the main thing

Dreaming of you

A lovely fairly short jaunty number from The Coral. The nice bit here is that we can split into two groups. One group will sing the main vocal with Warren, and the second group will sing the bits in brackets. There is a little bit that’s not in the music (those of you that know the song will spot it, but it only needs one or two instruments to play and extra 2 chords at the end of the chorus)
Below is a video of the buskers on bikes  (Warren and I included) playing this in a friend’s Kitchen

Make me smile (Come up and see me)

In a break a break from the style of the original... this one works really well as a waltz (1,2,3..1,2,3) and again has a lovely split in the vocals that will work well as a group sing-along

Going up country

This is an extra one to learn because it’s quick and it’s easy. 12 bar blues in A. Which is A, D and E.

Lastly but not leastly Sophie Holloway is still storming out in the lead with £230 raised so far. Glen Orford is very close behind on £220.99. After that there is a little bit of a gap with Ryan and I just breaking the £100 mark. Great work all of you so far. Little by little we’re getting there. There are still a few of you with tickets that haven’t got your just giving sites set up yet. Please get in touch if you are having problems with this.

See you at the social bikers!!


Monday, 16 July 2012

Warren's sunday shennanigens

List of things not to do on a Sunday:

1. Don’t watch The Antiques Roadshow. Just don’t – even if as you get a bit older (I don’t mean me here, obviously) you actually start to think it’s pretty good. Just watching one snippet about somebody’s bit of old tat that’s now worth at least sixty quid and which they definitely won’t sell is enough to induce retrograde end-of-the-weekend blues and make you think you’ve still got homework to do.

2. Don’t think that just because it’s Sunday (again, not me), and even though you’ve just eaten a mammoth dinner, that you have to go out and buy a pie and a stupid big tub of custard and eat just about all of it. Just because it’s Sunday.

3. Don’t go out on a bike ride in a jaunty little cycling top and a jaunty little cycling cap, looking every inch the consummate (if slightly annoying) cyclist, and then completely wipe out in front of hundreds of strolling Sunday families and end up in a hedge. And then try and drag yourself to your feet only to find that two dogs the size of horses are sniffing your backside.

Yup, unfortunately that was me yesterday, making a prize Sunday twit of myself, out again trying to get to grips with the best route for our first day’s ride on the 4 September. I think that it’s safe to say that that particular stretch won’t be making it on to the itinerary – a bit of rain had turned that part of Cycle Route 4 into a slimy quagmire.

It’s been a constant topic of chat between Dom and myself: do we just hit the obvious roads out of the Smoke, getting clogged up in traffic but probably getting to where we want to be a little bit quicker; or do we try and make the route as pleasant as possible, if a little bit slower?

I think the answer is “a bit of both”. The other week, we chanced upon Cycle Route 4, which takes us through Richmond Park (beautiful) and then on a winding route along the banks of the Thames, past sailing clubs, locks and, eventually, Hampton Court Palace. It’s after Hampton Court that things get a little rough – particularly for those of us with mere road bikes. Probably best at this point to hit the tarmac – and drop neatly on to a stretch of the Olympics road race route, which will fling us out into deepest, darkest Surrey.

So, detailed route directions to come in the next few weeks…

In the meantime, though, a quick (but important) call for volunteers. We need two or three of you to lead small groups on the day. As I’ve said, there will be detailed route plans, so it shouldn’t be too much bother – and we’ll take the time to sit down with you properly and fill you in. But please do drop us a line if you’re happy to take this on… Definitely a beer or two in it for you.
Toodle pip for now… hopefully see you at the Royal George on the 29th…

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Busking with friends old and not so old...

At the weekend, Warren and I caught up with Jonny (One of the Buskers on Bikes from last year) and Warrens's uncle to play an impromtu set of songs at a family party.

I thought I'd post this as we played a couple of songs that we knew, but started the set with a group of unrehearsed songs from 1972 as it was a ruby wedding anniversary. It just goes to show that with a little bit of organisation it's possible for a group to play together without too much practice.

We have the next social booked at the Royal George (which is set back from Charing cross road) and we'll be tackling the music part of the ride. If you've bought a ticket and we've not got your email address, could you please let us know at biketobestival@bestival.net as soon as possible as we'll be emailing out links to the songs shortly. If you'd also like to let us know what instrument you'll be bringing (or if you'll be joining the vocal and handclap chorus)...

So far we have  guitars, ukuleles, a mandolin a percussionist and a pair of melodicas. Very much looking forward to this part of it all. Even on the long ride last year with the sense of personal achievement that brought... It was the music that really made me smile.

Also you all seem like such a nice bunch it'llbe good to see you all again.



Tuesday, 10 July 2012

A grand day out...

Well I thought you'd all want to know that Warren and I had a practice crack at the ride, or rather part of it, last Thursday. After reviewing the tfl road closures advice and the lecog road closures and the royal thingy road closures information we decided to see how we would manage the first stage.

Basically on a ride like the the first stage is simply the ride to lunch

We had intended to do the whole of the first day, but with the ride back and forth looking for the perfect route (or in the case of Richmond... the way the sign should have been pointing had it not been pranked) we got as far as lunch.

I say lunch. A lovely ploughman's as it happens. Not to mention Warren's last minute impulse buy of a bag of flapjacks and rocky road cake as a kind-of-mid-morning-snack.

The good news is that this part of the ride is relatively flat and very pretty. There are plenty of places to stop for a snack and two sets of toilets (just in case) for those of a nervous disposition. We are in the process of sorting out who is going to feed the crew and where we can all stop safely.

With the numbers going on this ride we're going to need a few volunteer map readers and helpers from amongst the cyclists as a couple of the sections will be on roads where we'll need to break up into smaller groups for parts of the ride. It's worth saying that we're planning the route to keep us all in a big gang wherever possible.

In other news check the facebook page for info on the second social which we'd love to see you at with your weapon... er instrument of choice for a bit of a sing-song and a crack at arranging a couple of songs for the group.


Congratulations to Sophie Holloway who has already managed to raise the princely sum of £190 and is the top fundraiser so far.

Keep an eye on the old e-mail as the ever vigilant Sophie from the B2B team is sending out important info to riders as we speak.

Saturday, 7 July 2012

8 weeks and counting!!!

Hi Folks,

It's time to start pushing on with the sponsorship side of things....
I'm going to be reminding you all about this over the next 8 weeks.
YES 8 weeks, its not long untril we're off! And we are all working mega hard, in order to make it fun but also make some serious wonga for CRUK.

Few tips....
1. add a photo or two (or a video)
2. set up text donate, you can do this through your page its so easy (and try and make a memorable code mine is BTBV88)
3. make a poster and put your text donate details on it, print thousands, make wallpaper etc
4. make it personal- tell people on your page why your doing this, go on get soppy
5. email/facebook/tweet/blog your Justgiving link far and wide.

Finally - please set up a £200 target. Theres a few missing currently..... David, Sophie Herbert and our own technology resistant Warren!!
And if you're doing this with friends who haven't set up a justgiving page yet, chase em up!

If you are reading this and want to support us all by sponsoring members of the B2B team you can find their justgiving poages here


Thanks boys and girls,
Sophie :-)

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

On a personal note‏

Hi there everyone,
I wanted to add a personal note about why Cancer Research UK is so important to me. One of my oldest and dearest mates Em, lost her dad to Cancer a few years ago.  It was so quick and so devastating, and it was also the first time someone I knew had died from cancer.

Larry was a lovely man with a good sense of humour; despite having to take and pick-up me, Em and our other mates half-cut from various teenage parties at ungodly hours.  He always had time for people, he was well known in our home town and would regularly corner or be cornered my mum for a chinwag!

I have the honour of becoming god-parent to Em's son Adam in a months time, I'm sure Larry would have loved to have been there with all his family, he'll be sorely missed.
Anyway Em has written a bit about why she is supporting us, please take a read.

Hi all,

I just wanted to add a quick personal note to explain why I will be donating to Soph, Dom and the bikers this year. Apart from the fact that Sophus is one of my oldest and closest mates, the charity they are raising money for is one very close to my heart.

It is an old, tired but painfully true cliche that everyone knows someone effected by cancer. Three years ago I lost my dad to the most deadliest form of skin cancer, melanoma, he was 63. He was taken from us so quickly, in under six months, but that half year felt like a lifetime of slow pain, terror, upset, tears, anger and frustration. He underwent a huge nine hour operation to remove the tumour two days before Christmas, where he nearly died twice on the table. Following this, he travelled to hospital five days a week for gruelling radiotherapy sessions, during which he had to wear a mask on his face to pin him to the table, he was so scared. We lost my dad ten days after his last session of radiotherapy.

Fortunately not all cases have to end in this way. I have an Aunty who has successfully had half her intestine removed to remove a bowel cancer, another Aunty who is being treated for non-hodgkins lymphoma, and an Uncle living with prostrate cancer. Obviously they, like many others, are able to do this partly because of the money that is raised through charities like Cancer Research.
I know these are difficult financial times for a lot of us, but if you, like me, agree to donate to just one cause this year, make it this one! Soph, Dom and the crew, good luck, and I hope we can help you to reach your £20,000 target. xxx

Monday, 2 July 2012

Bike to Bestival: The Second Social!.. and a call for volunteers…

So, it’s very much time that we stuck another date in our diaries to meet up, have a chinwag and share a few brews…
So how about Sunday 29 July, from, say, 1pm to 4pm?

This time, though, we’re getting instrumental… As you’re probably all aware by now, we’re fixing to make B2B a bit of a magical, musical ride, and this next social will be a chance for us to get our bits and pieces out (you know what I mean) and try and piece together a little set-list that we can wow everyone with(!) on the trip itself, and hopefully when we hit the festival…

However, please don’t think this meet up is solely for those of you who can play an instrument. This is very much an all-in, so even if you’re not keen on being part of the band, or can’t turn your hand to an instrument, this is still definitely for you, too… That said, if you don’t really play anything, but still want to be a part of it, then you’re in: we’ll definitely be needing some good strong voices and some percussion: tambourines, spoons, washboard… whatever.

Still to confirm a venue – we’ll post that up in the next week or two – but hopefully this will give those of you outside of London the chance to pre-plan and make it down. And it’ll give us the chance to look into a few songs and post some videos/song sheets with possible B2B hits. As ever, if you’ve got any bright ideas, please don’t hesitate to get in touch, either via email or on our Facebook page..

Wherever we meet, it’ll be within striking distance of central London. Really hope to see as many of you as possible.

Lastly, and briefly (hopefully), we’re currently on the look out for volunteers to help assist along the B2B route. Got any mates that wouldn’t mind tagging along and brewing up on the roadside for us and/or setting up a whopping great barbeque for our stay at Mellow Farm (still love that name) campsite? Let us know. We’re also still looking for one or two van drivers to take control of the wagons… van-driving experience would be handy, but not absolutely necessary for seasoned drivers… again, do drop us a line if this is something you think somebody you know may be able to help with…
Cheers for now,