28 June 2008

Please dig deep

Dear reader, it is now only 5 weeks until Nikki, Alan & I embark on something pretty special (I hate to use the word challenging - it's used too much at work). I am asking you once again to please consider sponsoring me for this ?????? I'm not sure what you would call it?, it's certainly no holiday!

To remind you that charities Alan & I are supporting are:

COPS - Care of Police Survivors (Help not only widows & Orphans, but all loved ones of police officers who are killed).

RUC Benevolent Fund: Help families of Officers wounded & killed in NI

Garda Survivors Support Association: Helps families of officers killed in Ireland

Breast Cancer Campaign: Helping to find a cure for breast cancer

Prostate Cancer: Helping to find a cure for prostate cancer

Three of these charities are UK registered, so to make payment easier I have set up 3 separate justgiving accounts, which you will find below the respective charity above.  These have the advantages of being able to gift aid donations & 28% is added by the Government- not often you get something for nothing!! I want, if possible to share any money raise between the 5 charities & would ask that if you want to donate to the other 2 then you can deposit direct into the high interest savings account.  If you want to just donate to a specific charity (Jackie I took on board what you said about animal testing :-)) either use the just-giving account or deposit in the bank & tell me where you want it to go

The details of the account are:

Account Number: 81501968

Sort Code: 40-42-01

HSBC Sidcup Branch
83 High Street
DA14 6DN

Please make cheques payable to P.Clare or MPSES

You can always send me a cheque at work

Insp Phil Clare
Team 2
Charing Cross Police Station
4 Agar Street

A big thank you for your support & wish Nikki, Alan & I luck!!

26 June 2008

An uphill struggle

The training continues, I am doing a combination of spin classes & road riding on my bike. I picked up my front wheel from the shop & it now has the correct number of spokes!

I've only got 10 working days left now until the ride, I have 2 weeks off before hand & I week after (to recover?). So I am upping the intensity of everything, I am trying to do at least 2 hours a day cardio-vascular workout with more on my days off. I am even eating really carefully (apart from the ice--cream & pop-corn at the cinema last night) I am not touching alcohol until after I have finished & am living on hippie teas'. I've lost about half a stone in the past few weeks & am avoiding all the things that taste nice, why does all the decent food have to be so bad?

I have now booked up for 3 more weekend rides

6th July - 30 miles round Bromley

13th July - 56 miles London Bikeathon

27th July - 80 miles London to Canterbury

My bum, dear reader, you will be pleased to know is pain free!!

16 June 2008

The morning after the night before

I woke up this morning expecting to feel like I sat on something unpleasant!  However apart from my legs feeling a little stiff, I feel great, no aches or pains

Overall I was very happy with yesterdays ride.  I am still rubbish at hill climbing, but this is down to my weight.  I wear a pulse monitor & on step hills it shows me at between 96% & 105% of my maximum.  This is far too high, so in the next 6 weeks or so until we do 'the big one' I must concentrate on my diet & practice some hills

Can I just say a big thank you to everyone who sponsored me yesterday.  I raised over £1000 for Demelza & £115 for the British Heart Foundation who organise the event & as my good friends Calvin & Val both have pacemakers I felt I had to support this.

Off to take my front wheel to the shop to get some spokes put back in!!

15 June 2008

Veni, Vidi, Vici

I came, I saw, I conquered!  Well not just me Alan as well, but my latin doesn't extend to plurals.  I should have paid more attention at school!!

We embarked on our biggest challenge yet, we completed in the London to Brighton Cycle ride today which is 54 miles from London

Alan & I before the start.  Still looking remarkably happy!

Waiting to book in at the start

The congestion was dreadful at times & we think we spent a good 2 hours waiting to move at numerous places on the route

Halfway, in a pub garden & only drinking water...............there must be something wrong?

The dreaded Ditchling Beacon.  About a mile of pure hell

Thank gawd, we did it!!

The route & also my start finish card to prove I did it!!

The ride started quite well, Alan & I cycled from mine to Clapham Common, which was about 13 miles.  We registered & then started.  After about 2 miles I had a puncture.  We changed that no problem.  The front end of bike was then making some funny noises (like a tuning fork)  I got to the bottom of this some 20 or so miles later when I lost a spoke & for the rest of the ride the bike sounded like a musical instrument!

We then finished at Brighton & cycled back to Lewes.  The bike by this time was making some strange & interesting noises & prudence dictated to call it a day before I had a catastrophic failure in the front wheel.  We cycled 73 miles, spent about 10 hours in the saddle.  My pulse monitor told me I used 5438 calories & surprisingly my bum doesn't hurt!!  My top speed was 37.6 & we averaged 10.6 miles per hour.  This could have been a lot higher, but the sheer volume of participants kept it slow.

It was great coming into Brighton (apart from the obvious of finishing) the sea-front was lined by thousands of people all cheering & clapping you on & it really does make a difference & lifts your spirits

It was a fun day, well organised, I am now off to sit in a dark room!!

12 June 2008

It's Sunday, must be a cycle event

I've just got back from my local cycle shop & discovered another cycle ride on Sunday 6th July not far from me. It's being organised by the Rotary Club of Catford & is a 30 mile one. Hopefully Nikki & Alan can join me on it?

The weekend after Nikki, Sandra & I are completing in the London Bike-athon which is 56 miles. I never realised there are so many organised every weekend by clubs.... I will soon need a new wall to hang all my participants medals on (I still have only the one medal from the Queen, which looks very lonely - only 2 years until I get my next one!!)

A test as the countdown to the big one continues

This Sunday, Alan & I are having another major test of our fitness & endurance, we are participating in the Annual London to Brighton cycle ride (54 miles). To make it a little more interesting (?) we are cycling from mine to the start (12 miles) & then if (I think a big if!), our legs still function we are then cycling to my sisters (25 miles) & then finally getting a lift home from Carol. Nikki on the other hand has opted to work, she might have picked the best option. I will confirm this on Sunday when I've stopped crying & can sit down again

My training hasn't been too bad, been doing loads of spin classes in the gym & cycling to work. Had a little set back this weekend & went to Antwerp. Possibly ate too much Belgian chocolate & drank too much Belgian beer. Excellent weekend & the Belgians are keen cyclists.

Took this picture outside Ghent train station on a Sunday. Hate to see it when it's busy during the week!!

Just another general update, we now have all our hotels for the route booked & Alan is starting to actualy work out the fineries of the route (I hope he avoids as many hills as possible). The countdown continues