Cycling Stories — Andy
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?