2 girls, a tandem named Babs and 1000 miles. Sounds like Amanda and Jecca are in for a trip and a half. These two not-quite-30 year old best friends have set themselves a challenge of tyres and tea. We spoke to the girls and let me tell you, they seem as crazy as the challenge!
What is the Tandem Tea Tour?
The 'Tandem Tea Tour' is an epic charity adventure! 2 girls, 1 tandem and 1000 miles! Amanda and Jessica will be tandeming from John O' Groats to Land's End raising money for Parkinson's UK and Breast Cancer Care. Each day they will be blogging about all the best places they find to stop for a well earned cuppa and cake, so you too can hop on a bike and head for cake!
How long have you girls been friends… let’s do a mini journey of your friendship shall we, how’d you meet etc..?
We are both actresses and met on a job over 3 years ago. Our main work is in the crazy, Lycra-clad world of Motion Capture where we perform in video Games, television and film. We've been lucky to work with each other a lot on various cool projects, but the Tandem Tea Tour is by far our biggest challenge yet!
How did you get started on the Tandem?
We came up with the crazy idea of doing the ride on a tandem long before we'd ever got on one! By the time we'd purchased a tandem and given it a go (and realised how much more difficult it is!) it was far too late to back out! Our tandem is pre-loved and has already been from the north to south of France with its previous owner who, fantastically, gave us our first tandem crash course upon purchase!
Do you ever secretly just give up and let the other one do all the work?
Our tandem (Babs) is the same height front and back, meaning we can switch around throughout the tour, which is lucky because it's so much harder at the front! Both of us will have to resist the temptation to sit back and relax on the back seat because we wouldn't want the other person doing that when we're the other way around!
What are you looking forward to the most about the tour?
We're going to get the chance to see incredible bits of the UK in a way we wouldn't ever otherwise. Driving through places is too fast, walking would take faaaar too long, cycling is just right! We're under no illusions that it's not going to be tough, but we're looking forward to pushing our bodies and our fitness and determination in ways we've never done before. This is by far the biggest, longest and toughest thing either of us we've ever done, and we're looking forward to supporting (and forcing) each other through it.
What are you dreading most?
The hills! We've been told that in total we will be climbing the equivalent of 2 of Everest! Hills are hard work on a normal bike, but on a heavy tandem, they can be near on impossible. There will be times where we don't think we can physically carry on, but that's when our grit and determination will get us though. Also knowing there's cake along the way helps.
Where’s the best Tandem ride you’ve done so far… and where’s had the best tea?
We haven't done any long tandem rides yet, which is pretty scary! Babs (the tandem) is getting a full service and make over by Makersville who are kitting her out with new, top of the range brakes and gears etc. As soon as she's done, we'll be getting her out every day!
As for the tea, there are so many places we love! We always pass by Gail's in Hampstead because it's local. We love Saint Espresso and quirky individual coffee houses like them and are super excited to be tasting the best tea we can find on our route!
Why did you pick to raise money for breast cancer and Parkinson's UK?
They are two charities very close to our hearts. Amanda's mum is a Breast Cancer survivor and Jessica's Father-in-Law was diagnosed with Parkinson's last year. They are two devastating illnesses not only for the person fighting it, but the family and friends around them too. There is little two girls can do to help fight these illnesses, but there's amazing research continuing every day for both and we all need to keep raising money, in the hope that cures can be found as soon as possible.
What recovery have you got planned?
Massage, Physio, osteopathy and a long bath! As painful as it will be, we'll be taking our massage balls and doing our best to look after our bodies during the ride, but, inevitably, it's going to take its toll. We have an amazing Physio/osteo Ash at Precision Wellbeing who is doing all he can in the lead up and is prepped for fixing us on our return!
Will there be a Tandem Tea Tour 2.0?
We've already been discussing where we'd like to take Babs next! But we think we should get the first tour done first before we agree to anything else!
What’s your favourite piece in the Sundried collection?
We love the whole collection! The leggings and tank tops are absolutely perfect for training.
Any training tips for tandem newbies?
Just don't give up too soon and believe people when they tell you it's nothing like riding a bike! Hold on tight, stay strong and allow any frustrations to wash over you! Oh and get a little bit of practice before attempting to do 1000 miles!
Well, they’re used to their lycra and it sounds like they’re every bit crazy enough to smash this challenge. Good luck girls. Sundried will be supporting the girls throughout their challenge providing them with premium ethical activewear and as much publicity as we can.