Meet Your Minions - Alex

TLDR: UK-based Minion, got dodgy knees, slightly* mad, makes stuff work.
*slightly like Violator is ‘slightly’ horrible.

So here’s a little surprise (for me as much as you!). When we scheduled which Minion was doing their Meet Your Minions post which week, we didn’t realise that I’d be here when I am writing this…

I’ve just come round from a general anaesthetic (so this post will probably be completely incoherent!). It seems that I damaged some cartilage on the end of my femur some time ago and probably shouldn’t have carried on quite as much as I did despite the pain - I’ve ended up with a big hole in the bone which has just been filled with some lovely donor bone and cartilage. To add to the Suffering they’ve sawn through my shin bone and realigned that as well - so I’ll be off the bike (but still supporting Sufferlandrians!) for a while. Geraint Thomas has nothing on me!

A little more (what? there’s more? surely I’ve already said too much!) about me
I’m your UK-based Minion - so you’ll get replies with an ‘s’ where there should be a ‘z’ and superfluous 'u’s to boot - although our Canadian Minions will confuse you sometimes by doing the same thing. That said, they pronounce their ‘ou’ in the best possible way and my English accent just cannot do it justice.

I ride my bikes for fun - road, gravel, track and XC MTB (TT is on my list…). I’ve done the odd race but haven’t really had time to pursue that as yet - and I’m quite obsessive so if I get into it it will take over my life! I’ve done a fair bit of riding in the Alps and Pyrenees which I love, but the UK also has some great riding and wonderful countryside - and short sharp climbs a-plenty. I’ve tackled a few of those - Hardknott Pass in Cumbria, Rosedale Chimney Bank in Yorkshire and Ffordd Pen Llech in Wales are a few of the best (and steepest).
Speaking of fun on a bike - this is me at the top of the Galibier!

I’ve got a non-cyclist wife (yeah, I know, but she’s perfect in every other way!) and 2 kids, both of whom rode a section of Alp d’Huez with me a few years ago. They’d better not find out that I’ve posted this picture:

How I came to Sufferlandria
I’ve been a Sufferlandrian since January 2014 when I downloaded my first 3 standalone SUF videos (which I used in, erm, an app that predates The Sufferfest app, to make the workouts much more interesting) - Hell Hath No Fury, The Wretched and A Very Dark Place. I still love every one of those workouts! ISLAGIATT and Blender followed shortly after that (both of which offered plenty of Suffering for the $10 price tag!). As soon as The Sufferfest developed their own app I left, let’s call it ‘TR’, behind and have been a monogamous Sufferlandrian ever since.

How I became a Minion
I gave up my ‘proper job’ in the civil service a few years ago when my daughter started school and I set up a bike workshop to fill my days. Winter is always a bit quieter than summer in the bike fixing business, so I answered a Facebook post by Sir David looking for Minions to keep me busy while bike repairs were slower. I didn’t get the job. But like a true Sufferlandrian I got back on my bike, chased back and rode my way to the front of the peloton the next time they were looking, last December. That time I crossed the line first.

Favourite SUF workout
My favourite ever isn’t released yet, but it’s coming (teaser alert)! I should probably choose from the ones we can all do, so…
Hell Hath No Fury. Or maybe Angels. Or should I say The Wretched. Perhaps it’s Thin Air. Screw that - I love loads of them (and those I don’t love I tough-love).

Favourite SUF Song
So many to choose from! My taste is towards the indie/rock end of the spectrum, although some of the dancier tracks can be very motivating at the right time in the right workout (I’m looking at you The Wretched!). I’m going to go for ‘Say Goodbye’ by Patrick Poff - it’s the song in the break between the two 20 minute intervals in Hell Hath No Fury, which I’ve already said is one of my favourite workouts - and the one I did last night before coming to hospital! Dame Rebecca’s favourite and Dame Janis’ favourite are also favourites of mine, but it would be a cop out to choose the same!

My 4DP profile
Having been a Time-triallist with VO2 weakness for years, I then became an Attacker with VO2 weakness. So the training plans are doing The Trick (get it?!), but I need to be forced to take a Joyride to A Very Dark Place with a Revolver to my head to completely crush my weakness. Which of course will just mean I get a new weakness to work on - Grunter is very generous in that respect…

Favourite cycling-related quote
“You know that thing in your head that says ‘You really shouldn’t be doing this’? Well, we don’t have that.” - Mark Cavendish (in the docu-film Chasing Legends. Great film - well worth a watch if you can find it!)

Things I think I got away without mentioning
The other Minions think I’m a flat-earther. I blame Sir Cody.
I once morphed into a dancing potato during a Wahoo-wide meeting and made Dame Rebecca lose the plot completely. She didn’t sack me though, so there’s room to up the ante.

What keeps me in SUF?
That’s a trick question, right?

My next sentence will be
“Nurse, more morphine please!”


Don’t lie. We KNOW you’re a flat earther.


I wish I was there for the dancing potato. I miss all the fun stuff.

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I may have missed the dancing potato but the various stages of facial hair were absolutely PRICELESS :sunglasses:


And we can’t even blame the morphine for the dancing potato or the flat earth beliefs! That’s stone cold sober Alex- goodness knows what we’ll get from him in the next few hours!


:star_struck: :crazy_face: :clown_face: :woozy_face:


That Poff song usually brings tears to my eyes. Best not to listen to the lyrics for that one … :cry:


As you can tell, Sir Alex keeps us on our toes and there is never a dull moment when he’s around :laughing: What he doesn’t say, though, is how incredibly smart and talented he is. We are so lucky to have him on the team!
Get some rest, we’re all wishing you a quick recovery!


Absolute VICTORY for us when you joined the team Sir Alex! Thanks so much for all you do for the Citizens of this fine Nation. Heal up and get back on that bike and CRUSH IT!


Nice to meet you, Sir Alex.

I wish you a speedy and complete recovery. Thank you for your support!

I enjoyed reading your intro. :sunglasses:

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Me too.

Alex, you sound like a legend of a man. Thank you for your hard work and contribution to SUF.

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