After an inauspicious start that saw him chucking his guts up at the side of an dual-carriageway outside of St Malo, taking a desperate poo in a field near St Médard (thank you Aunty Jane for the in-case-of-emergency supply of soft, moist toilet tissue), then being crippled with a bad back, it took a few days and an awful lot of Tiger Balm before things improved for Matt back in 1994. Thankfully the lure of cheese, bread and cider each night got him through.
Against expectations, that first bike tour didn't put him off cycling for life and Matt has gone on to become one of Britain's top cycling magazine journalists. He has been a staff member of Cycling Weekly, Cycle Sport and Mountain Bike Rider, as well as being chief writer of Cycling Active from its launch until 2015. Matt has also been editor of What Cycle? and Fit2Ride magazines and was named IPC Media Specialist Writer of the Year in 2011 and 2013. He is the author of two books: Lance and Le Tour and the peerless 100 Strangest Unexplained Mysteries.
Now a very tired 37 year old, Matt is married with 8-year-old twin sons and lives in Coulsdon, Surrey. How did he fare on the 2015 ride? You'll have to buy the book to find out (but it wasn't much better...)
RIDES OF PASSAGE
Known to his family as 'The Old Chap' and to his grandchildren as 'Papa Arf', Arthur wholeheartedly accepted the challenge as main guide, back-rubber and wheel-spoke-replacer on the original 1994 cycle tour. Thankfully his occupation as a cycle shop manager meant that patiently dealing with an awkward berk on a bike came as second nature.
In 2010, after 28 years in the cycle trade, Arthur decided on a change of profession and has become one of Jersey's foremost tourist guides. You may have seen him on such things as the back page of the Sunday Times travel section, BBC2's Holiday of My Lifetime, or caught a fleeting glimpse of his dashing Tilley-hat-wearing bonce on the 'Visit Jersey' advert during a commercial break in Coronation Street.
Arthur is an award-winning photographer and has written for a range of national magazines. He is also the author of Jersey Cycles and St Helier: A History and Celebration. As something of a local media personality, in 2013 he took part in BBC Jersey's regional version of Strictly Come Dancing for Comic Relief. His 'paso' really was something to behold.
Now a sprightly 64, Arthur has three grandchildren and lives in Jersey with his wife of 39 years, Susan.