Category Archives: Event

Ladies Underwear, A Motionless Dog And An Iron Lung


I had resisted entering for a few weeks pleading poverty….

“…. I am a poor pensioner …the cat needs an operation….the boiler has gone kaput…..we are down to our last 25Kg bag of porridge…..what about Brexit ?!!”

But in the end there was no escape. I knew it was April and therefore I had to do The Heart Of The Wolds sportive. It’s the law.

It was The Classic route for Annette and I again this year, 60 miles in the Yorkshire Wolds over a range of terrain…

Flat….. no problem

Downhill……positive pleasure….as long as it’s not too steep as my eyes start to water at 30 mph and I get a bit scared.

Rolling…….yeah OK so long as the uphill bits don’t go on for too long

Challenging ……you mean steep hills don’t you !? Oh come on !

This year we would be doing the event with Rich who luckily turned up in his Cottingham Road Club jersey giving me the wafer thin justification I need to call this a club ride and therefore put this blog on the club website.

Continue reading Ladies Underwear, A Motionless Dog And An Iron Lung

Wildebeest, Sprint Trains And Ride London

RIDE LONDON SURREY 100 – 31/07/16

Nature provides us with some truly inspiring events. Epic migrations of thousands or even millions of individuals over land, sea and air.

Driven by instinct they move across vast distances facing untold perils, hazards and predators in order to find new habitat on which to roam and survive.

Take the mind boggling annual wildebeest migration. Over 2 million animals moving from the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania to the greener pastures of the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. ( For Fawlty Towers fans you will definitely not see that out of a Torquay hotel bedroom window ! )

These amazing journeys driven by primeval urges take place across all species be they insects, fish, birds or mammals.

But now a new species has evolved that also feels that urge to undertake an epic annual migration.

They are the MAMILs.

Once a year at the end of July or early August they come from all corners of the UK and indeed farther afield and they head by land sea and air to a the concrete jungle of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford.

Along the way they shed their normal clothing, don garish brightly coloured lycra and climb aboard push bikes of all types, shapes and sizes ( although tri bars are definitely not allowed ! )

En masse they all then spontaneously cycle 100 miles.

This incredible spectacle of nature has now been given a name.

They call it Ride London.

Continue reading Wildebeest, Sprint Trains And Ride London

A Hundred, A Heist And A Hop


I had been casing the joint for weeks and had planned the heist meticulously.

Get up at an unfeasibly early hour on a weekend when only the birds and people up to no good are up and about. Skulk over to Vive-Le-Velo in North Ferriby and then ….do the place in !

Help myself to all kinds of cycling goodies…..after all, I’m not paying those prices !

What could possibly go wrong ?

After a 4.45 am alarm  I arrived at Vive-Le-Velo by 6.20 am suitably equipped for my criminal enterprise.

But what was this ? When the place should have been deserted, why was there a rather dishevelled Mark Ellam with a clipboard in the car park ?

Was he here to rob the place too ? Had he beaten me to the loot ?

To make matters worse a photographer snapping away from a parked car captured my startled expression. Oh no I’d walked straight into a police stakeout! You won’t take me alive copper !

” Morning Alan” said Mark ” put your name down here and sign , which one are you doing ? ”

I had to think fast on my feet.

” Err ….the middle one Mark ”

” OK buddy put 105 down on there and sign ”

And that my friends is how I came to take part in the 105 mile Humber Hop charity bike ride.

It was just a good job I had my bike and was wearing full cycling kit. How lucky was that ?!

Continue reading A Hundred, A Heist And A Hop

I Spy, Thunderbolts And Hedgehogs


REMAIN or LEAVE ?  This was the big question that had been occupying my thoughts for many weeks if not months.

Constantly mulling it over in my mind. I had lost a lot of sleep.

It certainly felt like one of the biggest decisions of my life and I couldn’t afford to get it wrong.

If I went for REMAIN would I be taken into unchartered territory by a larger group led by an unelected cabal ? Would my wishes for the direction of travel be diluted and diminished, drowned out  by many other opinions and agendas?

If I went for LEAVE and took back control of my destination would it effect my relationship with the others for ever ? Would I be shunned, unable to work with them anymore, cast out , isolated ?

This year’s Cottingham Road Club ( CRC ) charity bike ride was going to be laps of a 40 mile circuit for 24 hours non-stop. Each member could choose how many laps they were prepared to take on.

At the end of every lap I would be faced with the critical decision regarding doing another lap. Shall I REMAIN or LEAVE ?

What ?……..What else did you think I was talking about ?!

Continue reading I Spy, Thunderbolts And Hedgehogs

Road to nowhere

The road to nowhere is to be 10 hours of pain for Mark Ellam.

Through the night of the 29-30th May East Coast Bicycles is hosting a 24hr charity turbo event, aiming to bring the cycling community of Hull together in a bid to raise money for three local charities, Hull Animal Welfare, Project 30 and Hull HARP, so what’s happening and how do you get involved ?

Mark is well known within the cycling community as a man with a big heart – both for cycling and giving.

He’s only happy when putting himself through the mincer in aid of others.

The former solider and regular Cottingham Road Club rider has in the past cycled the length of Britain in near hurricane winds for charity, this ex Army Sargent who ballooned to 22 stone after falling into daily drinking sessions rides hard and fast for charity as often as he can.


On the Friday night and Saturday morning (29-30th May) Mark takes on a new challenge on behalf of local charities, this time instead of riding his bike across the country he will be staying put but working just as hard.  Mark is looking to ride 10 hours non-stop through the night challenging anyone to try and beat him with all proceeds going to local charities.

I caught up with him and asked him a few questions..

Q: What are the charities and why pick those? What drives you to choose them?

I’ve always wanted to do the knight of sufferlandria which is 10 back to back videos. As you know I’m always wanting to give something back and love supporting local charities. It’s much nicer helping someone you meet then a faceless charity from London. The event is actually 3 fold of which I’m one. It’s hope that ECB can attract clubs and the public to try and race for medals over 15, 30 and 1 hour segments.

Q) Where are you going to be holding this event and when?

Annie and Nick Dalton of East Coast Cycles on Princess Avenue want to hold a memorable charity event similar to their annual roll-a-polza, they approached me as I’ve had a lot of experience with turbo trainers and vr modules. I asked for my help in setting them up and my cycling connections to help promote the event.

10hours_of_painQ) So 10 hours cycling on a turbo-trainer, through the night…. ?

I’m 51 and my past is common knowledge, I hit rock bottom and my Doctor told me that if I didn’t change my lifestyle I’d be dead within two years. I was 22 stone and drinking up to 12 pints of beer a night. Then I found cycling…

The Hull Daily Mail did a piece on my history:


Cycling has helped me beat my demons and is a great way to get and keep fit, the challenge to me is that I will be racing for the full 10 hours. Each hour a new competitor will pick up the challenge, I’ve got to try and beat them all – right through the night!


I like to challenge myself – during the Lands End to John o Groats ride I used over 30,000 calories and climbed 43,460ft spending 61hours in the saddle at an avearge speed of 14mph. This challenge is different and pushes me in a different way – it’s going to be hard but fun – more social..

Q) How can people get involved?

By ringing the shop on 01482 342894 and booking a slot. Turning up on the day and having a go.. There’s more information on Facebook.

Q) How can people donate to the event?

Cash, promises and (speak to Annie..) 


So there you go, get involved –ring 01482 342894 or email and book a slot, they’re going quickly!

We would like a good representation from Cottingham Road Club – we’re known as a friendly supportive bunch so why not pop down and give Mark your support?
Even if the challenge isn’t to your taste then pop along for the atmosphere and please don’t forget to make a donation.