29 July 2009

Last minute preparation

Bollocks is about the only word I can think of that sums up the long range weather forecast for the start of the ride. Those of you who have been reading this for a while will remember that last year it poured down with rain for 8 of 10 days. This year we are doing it over 12 & I hope we get more than 2 clear days.

Oh well it's for a good cause & I'm sure I'll still have fun?

26 July 2009

London to Cambridge

Sandra & I completed in the London to Cambridge ride today. It was our last long ride before the off, which is looming faster & faster upon us!!

The ride went well & looking at the average's we are nearly 2mph quicker than last year. I have to be content with this & shows how much more training I have done this year. I'm off to Dublin in the morning for work for 2 days & plan to spin on Wednesday, Thursday & Friday. I am then having a weekend off doing very little but getting ready to go!!

Only downfall of the day was the bee/wasp that decided to sting my head after it crashed into me. It bloody hurt! I just want to get started now & would happily drive to Cornwall get going ........ only a week to go now

Download from my Satnav

The route

25 July 2009

Single figures now!

Oh dear, the countdown clock is now into single figures & we are only 9 days to go now, I should have trained harder, lost more weight & 101 other things but time has passed me by.

Tomorrow Sandra & I are doing London to Cambridge & that will be our last long ride (59 miles). Sandra is then working up until we leave, I'm in Dublin for the first half of the week & then running around getting all the last minute little jobs done.

Where has the time gone???

21 July 2009

2 weeks & counting

Woke up this morning & I feel awful....have I got swine flu? I actually do hope I have, it'll last a few days & will not impact on me when I am cycling. Before you all rush to avoid me it might only be hay fever?

Had a good 3 days, cycled 160 miles with Sandra & I feel a lot fitter than this time last year. I am looking forward to getting going & just want to start. All the last minute preparations are now in place & the worrying & fretting about what could go wrong I have hopefully factored out?

It may be a bit hit & miss updating the blog when I am en-route, but I will be posting pictures on Facebook. If you are not on it click here to register FACEBOOK & add me as a friend.

I have added a poll to see how much weight you'll think I will lose over 12 days. Last year I lost 4lbs over 10 days to give you an idea. However I drank isotonic drinks all the time not realising each bottle was nearly 500 calories. I shan't be drinking as many this year!??!

20 July 2009

Have we finally cracked?

Dear reader

Sandra & I may have finally cracked & should be sectioned. On both our day off we left mine at 7am (no not a misprint!) to cycle 31 miles up & over Biggin Hill. We had done this a few weeks ago & were 5 minutes quicker today - must be getting fitter?? We reassured ourself that this was normal behavior & we would be all civilised & have a nice coffee in Brasted. We were too early & the bloody coffee shop was shut as well!!

The route & you can see I reached 48 mph going down Westerham Hill!!

I'm off tomorrow where I intend to do a spin class & I may just do a quick 40 miles on my normal Wrotham, Borough Green, Polhill Route, or I may just sit in the hot tub at the gym relaying war stories?!

19 July 2009

London to Southend

As time gets nearer Sandra & I were joined by Gav & we cycled London to Southend. I hadn't done this event before & I found it very similar to London to Brighton. Too many people doing it with no bike handling skills!!

Our Route

The download from my Satnav.

If you look at my speed at the end you'll see it tailed off. That was the unbearable head wind which was accompanied with hail. The last time I cycled in hail was the decent of Glencoe last year. I do hope this is not a forecast of things to come??

A tired little soldier on the trip home!!

18 July 2009

Essex Castle

I did something today that I thought I would never have to do & that's load 4 bloody bikes onto the roof of my car! It brought back some horrible memories of last year!!

We had a good run today apart from the headwind, which we seemed to have nearly all day. It's worth pointing out that we stopped for a tea after about 35 miles & then 2 people sat in my back wheel for the next 6 miles as I struggled to maintain 20 mph. They are both about 12 stone & I'm 19 stone!! It was bloody hard work & when I couldn't maintain it they then passed me drafting each other............

Our Route!!

London to Southend tomorrow, it's an easier day at only 59 miles!

Another well organised event by www.bike-events.com

16 July 2009

Tempus fugit

I know I have said this before, but where does the time go, it does seem to fly by??

All the hotels are booked, checked & double checked. I have bought the supplies, got Neal & Chris on the car insurance & to be honest just want to leave now & start. I know the others feel the same as we have been talking about it.

Looking forward to the weekend, doing 75 miles on Saturday doing Essex Castles & 59 on Sunday completing at London to Southend. The bikes will then go in for a service & the following Sunday I am doing London to Cambridge which is 59 miles. That will probably be all the longish rides I can fit in.

It's now less than 3 weeks to go & am starting to get apprehensive, not about the ride, but more as I've organised it all!!

To give you some idea of the route & more importantly for us, the terrain, I mapped our ride on www.mapmyride.com which is an excellent website.

You can see it's 893.7 miles which we shall be doing over 12 days (just short of 75 miles a day average). The steep pointy bits are awful. Day 2 the big climb is onto Dartmoor, which I am not looking forward too. (on 99 miles). The next one is at 445 miles which is Shap Pass in the Lake District. Another long steep climb. The final long slog of note is the 30 mile climb up to Glencoe at 650 miles. All plan sailing then!!

13 July 2009

Folkestone today

Sandra & I are very much continuing our training. Today we cycled the 61.77 miles from mine down the old A20 to Folkestone. Not a bad route, we stopped & had coffee a couple of times & generally treated it as the training ride it is. Good news is I am improving massively over some of the steep hills & I can now sit quite comfortably at 20 mph on the flat with my pulse at about 65%. This is encouraging & I feel that I am a lot fitter than this time last year & should find Devon & Cornwall easier??

The profile of Wrotham Hill & yes I know I somehow managed to turn off the tracking bit on the SATNAV, however if you double click on the image & look at the top right hand side you will see the stats (I must read the manuel to see how things work??!!)

On the way home & we still had to cycle another 7 miles from Orpington station

11 July 2009

Hopefully NOT a portent of things to come?

Sandra & I in our continuing quest for perfection went out on a little ride of 30 miles today which was up & over Biggin Hill & then back through Brasted to mine. I do hope the weather we had isn't a forecast of what will have on the ride. It was a horrible drizzle that started as soon as we left mine.

Biggin Hill from mine is a steady climb of 13.4 miles which is something I still need all the practice I can get at!!

Our route (double click to make bigger)

Monday we are cycling to Folkestone (about 70 miles) for a stick of rock & a kiss me quick hat, hopefully it will be sunny & I will have some pictures to show you?

10 July 2009

My friend the generous poet

Dear all

I recently sent a round robin email to my address list asking people to look at this blogsite & to think of us as we cycle the 878 miles

I had this reply back from my dear friend Joe which is just has to be shared with you!!

May the 5th of August (Wednesday) dawn bright and dry and clear
As you leave the coast at old Land's End to a rousing sporting cheer
With your back wheel touching water and your cycle pointing North
Set your ass upon that saddle and just push for all you're worth

As you travel over hill and dale, compass reading Nor' Nor' East
May the wind be ever at your back, Well, till Inverness at least
Then North Kessock, Fortrose, Evanton and on till Dinnock Firth
But you still continue pushing on for all you're bleedin worth

Thru Helmsdale, Hill of Many Stanes, thru Wick and Aukengill
There's just a few more miles to go then up that final hill
And when, at John O'Groats ye stand, a - lookin out to sea
There will be a cheque for 100 pounds, to go to you from me!!

5 July 2009

London to Oxford

Today was truly a glorious day, the weather was hot, the company (Sandra, Chris & Gav) were on good form & we were on fire!! We managed to cover 21 miles in about an hour & 25 mins, the roads were flat & fast. The only bit that spoilt the fun was the 800 ft climb in the middle, but descending at 60 kph was great!!

The ride & stats (Double click to make it bigger)

Another well organised ride by bike events

Off for a few beers & a curry now!!

2 July 2009

5 weeks & counting

It appears time & tide do indeed wait for no man, as I said a few posts ago, I can't believe where the time has gone & we are now less than 5 weeks & nearly at the 4 weeks stage until we leave

I have been out on my bike as much as I can & am tending not to do spin classes at the gym. This week alone I have cycled 150 miles & should add another 140 miles by Sunday, which will finish with me doing the London to Oxford cycle ride with Chris, Gav & Sandra.

I must be getting fitter, going up Wrotham Hill to Brands Hatch my pulse is no longer above 90% & I am struggling to get it that high!

Today I was joined by Gav & Sandra & we cycled to Ashford on the hottest day of the year, we really struggled to find places to fill our bottles & we all drank at least 4 of them. Fortunately Kent Police have a few stations on the way we called in at!!

It seemed warmer!!

I've now got a new SATNAV for my bike, which I am not 100% on working at the moment!! When I do I should be able to add the data from it (I had better learn quick as it's not long to go now!!)

The beer garden of the local pub after 45 miles on Tuesday

The phantom slasher leaving the scene of the crime!

I just weighed myself when I got in & I lost almost a stone in weight today. I think I may be dehydrated & need fluid!!

My heart rate & speed (double click to make bigger)

The route, my heart rate & speed (double click to make it bigger)