An Interview With Medium Ride Group Regular Pete Noble


Q. When and what made you start cycling

A. Like a lot of people I started riding when I was a kid. By the the time I was in my late teens I was doing some pretty high mileages on my Dawes Shadow.... and then I passed my driving test, got a car and all thoughts of bike riding were gone.

About 20 years later in an attempt to get a bit fitter I had some brief moments riding mountain bikes in the local woods, often at night... (which might explain why I’m quite partial to riding in the dark now!) .. but I stopped riding again after a few years. In the spring of 2018 I had joined SlimmingWorld to try to loose some weight and then my car broke down - because I was living in the middle of nowhere (well halfway up Whitepit Hill anyway) one of my mates gave me an old Trek 2300 so I could get about until my car was repaired! It turned out that there was more wrong with the bike than my car, but once I had it sorted I started riding to try to accelerate my weight loss. I quickly started building up the mileage and it wasn’t long before I was riding to work and regularly going on 50 to 60 miles rides, all the exercise meant that I really didn’t have to follow the SlimmingWorld plan as closely as I should have... you can’t ask for more than that... everyone else there probably hated me at the group meetings because I was slimmer of the week and month pretty much all the time!


Q. What sort of riding do you enjoy

A. I just ride for fun and fitness, almost exclusively on road but I still have a mountain bike that gets an occasional ride out. I’m certainly not a speed machine (unless I can get some assistance from gravity), I definitely prefer long flatish rides but if there’s hills to climb I’ll take them on.... just not very quickly!


Q. Is cycling the only sport you do.

A. Yes, other than cycling I’m very much NOT a sporty person!


Q. How often do you ride

A. As often as I can! I generally commute on the bike 3 or 4 days a week and it’s fairly normal for me to somehow stretch the 6 mile ride home to 25 to 35 miles. On my days off I’m normally aiming for a longish ride of 60 to 70 miles a day, time permitting!


Q. Other than cycling what are your other hobbies do you have

A. I normally dance salsa 2 or 3 times a week, however in these weird times it’s obviously not possible because a social dance like salsa is incompatible with social distancing. I’m also into photography and I fly radio control aircraft and helicopters... but I haven’t been out flying for a while now.


Q. What is your most memorable ride

A. Two rides really stick in my mind... the first was my first 200km audax on the wettest day on record! That was a serious challenge and I am so glad that David, Sarah, and Mark R were there to shepherd me around.

The other ride is last years Ride London 100, wizzing through London with so many other cyclists was just fantastic and the atmosphere from the crowds was almost overwhelming!


Q. Why did you join MDCC and what do you enjoy most about the club

A. I had a ballot entry for Ride London so joined to get experience of group riding. I really enjoy riding as part of a group, it’s such a different experience to riding solo.


Q. Does anyone else in the family cycle

A. My family is pretty spread out around the country, but I’m the only cycling obsessed family member!


Q. If you could have any bike what would it be

A. I don’t actually have a dream bike, but anything that’s lighter than my current bike would do... and after all the wet rides I’ve done recently it would have to have disk brakes, I’m starting to get fed up with wearing out brake pads!


Q. How have you managed in 2020 with all of its challenges

A. Not too badly, the initial lockdown was quite difficult but as I’m sure many of you noticed the weather was pretty good and so I was able to get out on the bike for as much as I thought I could get away with. As the restrictions were eased I managed to get out for longer rides - apparently I averaged 40 miles a day in May! I was summoned back to work in early June (which was probably a good thing because I needed a rest), since then I’ve sort of settled back into a slightly strange new normal, but have still been racking up those miles. I do really miss dancing and can’t see that restarting again until social distancing is a thing of the past - on the positive side it does mean that there’s more time available for cycling!