Brand Newark — Your Local Design & Marketing Agency


News, views and interesting things to peruse — lovingly curated by the Brand Newark team.

Cycling Stories — Andy

 Guest Blogger Andy Saxby

Guest Blogger Andy Saxby


Your local FLambassador...

My name is Andy Saxby and I'm the proud Fat Lad at the Back ambassador (FLambassador) for Newark on Trent and surrounding areas. 

I became interested in cycling in 2014 after I was asked to work on the Deloitte Ride Across Britain (a Land’s End to John O'Groats multi stage cycling event) transporting the riders’ kit and setting up camp.

As a lorry driver my job is generally quite boring so I jumped at the chance to do something different for a couple of weeks. While on the event I spent a lot of time with cyclists who would tell us about their day and how much fun they were having. My company VP was taking part and suggested I should take up cycling — getting a bike on the cycle to work scheme, something I'd never even heard of. 

After the event I took the plunge and got my first bike since I was about 14, a Boardman hybrid. 

The first few rides were tough; I didn't have any idea where I was going or what I was doing and I was ill-equipped. After a trip to Decathlon and a hit on my credit card, I was sorted. 

Now I had some half decent equipment I took to the roads; my first ride was around 10 miles and it nearly wiped me out but I stuck with it and progressively got stronger. The more miles I got in the more weight I lost, by now I was hooked, I never thought I would be a Lycra clad cyclist in a million years!

In 2015, I was cycling more often but never more 30 miles and usually by myself. When I got asked to do Ride Across Britain again, I said yes and after that year's event I decided to set myself a challenge and signed up to do Prudential Ride London in 2016.

I went out and bought a proper road bike and started training. A friend suggested I should do a couple of sportives, and the first one I signed up for was the 2016 Fat Lad at The Back 50 miler- the furthest I'd even ridden. It was great I loved every mile of it. Later that year I completed Ride London and raised over £2,000 for the MS Society. 

I didn't realise it at the time but by getting on my bike I’d begun to inspire other to get into cycling.

I’m now a Fat Lad at the Back ambassador (FLambassador) and have met lots of other cyclists, from complete novices to seasoned riders. Although I organise local rides, I'm not always the one with the most to offer, everyone chips in and there is a great spirit among riders. 

Everybody is welcome on my rides, we don’t leave anyone behind and all my rides have a cafe stop planned in to them —  it's the rules!!!

If you’re new to cycling and needs any advice or you just want someone to ride along with, join our Facebook group — FLAB Social Rides Nottingham and Newark and become one of the team. 

Next year I’ve decided to take part in Ride Across Britain as a cyclist rather than as one of the logistics team. It will be my biggest challenge yet. So, as I help more people get on their bikes they will be helping me get more miles under my belt in training. In just over four years I will have gone from complete none rider to doing LEJOG, all the while flying the FLAB flag. 

Who knows where your bike will take you? 

Ride on! 

If you have a cycling story of your own you would like to share, feel free to contact us by emailing or calling 01636 349042.