The Fred 2015

A personal observation by the photographers of the 2015 event

So much has been invested in this day......
Hours of training by the riders
Hours of meetings by the organisers
Expenses of new tyres, helmets, even new bikes!
Expenses of hiring in tents and facilities at the start.
Stocking the feed stations
Sponsors recruited and pledged
ICT services engaged.
In fact everything planned to the exact detail.
But in one thing we have no control - the weather!!!

Dawn at Grasmere Sports Ground and the weather gods have not read the memo.

A great team from Ambleside Rotary Club helped everyone to park with a smile!

MacMillan Fundraiser Sue McDonald giving out the goodie bags

The sportive that keeps on giving!

Time for one last coffee

Aggie Sheppard (centre) with MacMillan fund raisers supporting the riders at the start

A rider prepares for his day on the Fred.

Sportive bikes - just a thought.... let's say £2000 average spend x 2500 riders =£5,000,000
Add to that the new tyres, chains, cassettes, helmets and clothing and cycling has become big business.

Final preparations

A crowd has gathered - will he take his bike off the car?

What are those spots on the lens?

The start finish area looked really professional.

And we're off!


Oh no please don't let it be like 2013!

The roadside start timing setup, plus a cool van.

Your time starts now - timing chip fitted to helmet.

Early morning at the side of Rydal Water.

Keswick Bikes Team enjoying the early morning on Kirkstone Pass.

"And now for something completely different"

A friendly group on Kirkstone.

No! it couldn't be? could it? Yup Brads stuntman double.

Brothers enjoying the moment on Kirkstone.

Enjoying his moment on Kirkstone Pass. I saw him later on Hardknott Pass absolutely elated at his day and promising to drive his wife around the course the day after to see what she had missed.

Photographer Alastair endured poor weather conditions with the riders on Newlands.

Well I'm ready where is everyone? Hardknott Pass 11.30am

The calm before the storm.

No mistaking where you are now approaching the steepest section of Hardknott Pass.

A rider perspective of the Hardknott Pass - England's steepest road.

Moody Hardknott is not going to give in easily.

A rider about to turn onto the Hardknott Ramp.

Getting steeper now!

A rider turns the bend on Hardknott with some interesting spectators and their choice of parking spaces - I think they were Dutch. One guy had just done a wheelie and smashed his indicator and brake lights. It took two people to upright him and the bike.

"So this is what it's all been about?" Nearly 100 miles in and Hardknott is waiting for you.

A Cynergy Aventura rider looks up towards the summit of Hardknott Pass.

Approaching the final section of Hardknott with Eskadale Valley behind.

A true Yorkshireman proudly displays his jersey on Hardknott Pass.

Fred Whitton official kit looks good on Hardknott

Carlton Reid cycling journalist and Executive Editor of BikeBiz.

"Ride Tandem"

Fastest rider on the day 5hrs 56mins, storming the Hardknott

Honister 92 puts on a strong display, Hardknott Ramp.

This rider maintains a steady cadence whilst all around loose their balance.

You're not supposed to be smiling!

Hardknott Ramp leading to the infamous hairpin bend.

Class ride from Brad, Glasses have gone and race face is on.

Honister 92 topping out above Hardknott Hairpin

Enjoying his Hardknott experience.

Attention to detail is everything.

"Take my picture, I've dragged this bike around all day" This rider strikes the pose.

Experiencing the agony of the Hardknott Pass.

But he picked himself right up and stormed up the final ascent.

My time on Hardknott wasn't without incident.... man down in the first shot, in the second the next rider falls over him and in the final shot the rider in blue slips. All three go down like dominoes and land on top of me.

Moody image on the Hardknott Hairpin

Final push to the bend

Typical Lakeland weather!

34x28 is suddenly a necessity not a luxury

Filming for the new BBC 5 Live TV channel - You're all going to be stars!

The perfect record of your ride - contact us for details.

There are so many pictures we could have included in this blog. It was no easy day for riders or photgraphers. Yet again it is the event we love to cover and brings out our creativity and empathy for the riders. Everyone will have a story, one of courage, determination and elation at setting their own time for the event.
By the law of odds 2016 has got to have some sunshine shining down on us.
We can't wait and look forward to seeing you all again.