In 2009 the concept of 'The Mules' emerged during the completion of the Annual MS 150 Houston to Austin Charity cycle event in America.
That year was significantly different.
For the first time ever, day one was cancelled, because of extreme weather conditions.
Despite that four of the regular MS 150 Riders (above) which included my brother Paddy and I, were shaken but not deterred.
After spending months of trying to get people to sponsor us, we felt that we would be cheating our sponsors if we only completed the shorter second day.
All of our backgrounds were connected with risk in its differing forms so we felt well placed to properly assess the conditions.
Our conclusion was that we decided to ride.
We did receive some 'well meant' criticism from some quarters - suggesting that we were mad, and these comments were noted.
If it were not for them the Mules may never have evolved.
Amongst the subjects was the idea of making our own team, something that reflected our values and made us different.
We all had experiences of local cycling clubs where the emphasis was on personal improvement and competitive development.
Where riding in the 'Red zone' seemed to be semi compulsory and the desire to chat was negated by the need to maximise your oxygen intake, or to put it in Yorkshire Speak....You were blowing out your Arse!!!!!.
We wanted people to ride for fun and kinship to enhance personal development and present competition as being something you did against yourself.
With our objectives sorted the only thing that was missing was a suitable name.
Paddy suggested we call ourselves Travels with my Mule.
2009 seems a long time ago now.
From that quartet in 2009 our ranks have swelled.
Paddy organised Jerseys, Bibs, beers holders (Very Important) a SAG Wagon and was instrumental in bringing people together in the Houston area of Texas to ride as a team, train as a team and drink beer as a team.
More importantly to partake in Charity endurance rides.
They set up a great social scene with organised monthly social gatherings.
Paddy also set up a website http://www.travelwithmymules.com/ which provides links to all that we are 'about', including a direct link to this blogsite.