The Riders

The dedicated individuals in the core group.

Neil Hutchison

Neil (known as ‘Hutch’ to his friends) is the person responsible for dreaming up this crazy event and for channelling the boundless energy of his team mates into organising the thing.

As a cyclist, Hutch makes an excellent front row forward. A road-biking novice until a couple of years ago, he has slowly begun to fill up every available inch of space in his house and garden with cycling paraphernalia, much to the chagrin of his very tolerant wife and daughters.

Hutch is a Trustee of the beneficiary charity of this event – Cystinosis Foundation UK – and has organised and taken part in many fundraising events over the past few years since his daughter, Morven, was diagnosed with the condition. This is, by far, his biggest challenge to date.

Neil Hutchison

Neil Hutchison

Age
34
Height (cm)
178
Weight (kg)
90

Bike :
Kona Jake

Neil Hutchison

Neil (known as ‘Hutch’ to his friends) is the person responsible for dreaming up this crazy event and for channelling the boundless energy of his team mates into organising the thing.

As a cyclist, Hutch makes an excellent front row forward. A road-biking novice until a couple of years ago, he has slowly begun to fill up every available inch of space in his house and garden with cycling paraphernalia, much to the chagrin of his very tolerant wife and daughters.

Hutch is a Trustee of the beneficiary charity of this event – Cystinosis Foundation UK – and has organised and taken part in many fundraising events over the past few years since his daughter, Morven, was diagnosed with the condition. This is, by far, his biggest challenge to date.

Grant Hutchison

Grant Hutchison

Age
29
Height (cm)
Unknown
Weight (kg)
Unknown

Bike :
Cervélo R3 105

Grant Hutchison

Grant can generally be found whacking skins as the (some may say overly) forceful drummer in Frightened Rabbit and therefore is used to sitting down for long periods of time on something only slightly more comfortable than a bicycle seat! However as part of The Great Big Cycle he is more likely to be known as Uncle Grant. The main motivation for getting off that drum stool and on to a bike is his niece Morven and the money the event will be raising for Cystinosis Foundation UK.

After conquering the Rob Roy Challenge in 2012 with the other Hutchison men in a rather unimpressive 11.5 hours (certainly not Scott’s fault) Grant has since come round to the fact that cycling can be fun. Never one to turn down a challenge or admit his limits Grant signed up very quickly after the idea was first brought up by Neil.

The combination of touring commitments and constant travel have not made the training as easy as he may have liked but this will not stop him getting on his (as yet unbought) bike and staring at another man’s behind for 8 hours a day for 12 days in May 2014.

Si Clark

Si Clark

Age
38
Height (cm)
170
Weight (kg)
70

Bike :
Sensa Giulia

Si Clark

Si's love of snowboarding started at an early age. When he discovered the plan was to travel 1100 miles on a BIKE, he was concerned...

Like many of the team, Si's biking career has been brief and when he agreed to do this challenge, his longest ride was around the Isle of Arran. Arran is a LOT smaller than the British Isles!

In his day job as an IT professional, Si gets all the training he needs for this event, except the exercise, technique and nutrition. It does, however, mean he can create wondrous web sites like the alluring vision of splendour that you're reading just now.

Apart from raising money for a great cause, Si's aim during this adventure is to get a job playing guitar in Frightened Rabbit. Grant, prepare to be serenaded!

Anne Beck

Anne Laybourne

Age
34
Height (cm)
171
Weight (kg)
70

Bike :
Cannondale CAAD8 105

Anne Laybourne

At the time of writing, Anne is the only female in the GBC team, a fact that seems to have escaped most of the boys as they prepare for staring at other men’s behinds... having said that as the complete road biking novice (previous cycling, albeit it over some impressive distances, has always taken the form of commuting to work), it is likely to be Anne doing the behind-staring - from the rear of the peloton.

As the only outside-of-Scotland residing team member, Anne’s training is being done on the mean streets of London and thus powering away from lights, avoidance of potholes, spidey-traffic sense, and gesticulating at inappropriate driving are her special skills.

As a complete novice to Facebook, Anne nearly missed out on this opportunity to take part in this event as it only came up in casual conversation during a stay with the Hutchison’s at the end of the summer 2013. Anne therefore bullied her way late into the peloton on account of her status as Auntie Anne to Morven. That and being the oldest (chronologically speaking) friend of Morven’s Mum, Alex. Alex’s contribution was Anne’s ‘chirpy banter’ en route, although this has never been sustained for 8 hours a day, for 12 days. Hutch relented against this two-pronged attack and Anne’s place was sealed. And she wouldn’t miss it for the world.

The irony is Anne now lives 15 minutes’ walk from work and thus to incorporate cycling back into her life, she cycles 20km home from work. That’s some detour. London cycling training requires a little creativity and weekend trips out of the capital are made with a rotating gang of cycling buddies (Helen, Rob, Ben, John) in an effort to lengthen cycling times between red lights. When not on a bike and studying Strava, Anne is a researcher at King’s College London, adding to the doctorate count of this peloton. There seems to be plenty of brains in this team, let’s hope there’s some brawn in there too!

Kerr Clapperton

Kerr Clapperton

Age
37
Height (cm)
170
Weight (kg)
77

Bike :
Gary Fisher Super Rail

Kerr Clapperton

Kerr, who was born in Edinburgh, now lives in the sleepy village of West Linton in the Scottish Borders with his wife and two young children. Kerr only got into road cycling a few years ago to try and lose a few pounds. Yet, he now somehow finds himself roped into trying to raise tens of thousands of them, with some of his new drinking buddies.

When Hutch approached Kerr to take part in this event, he signed up without hesitation. He soon learned that all the van driving positions had been taken, and it was now too late to back out. He is still struggling to come to terms with this.

Kerr works as a Clinical Nurse Specialist at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh and St John’s Hospital, Livingston. He is lucky enough to work with children and adults who live with congenital and acquired defects of the outer ear. What’s that? Surely he already does so much to help people in need? Well yes, you’re right, but he hopes that two weeks of leg shaving, tight clothing and following sweaty men around the country will also go a long way towards fighting the male nurse stereotype. If it goes really well, he hopes to break into the leg modelling industry.

Kerr knows that the winter training schedule will be tough, but takes comfort in knowing that he will spend most of the 1100 miles idling within the luxuriant slip stream of Jez Everest. He’s big. Not fat as such, but big boned.

Gavin Jefcoate

Gavin Jefcoate

Age
38
Height (cm)
180
Weight (kg)
80

Bike :
Focus Cayo

Gavin Jefcoate

Having completed an Ironman distance Triathlon last year which finished with a run up and down Mt Snowdon, Gavin Jefcoate now has two new goals to keep him motivated and training hard. Firstly to be able to participate in and finish The Great Big Cycle, and secondly to get calf muscles as big as Kerr’s.

Gavin is a director in an Architectural practice in Edinburgh and is supported in this event by his amazing wife Marie and two daughters. Unfortunately, the girls are growing up thinking it is normal to only have one adult in the car at any one time due to one parent or the other taking it in turns to run or cycle to the destination.

Gavin’s role in the team is to keep everyone motivated through his constant, relentless chattering in the chain gang. The way he can bring even the most uninteresting subject to life helps to lift everyone’s spirits.

Jez Everest

Jez Everest

Age
41
Height (cm)
186
Weight (kg)
94

Bike :
Cube Agree GTC Race

Jez Everest

Although he never mentions it, Jez is one of those lucky people who loves his job. Though walking around the Scottish Highlands drawing maps, and clambering up Icelandic glaciers isn’t necessarily good training for the 1100 miles around Britain next year. Nor does Jez ever mention any cycling-related shoulder injuries, sustained due to an excess of bravado over talent on a wet 40mph bend.

What he does mutter about, in his Brummie brogue, is why Rioja and Kettle Chips are not an integral part of the training nutrition programme, and why everyone on the team is so much younger than him... apart from Mat. Who is genuinely old. He is also the tallest rider in the team, meaning that all the stumpy ones will no doubt cycle in his slipstream most of the way round. Still he has a shiny bike, which matches his winter jersey.

Steve McHaffie

Steve McHaffie

Age
37
Height (cm)
183
Weight (kg)
83

Bike :
Cannondale Super X

Steve McHaffie

Stevie AKA singlespeed Steve is a recent convert from mountain biking to the road fraternity, through his mates in West Linton. Currently making a comeback from knee surgery, his role in the group is to make sure a steady pace is achieved and no-one (himself) gets left behind.

After a few sportives Stevie was looking for his next cycling challenge, and they don't come bigger than the 5 capitals challenge. Add in an outstanding cause supporting cystinosis research and you have the challenge of a lifetime. Stevie works for a consulting firm, a job that takes him all round the country - and he's looking forward to seeng places from the saddle instead of his office chair.

His winter training includes family bike rides towing a 3 year old up and down the streets of West Linton whilst trying to keep up with a competitive 6 year old. Perfect practice for a fortnight pedalling in the pack.

Mat Wood

Mat Wood

Age
44
Height (cm)
178
Weight (kg)
72

Bike :
Felt F95

Mat Wood

As an avid mountain biker, Mat enjoys all aspects of a software company in the Scottish Borders, except for the fact that he can see Glentress, the nearby mountain bike trail centre, from his desk. Living in Scotland is like being in a playground but not always being allowed to go out and play as often as he’d like.

After much cajoling, other members of the GBC team tempted Mat over to the dark side of cycling last year. Mat bought his first road bike during the London Olympics and denies it was a moment of Wiggo frenzy, and was mostly to see what all the fuss was about.

The eldest and most injury-prone of the team, Mat is also one of the few who can fix a chain by banging it with a rock so is hoping the others won’t leave him behind. He is also not the only member of the team with a PhD - you’d think they would know better...

Andy Hall

Andy Hall

Age
42
Height (cm)
185
Weight (kg)
95

Bike :
Kuota Kharma

Andy Hall

Andy is the late entry into the team. It seemed to take him a long time to persuade himself that sitting on a razor blade for 1100 miles was a good idea but as the heaviest member of the team we reckon that he can make a big hole in the wind for us to shelter in.

Having dabbled in long distance runs and triathlons Andy was looking for a different challenge, cue the Great Big Cycle!

Andy's biggest challenge for the event, apart from the miles, wind, rain, hills, pain, cramps and suffering is the cycle through London, which as a confirmed country boy he was hoping to avoid.