Sometimes in life good things emerge from those that are perceived to be bad, where clouds reveal a true silver lining and the mythical Phoenix really does rise from the flames.
Way back in April of this year I came over to Texas to ride with my twin brother Paddy in the Houston to Austin MS150 charity cycle ride.
For the first time in the events 25 year history the first day was cancelled due to severe weather conditions.
Despite the tornado risk, flooding, and indiscriminate lightening strikes we decided to complete the first day regardless. Not wishing to have our official team associated with such reckless behaviour we abandoned our issued cycling jerseys and rode 'freelance' as renegade riders.
When I say 'we' there were in fact a total of four of us.
A Yorkshire man (Me), a Yorkshire/Texan (Paddy) and two Texans Dave Hill and Kenny Rhame.
If any outsider was searching for the sort of belligerent behaviour that would accompany such an attitude, they would need to look no further than Yorkshire or Texas, as belligerence is what we are weened on.
For those who may be interested the actual events of that day are featured in a previous blog ( Renegade Riders ).
During the course of that day the birth of 'The Mules' was devised.
As we were riding we all expressed our love of cycling and of raising awareness in respect of charitable causes.
We also loved the concept of cycling in unity and the togetherness that comes in being part of a team.
On that day we were all virtual strangers, but our collective views had brought us together.
We talked about the fact that teams were formed by big companies to support events like the MS150 and other one off events, only to be abandoned until the following year.
Surely charitable needs last everyday of every Year.
So we decided to create our own team.
The discussion was lively especially as we were dodging storms and lightening strikes at the same time.
Paddy suggested that we name it after my blog and we all agreed because of its universal appeal.
Ambitiously we perceived that people from all over the world not aligned to any team or riding club could attend charity rides and meet up with other riders in our unique club.
The concept never really evolved at the pace that we wanted it too, but it is still alive and 'pedaling' and growing steadily each day.
We have a website which is developing thanks to Kenny and we now have our own merchandise. (Non Profit Making).
Our first batch of Cycling Jerseys have been made and have sold out approx $85 each depending upon the numbers ordered.
Further batches will be ordered when there is enough demand to satisfy the minimum run requirement.
So how do you become a Mule ?
If you regularly ride a bicycle and complete one or more charity ride per year you can become a Mule.
How do you apply ?
Send us details of your name, where you are from and a short resumes of your cycling events, bike and a preferred Mule/Donkey picture if you have one.
You will then feature in our stable.
How do you get a Jersey ?
Once you are a member and are committed to purchase a jersey let us know and your name will be added to a list. Once the minimum order requirement is met, new Jerseys can be ordered. Once the jerseys have been purchased, badges can be sown onto the depicting the countries and areas, that rides have been undertaken
Badges are not compulsory
How will the website be developed ?
A forum and features page will be set up once the numbers have grown.
members will be encouraged to share their ride experiences.
Any further questions or applications should be made through the link 'Are you a Mule' on the website. This page is currently being developed so if the link is not working properly initial contact can be made through my blog right here
Hotter than Hell Today we had a rest day from training after completing 145 miles in the previous three days. Being dedicated to the cause though we decided to keep our sustenance cycling related as you can see below.
The long range weather forecast for the weekend looks interesting. Rather than being the Hotter than Hell it maybe that those flames mights be dampened by a cool snap making it more like 'Ice cold in Alex'. I have even left my arm warmers at home. I was really pleased to observe this week that bob one of my followers was my first American to donate online to the charity I am raising money for on this particular ride. Thank you Bob !! Please don't be shy, the Justgiving link takes American dollars too and credit card payments.