Tea Time Chats with the Tea Ladies
Posted on 01 September 2016
Amanda and Jessica caught our eye here in As Bold As HQ a few months ago due to their amazing, interesting, and bold mission. They are two friends from London. They are actors, fitness fans, tea drinkers and cake lovers.
Having barely ridden a bike before they thought it would be a great idea to arrange a little bike ride across the length of the country beginning at John O’Groats and landing at…well…Land’s End. That’s a whole 12 days/1000 miles of bum agonising joy. And to make it even more fun they have decided to do it all on a tandem bike.
How did you two meet?
We are both actresses working regularly in Motion Capture and met a few years ago on a job. People couldn’t believe that we had never met before as on the day we met we became firm friends…we seem to be the only ones on each others wavelength!
You’ve just completed a 1000 mile cycle from John O’Groats to Land’s End to raise money for Breast Cancer Care and Parkinson’s UK which is amazing! How come?
The decision to ride the length of the country on a vintage tandem came almost as instantly as the idea for the ride itself. Amanda wanted to do a charity challenge before she turned 30 in August and wanted to do a challenge that would spark interest for its originality. How boring would it have been to do the ride on two bikes…where is the challenge in that?!
1000 miles is not to be sniffed at. Can you tell us a bit about the training you did for this?
We would love to say that we did lots of training for our ride but we would be lying. The idea was only imagined a couple of months before and on the weeks leading up to our departure, our schedules were pretty hectic with us both being on a job and Amanda getting married. We both keep very fit in our day to day lives and we trusted that this would carry us through the challenge as neither of us were cyclists and had very little practice on a tandem…well, none to be precise.
What have been the highs of the trip?
The trip came with so many highs but we didn’t quite imagine how hard the lows were going to be. The highs were definitely riding through the most stunning landscapes of our country, we really are blessed here in the UK.
We also loved indulging in whatever disgustingly high in calorie treat we fancied as we burnt about 5000 calories a day. Daily pick me ups of playing some tunes to sing along too, saying hi to the cows (weird I know…but you do go a little crazy cycling for so long every day), going downhill, a waterfall, an oak corridor and of course a cup of English Breakfast Tea. We were so overwhelmed by all the amazing people we met. There are some incredibly generous and beautiful people out there.
... and the lows?
Lows were the constant struggle to keep our tandem, Babs, in working order. Being a vintage tandem we were faced with constant problems which at times made our ride so unbearable. She was also incredibly heavy which further added to our misery. We hated the hills…there were a LOT of hills!! Saddle sores, knee problems, cramp, tired bodies were impossible to escape. We also found the length of time we were riding each day hard, being on the go for a minimum of 10 hours made each hour and each mile feel incredibly long. We will never underestimate how much you can get done in an hour now…it is a long, long time. Oh and the rain, it never fails to dampen your spirits!!!
From reading your blog there seems to have been a lot of blood, sweat, and tears. Would you do it all again? What would you do differently?
We have cycled the length of our country once, we don’t feel like we need to do it again!! But we would definitely do another challenge, another country, we are just deciding where. We may have to upgrade our Babs for our next challenge, she is ready for retirement! At least we will know what aches and pains to expect on journey number 2.
What’s the first thing you did when the cycle was completed? What did you miss the most?
We were very lucky to be greeted by a load of our friends and families on the finish line. Although we had each other throughout, we did feel very isolated and cut off from everyone. Phone signal was very hard to come by. So we spent loads of quality time with our loved ones with a bit of champagne of course.
If you could pick two people to cycle with, who would they be and why?
Amanda would definitely choose her dog, Nancy. If there was a way of putting her in a basket at the front of the bike she would have been there in a flash. Jess would choose Bradley Wiggins to be her tandem captain, so he could do all the work and she could drink tea.
What cycling brands did you wear on your cycle?
Well, we basically lived in our As Bold As Roadster jackets…they covered us in all UK weathers. They became the most important piece of kit which is why 95% of the photos of our journey we are wearing them. Other brands we wore were the ever so stylish Queen of the Mountains, super comfy Polaris, Bliz sunglasses, Skechers trainers and our life-saving helmets by Specialized. Our energy sources came from LoveRaw and Primal Pantry.
What is your favourite thing about the As Bold As roadster jackets?
We absolutely loved everything about them. They are incredibly stylish and flattering for the female figure whether you are buff or busty. They are 100% waterproof and windproof…believe us, we tested them in the most extreme of Scottish weathers. They are light and pack up very small!! The attention to detail makes them very special, our particular favourite is the ‘Treasure Chest’ found on the inside of the jacket to keep all the important things…like, sweeties!