Dan is something of a local legend, and whilst not everyone will instantly recognise the name Daniel Pullen, you'd be hard-pushed to find a cyclist locally who hasn't heard the name Stravanator Dan!
Going beyond his status as a local hero and proprietor of the (N+1) Cycle Cafe by Brighton train station, Dan was also part of the Hunt quartet who recently took victory at the Revolve24 endurance race at Brands Hatch.
For this week's focus on all things 4Season as the nights draw in and the weather starts to turn, we could think of no better interviewee than the local hardman famous for riding through just about anything... really fast...
Age: 42 years young
Born and Bred: London mate. But I’ve lived pretty much everywhere, so who I am depends on who I’m talking to.
Ice breaker – describe yourself in three words.
Committed. Honest. Incorrigible.
First Bike and Favourite bike?
First Bike belonged to my sisters piano teachers son. When I was 4 years old we would go there and I’d be lifted up and put on it, given a push and away I’d go. Unable to stop, I’d keep going until my sisters lesson was over and my mum could lift me off!
My best Bike is my Storck Aernario Platinum. Lucky boy.
Finish this sentence: Climbing on my bike is…
Where I long to be and where I’m most at home.
First of all, we are astounded at the number of miles you manage to clock… what does your average weekly mileage look like?
With a business, a three year old and a wife with a bun in the oven, I do almost all my riding commuting to work and back. I find hour long sessions very effective for building fitness.
Having a quick look on your Strava account, apart from the almost demoralising side-by-side comparison, it states your biggest ride as being a huge 481.3km! Three questions here…
Where was this ride? The Trafalgar Way Sportive from Falmouth to London.
What drives you to ride such a long way? It’s all about seeing what’s possible. The body and mind are amazing when you give them scary shiz to deal with.
Why didn’t you do an extra 18.7km to round it to 500km? My ass was bleeding.
You may or may not be aware of you having a bit of a reputation as being a bike of a hard man – riding no matter the conditions… what makes you get out there when the weather turns horrible?
The station car park is extortionate!
Snow? Yep. Wind? Check. Cold? You bet.
What is the best thing about riding in horrible weather?
The looks that ‘normal’ people give you.
…And the worst?
Mechanicals you can’t fix quickly.
Is it true that you have at least three chains and cassettes always on hand ready to go?
Well, not really. However, shop stock does come in handy occasionally. (As does the coffee machine)
Give us the low done on N+1. Where did the idea to start come from?
The bike industry is a tough gig. Really hard to make a living. But good quality and cost effective servicing is always highly sought after. As is quality coffee and fresh produce. A match made in heaven.
This year you were in the Hunt team for the Revolve24 (ed. A 24hour road race around Brands Hatch Motor Racing Circuit, Kent) – how did you find the race? Did the illusive 4am second wind come?
I was delighted and honoured to be in the team. I knew nothing about my team mates prior to the event, but it quickly became apparent we were all nut jobs. Our consistency lap after lap was astounding! And horrifying. I think we were all hoping secretly that one of us would crack, enabling us all to ease off a bit, but it never happened! It truly was a smash fest.
Leading up to the event did you do anything different in your preparation?
I have worked with a coach this year which has given me focus and discipline. I do what he says and the results follow. I highly recommend this approach if you like data and want tangible results.
What grinds your gears?
Oh man......The hate out there for cyclists astounds me, and puts me in serious danger daily. I just don’t understand it!? People need to chill. Murdering a husband, father, son etc
Love, peace and a flower dude.
Thoughts on Cyclocross?
I love it and look forward to getting involved more in the future. I’ve just built up a bike, so watch this space.
Dream place to ride?
I used to do a lot of snowboarding in the alps and spent years in and around Val d’Isere. I would love to cycle from Bourg-Saint-Maurice up to Val d’Isere and then pass over the Col d’Iseran as this holds huge significance for me. One day.
Most memorable ride for all of the wrong reasons?
Once I ruptured my urethra while riding my xc Bike out in the Surrey hills backcountry. I knew it was bad as I could feel the familiar feeling of warm, sticky blood gushing down my legs. I made the decision to ride home 20 miles as quick as possible leaving a trail behind me. I was laid up in hospital for a few days with a catheter!
Not my finest hour. Still, overtaking all the roadies on Box Hill with blood pissing out of my knob was hilarious.