|Gary Morton age 51 - riding a Pinarello |
Some say when the sun shines on his hair it smells like candyfloss and on a clear day you can hear him from Spain. All we know he's called "The Moanivator"
Gary is married to Karen and has 2 daughters Sophie (22) and Esther (16).
Founder of GM Fundraising
he has completed Top2Bottom, Tower2Tower, and Ride4Hope rides, "Motivation is easy for me, the kids at Hope House give me all I need and the satisfaction of delivering another sucessful ride raising much needed funds"
He feels his preperation will never be enough and fears the massive climb of Ventoux.
Gary also holds a West Bromwich Albion season ticket and can be seen spitting pie while shouting at the ref most weekends.
Tempted to the Late Nights of the Darkside ?
"No,Maybe,Yes,we will see!"
|Graeme Bailey age 49 - riding a Cannondale|
Some say he sheds his skin every Sunday at 3pm and then makes a Steak Pie with a flakey crust. All we know he's called "Raceline"
Graeme is married to Angela and has 3 children Nick 23, Claire 18 and Matthew 14.
Managing Director of Business Micros
. Graeme has completed Top2Bottom, Tower2Tower, and Ride4Hope rides.
Graeme has trained in minus temperatures which is a killer. Small rides plus 2 x 60 milers and one x 86 miles. His hobbies include Greyhound racing, which I find odd because the dog would win every time!
"My motivation ? Can I still do this at 49 and isn't it right that we give something back?"
Graeme fears a mix up with the rooms which might leave him paired with the OCD obsessed, big girlie screamers like Torr & Aspinall.
Tempted to the Late Nights of the Darkside ?
"There'll be a conspiracy to convert me!"
|Dave Broxton age 49 - driving a winnebago|
Some say when he laughs it makes the tide go out in Blackpool and that his thumbs are the same size as Rooneys ears. All we know he's called "Brocko"
Dave is married to Michelle and have two wealth inhibitors (kids) Rosie & Maddy.
Managing Director at Bohle UK
he has provided unrivaled rider support on Tower2Tower and Ride4Hope rides, which included dressing Morty's grazed backside in the Arizona desert ! while he was asleep !! which was a bit worrying.
Dave enjoys Sailing, golf and music - none of which he has time for because of his commitment to beer and curry he has prepared for the ride by map reading and finding pubs off the beaten track.
"My motivation for supporting these rides are the kids, their families and the carers at Hope House. My fears and Anticipations? Fears - Always, always the safety of the riders. Anticipation - More DOD Awards."
Tempted to the Late Nights of the Darkside ?
"I am your father Luke"
|Sean Pearce age 40 - riding a Massi M Carbon|
Some say if you ask him what day it is, he always says Tuesday and when climbing hills he breathes through his eyelids. All we know he's called "Ivy"
Sean is married to Helen and has 2 children Tom (10) and Ellie (5) he completed the mammoth Ride4Hope across America in 2008 and previously used to race at amateur level.
In every great mans character there is a flaw, a weakness, something he is ashamed of and Sean has come clean on this, he is a Wolves fan !!
Nicknamed Ivy, because he is a good climber, Sean says his preparation has been steady but is apprehensive about the Ventoux climb " I enjoy these challenges and take every opportunity to help raise money for the children of Hope House".
Sean is Design Production Director at Greystone Advertising
based in the Midlands.
Tempted to the Late Nights of the Darkside ? Tempting ! (He's in)
|John Olkiewicz age 53 - riding a chopper|
Some say when he sweats its only in sympathy for the other riders and when he sings he sounds like Charlotte Church. All we know he is called "Stato"
John Olkiewicz was the rider of the tour on the Ride4Hope across America in 2008 because he was strong, well disciplined and was never too tired to help a struggling ride, bloody show off !!
For this reason he has become the number 1 target of the Darkside. Married to Jane for 31 years they have a son Josef who is studying at Staffordshire University.
John is Installations Manager at West Yorkshire Windows
and has prepared well for the trip cycling as much as he can.
He commented "I don't understand the fuss we're just cycling 1500 miles with a few hills in the middle" Yes lets see how you get on with no tires and brakes glued on!!!!
John rises to any challenge we throw at him and does it in style, his motivation is to raise as much as possible for the Hospice but he isn't perfect he supports Leeds United who apparently were a football team about 50 years ago.
Tempted to the Late Nights of the Darkside ?
" Never ! or at least not yet"
|Dave Martin age 52 - riding a Pinarello|
Some say he is so posh even the queen has to watch her P's and Q's and that if you shake his hand you will be immune from tax investigation. All we know he is called "El Burro"
Dave is married to Julie and has 2 daughters, Marie-Claire (21) and Michelle (19) and lives in a moated Castle in Quarry Bank and suffers from a sock fetish.
He is a partner at Thomas Nock Martin
chartered accountants and has been preparing steadily for the ride weather permitting (poorly chest). Dave joined the Top2Bottom ride for 3 days during 2005 and has maintained good fitness and condition since then.
Golf is another passion and he is seen regularly taking money off unsuspecting Brummies who are stupid enough to challenge him or invest in the "Save with Dave" scheme, which was a major factor in the banking collapse during 2009.
"My motivation is simple, to support a great charity and challenge myself but I do worry about not having enough socks and being a blubbing wreck when we finish"
Tempted to the Late Nights of the Darkside ? "Do they have socks?"
|Kevin Beaton age 56 - riding a Mobility Scooter|
Some say he talks to his vegetables in French so they taste better and does the rain-dance singing songs by the Sex Pistols. All we know he is called "Pilsbury"
Kevin is Managing Director of Caparo Aluminium
and has been married to Karen for 19 years with children Harriet (18) and Elliot (16).
Cycling on and off for 25 years (must be tired) Kevin has bee taking a few tumbles on mountain bikes more recently but upped his game training 5 times a week since the start of the year.
He comments "I hope my knees hold up for this adventure, this is a great cause and a huge personal challenge for me but I fear the bigger challenge of sharing a room with Dave Martin"
Tempted to the Late Nights of the Darkside ? " The only Darkside is Pink Floyd for me" (Kev that's what they all say)
|Iain McInnes age 40 - riding a Try-cycle|
Some say when he rides he will only let the wheel turn 20 times before singing a Kylie song and if anyone gets the words wrong he reduces them to ashes with his laser death stare. All we know he is called " Macca"
Iain is Managing Director of PR & Marketing consultancy McInnes Communications
and got married last year to Sarah and they have a little boy Benjamin (3).
Macca is a bit of a cyclist, racing on the circuit and notching up an impressive 5 wins last year and even a historic victory in the Pro/Elite class. Hobbies include cycling, skiing, food, wine, knitting, needlecraft and starring in a Lady Ga Ga tribute band. Not to mention enjoying family life.
He comments "I have done my usual training but not looking forward to the Mont Ventoux climb, I just want to get everyone over safely, my motivations never change, another great adventure with the GMF team and an opportunity to raise money for Hope House"
Tempted to the Late Nights of the Darkside ? "No absolutley not!" Yeah right Mac
|Mark Sheldon age 47 - riding a Scott|
Some say the reason he never smiles is because his teeth belong to Terry Wogan and if you stroke his forehead anticlockwise he speaks Dutch. All we know he is called "The Claw"
Although Mark says his previous experience is giving his role model and life coach Dwayne Dibbley a lift on the back of his chopper, he proved to be one of the strongest riders on the Ride 4Hope and has been putting in a few crafty sessions ahead of this ride.
His hobbies include Uphill skiing and watching goats on bikes and he also plays golf.
Mark is the other Dingle (Wolves fan) on the trip so it's a good job the season has ended or the ground would be empty.
He comments "In preparation for this I have drank more sports drinks (Guinness) and cut my sexual activities down to once every 3 months,(Jules will be chuffed). I am looking forward to the challenge and continued support of GMF and Hope House, however if I am not looking forward to the Ginger Prince's special kind of motivation for 9 days "
Tempted to the Late Nights of the Darkside ? "Ooooooo yes Matron"
|Andrew Glover age 36 - riding a Planet - X|
Some say he is so Northern only Fred Dibnah could understand him and he only drinks pints of gravy with a lemonade top. All we know he is called "Kansas"
Andrew has made fatal error by announcing his birthday during the ride, the darkside will be focussing on him that day (not that he needs much encouragement) !!.
Andrew completed the Ride4Hope in 2008 and proved to be a good addition and for this ride his preparation has consisted of drinking Stout and eating Yorkshire pudding.
He comments "Now Morty has got hold of me I seem to be exercising too much, I don't fear much only Shelly or Bailey abusing the RV toilet (number 2's only boys) Coupled with raising a few quid for Hope House I am looking forward to the challenge and the banter we have on our adventures"
Tempted to the Late Nights of the Darkside ? "I would like to join the board I have a lot to offer" easy young skywalker I will put your proposal to Darth !
|Gary Richards age 51 - riding a Zimmer Frame|
Some say at weekends he likes to be called Barbara and when he climbs hills he prefers to do it in high heels. All we know he is called "Hulk" or Babs
Gary is Managing Director at Central CRC
and is married to Anne and has 3 children Daniel (22) Kerry (20) and Jack (16).
(Jack regularly beats Gary on a bike !)
During his early years as a Carpenter and joiner he was always jealous of his award winning friends but this didn't stop his motivation to do well.
Gary enjoys mountain biking, keeping fit and restoring old cottages. He is often seen punishing his team mates on some tough climbs and always rises to a challenge.
He said" I started my training in March completing 4-5 sessions a week including some gym work, as a newcomer to the ride I want to be the fittest I can be and not let the other riders down, but the main reason is of course to raise money for Hope House"
Tempted to the Late Nights of the Darkside ? "Maybe" Ha Ha Gaz your are captain of the easily led club.
|Chris Bailey age 28 - riding a "My little pony"|
Some say while training he takes his turbo trainer on the bus and fills his drinks bottles with breast milk. All we know he is called
As the youngest member of the team Chris will no doubt show the oldies how it is done, Sales Manager at Business Micros
he is married to Ashley and they have a son called Cole (2).
Although he is relatively new to cycling he has packed in the miles as part of the training well on the way to the 2000 mile marker, 500 hundred without stabilizers and bar tassels.
He said "I want to prove to myself I can achieve this while raising some funds for Hope House and sticking it to Morty every chance I get. No matter how much I have trained it may not be enough, my only fear is that Morty passes me on the way up Ventoux" Brave words for a new boy, hope Morty doesn't read this !!
Chris supports Chelsea. He supported Man U last year but hasn't decided who this year. Chris enjoys Xbox (like the sound of that) and spending time with the family.
Tempted to the Late Nights of the Darkside ? "Yep where do I sign" Let's see if you get past the initiation ceremony first ; )
|Dave Thomas age 50 - Driving a Stella Wagon |
Some say when he drinks Guinness it increases his dark powers and that his Jedi mind tricks can even make Morty stay up late. All we know he is called "Thommo"
Vice President of the Darkside
Dave (danger's my middle name) will always be remember for 40mph broad-slide down hill on the Ride4Hope and his corruption of the weaker spirits in bar after riding.
Managing Director at Haffner Gb Ltd
he is married to Jennie with children Laura, Matthew and Lee.
Giving up the peddles this year and crossing to support, Dave has been training on the roads of Europe checking out the watering holes for the members of the Darkside. He said "Although I am a bit worried spending a lot of my time with Brokko (bad influence) I still wanted to be a part of this project to generate funds for a tremendous cause"
With the Coast to Coast and Ride4Hope under his belt he may be called on as a late sub.
Tempted to the Late Nights of the Darkside ? "Yes" He is Vice President after all
|Anton Day age 48 - riding a Bike from the Canal|
Some say he is so tall that there is snow on his head and the subtitles when he talks are also available in French. All we know he is called "Bambi"
Anton is a Manufacturers Agent for Raybold & Day and is married to Nicky with 2 children Brandon (20) and Melissa (18).
Anton is also a new rider but he is far too big to pick on, or give any menial tasks, so we have decided to do what ever he tells us to do!
As part of his preparation he joined Stourbridge Cycling Club but has been dropped every ride, which is hard to believe considering the fitness and ability Anton has. He freely admits that his training with Mort has helped due the massive drafting benefit he get from following such a wide load.
Despite only riding a vacum before he now lists cycling as a hobby he also goes to the gym.
He comments " ooo aar yam yam" (sorry I will translate) "I thought it was time I joined in on one of these events considering I have F.O.M.O syndrome (Fear Of Missing Out) and I fear nothing except sharing a room with ASF (cheek) or Morty. That to one side it cant wait to get stuck in and raise some much needed funds for Hope House"
Tempted to the Late Nights of the Darkside ? "Oh Yes ! What is it ?"
|Richard Gyde age 45 - Riding his prized posession|
Some say the love for his bike is wrong and that should the laws change they will get married and if you look in his fridge there are always baby wipes on ice. All we know he is called "Tricky"
Richard is one of the regulars on the tours completing the Tower2Tower and the Ride4Hope and has notched many miles and plenty of funds for Hope House.
Richard is Managing Director at Mila Hardware
, and has a partner Sarah children Dominic (20) and Christian (16) and a couple of kitties Hugo and Lara complete the Gyde family.
Tricky the legendary fines chairman, caused uproar on the Ride4Hope with his blatant abuse of power, fining all the riders but overlooking his own misdemeanours.
He comments "My training has gone well, gym, spinning and on the roads at weekends. I have trained when I can, I wanted to continue our support for Hope House but I also love the camaraderie with the other guys and fitness focus the training gives me."
Richard is a little fearful of Mont Ventoux, but we are more fearful if he is in charge of the fines committee again!
Tempted to the Late Nights of the Darkside ? "Always"
|Keith Aspinall age 49 - riding a Cannondale|
Some say when he is creating a cunning plan it makes Hilary Clinton blush and the glint in his eye can be seen from Mars. All we know he is called "Sandman"
Master of mischief.
Keith is Operations Director at Business Micros
and is married to Sharon, with 2 children Ben and Lauren. He is a veteran of the rides completing all 3, Top2Bottom, Tower2Tower and Ride4Hope he now plans to add the fourth.
His training started in early January in between a busy schedule, his busy schedule means, planning wind ups, pranks and fixing votes!
He said "I am looking forward to riding through Italy and seeing it as never before. Don't need any motivation to raise money for the kids and families at Hope House it just feels right"
Caught red handed last year vote rigging in the D*ck of the Day award. All eyes will be on Sandman.
Tempted to the Late Nights of the Darkside ? "Silly question! It's where we plan our schemes"
|Mike Derham age 55 - Driving a double decker|
Some say if you speak to him in French he will answer you in Swahili, and that if you tickle his tummy he will sing knees up mother brown. All we know he is called "Wurzul"
Mike joins us a new member of the support crew. Managing Director at Mighton Products Ltd
He is married to Susan, with 3 children, Matt, Katie & Ollie.
He is a bit of a cyclist on the quiet attending the Majorca ride and does a bit of weekend and warm weather riding.
During his interview for support crew, it was mentioned that he had to provide a first class lunch to the same standard as Brocko! Well !! I never thought I would hear such obscenities, but lads it is safe to say if your hungry get on Brocko's RV.
Mike commented on his motivaton " I am looking forward to having some fun with the team and raising some money for the children and their families at Hope House. I do fear the darkside because I might be drawn to it"
Tempted to the Late Nights of the Darkside ? "It's on the cards"
|Pat Brennan age 41 - riding a Cannondale|
Some say if you call him ginger he will weep red tears and run off to the nearest chemist to buy more just for men. All we know he is called "Mr Brinton"
it is Mr Brinton isn't it
Pat is a new boy to the group and freely admits the last time he rode a bike he was 12. Unfortunately he is riding the same bike.
He is Company Director at Brennan Interiors and enjoys watching the finest football team in the land Birmingham City. He plays a bit of golf, he also has been known to enjoy the odd shandy, as his girlfriend Marie will testify.
So why are you doing it ? "I have always been the bloke who gives the money to others who take part in these events and thought it was time to see it from the other side of the fence, I have supported Hope House from a distance through attending golf days, gala evenings and sponsoring previous rides, so it was a natural choice"
Brennan will have no problem fitting into the darkside, on a recent training ride in the Peak District he announced his arrival by keeping 5 of the more healthier riders in the bar until 2am (nice work)
Tempted to the Late Nights of the Darkside ? "Dont be a Muppet I intend to take over" We will see what Darth thinks about that.
|Gary Torr age 51 - Riding a Dupmer Truck|
Some say if you feed him after 10pm he grows a 4th chin and if you pull his nasal hair his toes curl up. All we know he is called "Shrek"
Gary "Shrek" Torr is Managing Director at Dekko Window Systems
and is married to Sheila with sons James & Alistair.
I asked Gary why he was doing it he said " For the families less fortunate than me, I have been blessed with a wounderful family and could not imagine how the families who benefit from Hope House cope. In addition, I enjoy the achievement and the camaraderie."
Gary also completed the Top2Bottom and part of the Tower2Tower ride plus the Ride4Hope and is a regular on the fundraising scene.
He is not all roses though, he loves a wind up and can be found doing his favourite hobby "Winding Up Mort" for which he is the current world champion.
Because Gary looks like the Disney character Shrek he has done well in local fundraising with holiday makers asking to have their photograph's taken with him.
Tempted to the Late Nights of the Darkside ? "Only reason I'm going"
|Alan Rothwell age 56 - riding a Death Star|
Some say his gravely "fancy a pint" call makes grown men cry and if you cut him he bleeds John Smiths. All we know he is called "Darth"
HE'S BACK !! The dark Lord has returned to challenge the will power of the team and tempt them to days of hangovers and underperformance. The new boys who have not experienced his powers will think they will cope, but once he has you with his mind tricks your toast.
Alan is married to Dianne and has 3 children, Andrew, Hannah and Katie and is Managing Director at Patterson and Rothwell Ltd
, he has completed the Top2Bottom and Tower2Tower rides.
I asked him why he does it "Well it's just a good laugh and a great way to raise some money for Hope House I don't think I am the best cyclist in the world but I get on with it and have fun in the process"
One thing is for sure with Darth back on the tour there will be some late nights and challenges to individuals will power, try to resist ? he will get you in the end.
Tempted to the Late Nights of the Darkside ? "He is the Darkside"
|Alan Sadler age 32 - Riding a Kawasaki|
Some say when he rides Lance Armstrong goes green with envy and the only reason he does not compete on the Tour de France is to give the others a chance. All we know he is
Cool, Calm, Collected, Charismatic and Charming are just 5 of the 6 words beginning with "C" that go to describe this fine athlete.
Alan is Managing Director of the Profix Group
and is married to Wendy with 3 children Louise (22) Jake (20) and Alex (15).
After completing Top2Bottom and Ride4Hope Alan once again fell victim to Morton's late night drunken bribery and ended up signing for the Rome2Home adventure.
"Couldn't believe it! after saying never again here I am about to set off with the rest of the team on another 1500 mile trek. That aside when you have visited Hope House and see the love and commitment the staff and families offer the children I am glad to help"
Security has been increased following ASF's announcement to join the ride because of the sea of fans wanting to catch a glimpse of their HERO (watch the link)
Tempted to the Late Nights of the Darkside ? "Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes "