NBU on Tour: 8 things we learnt cycling 160 miles for charity

NB Team

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160 (plus) miles.
3 days.
(3 punctures).
17,572 litres of rain (approximately) in 72 hours.
80 riders.
10 support crew.

Tour Unlimited was back, for the seventh year running.

On a (not so) sunny Friday in June, the Nelson Bostock team joined up with the other agencies across the Unlimited Group to undertake the mammoth feat of cycling across the country. All the way from the offices of Prophecy Unlimited to our Unlimited home in Soho, London, George, Millie, Nick, Gaby, Victoria, Migs, Dave, Sophie and Ellie powered through the rain. And all in aid of the worthy cause and our charity partner, Mind.

We bled, sweated, cried and sang. We pumped tunes, endured mildly angry traffic and ate a metric tonne of Soreen bars. There was a constant stream of rain-themed complaints from Dave, but a fantastic atmosphere. More importantly, WE MADE IT alive and in one piece.

Here’s what we learnt.

Gears work best when you use them properly.
Gaby was stuck on the highest gear for the duration of the ride, even when cycling up Cheddar Gorge. Meanwhile, Migs discovered, to his joy, that he’d never actually made use of his lowest gear before. This revelation delighted him. He could now cycle up hills, as opposed to walking.

Cycling is hard on a hangover.

Cycling is even harder on a two-day hangover.

Cycling is, however, much easier when you grab a tow from the support van.
(Leading us to once more think that in future we should be more like Tim Bonnet, our Group CEO.)

Google Maps is not always such a good guide for cyclists.
While it will get you to the right destination eventually, it’s not necessarily designed with fancy road bikes in mind, nor does it particularly care that it’s leading you blithely into puncture territory. Lesson learnt: follow Strava next time.

Friction cream is not to be scoffed at.
What sounds laughable on day one sounds increasingly appealing by day three.

You can get sunburnt without the slightest hint of sun.
It’s a skill that only gingers possess to resemble lobsters at the end of the day despite a steady stream of rain.

When the military tells you not to do something – ignore them.
If Tim Bonnet says it’s OK to cycle through a military base, it’s OK to cycle through a military base.

Finally, in honour of our sponsors:

The Soreen Song (to be sung to the tune of ‘Jolene’)

Soreen, Soreen, Soreen, Soreeeeeen
Thank you for sponsoring the tour
Soreen, Soreen, Soreen, Soreeeeeen
Without you we can’t cycle anymore

You’re the malty loaf I love the most
You’re so much better than just toast
When cycling to London, Soreen.
Some people would just pop a pill
When facing an almighty hill
One bite of you is all I need, Soreen.
You squidgy treat, you tasty snack
You live inside my pocket back
You’re always behind me, Soreen

Soreen, Soreen, Soreen, Soreeeeeen

Repeat ad nauseum

We had a great weekend. Join us again next year for more malt loaf-based humour and Instagram takeovers – follow us on Twitter and Instagram to enjoy more top quality content.