Cycling and me
i n summary i have not done much training but can probably get round the 52 miles in 4 hours there are a couple of photos of me and the kids on holiday at Tintagel for those of you that havent seen us in a while. Dan was doing the sword in the stone all day.
Well thats not the best photo of me on the profile for a start. Trying to find a recent photo of me was a major problem 100's of photos of the kids none of me. If I'm looking like that these days it's no wonder there are none. Note to self lose some weight.
Last year i got a road bike under NHSBT's cycle to work scheme.Although i have never really liked cycling that much i have always fancied a racing bike. So partly to help me get fit and partly as a tax write off i got one. Last year i ran the half marathon for the children's hospital and i cycled in to work ( 3.7 miles) a bit to help with my general fitness for that. I did my run (in 1hr40) and put the bike away for the winter where it has stayed till relatively recently.
Last year i was a lean mean running machine this year i am a big fat cycling machine. I had meant to get my bike out to start cycling again in the spring summer but it just seemed like too much effort. Inspiration came in the shape of Mick O'D who works in my lab at the blood service. Mick does quite a lot of cycling and mentioned that he was going to do the Birmingham bikeathon in September. i'd got a bike it was for a good cause seemed like a great idea so i signed up for the 52 mile ride which was merely a long way as opposed to the 100 mile option which is just stupidly far.
Training- Obviously you need to do a little bit of training for something like this -and a little bit is just what i have done. I have cycled in to work 12-15 times in the last couple of months but a 20minute ride is not really much preparation.
We went to Devon on holiday at the end of August. Yvonne who owns the cottage we stay in has been telling us to get on the Tarka trail which is a cycle route along the old coastal rail line for ages.We hired bikes in Bideford. Alastair and Kathryn had their own bikes and Daniel was on a ridealong behind me as extra weight training. There was a slight hiccup at the start as Kathryn proved it is in fact possible to forget how to ride a bike by crashing into the brambles at the side of the track three times in the first 100 yards. So a ridealong for Kathryn to but at least she helped Zoe out by peddaling. on the whole it went pretty well we cycled up to Braunton- about 15 miles and back again took about 6 hours with a couple of stops. alastair was pretty good considering he is only just 8 he managed the distance with only a couple of moans towards the end. as an aside whilst on holiday Alastair managed to fall in the docks at Appledore when i was crabbing with him and Daniel. It was a quite remarkable vault over the railings which i can still see in slow motion in my head now. he was standing on the bottom rail holding on firmly with his left hand, he leant forward to throw the crab in and the next thing his feet were going over his head as he executed a perfect backflip in to the water. He splashed aroud a bit before grabbing on to a rope. Alastair has his mile swimming badge but it shows you want a bit of shock and cold can do. he was not for moving so i had to strip off and go in and get him. I took a bit of stick from the sidelines for not immediately diving iin. However i could see him he wasnt in any real danger and by quickly taking my tops off he had something warm to put on when he got out. Daniel was the most impressed with my rescue when i got out he said in his 4 year old earnest little way " Dad you saved Alastairs life". All was well in the end.
By the 7th September i was becoming a little concerned about my lack of training so i got my brother Mike and his girlfriend Liz to babysit and went for a ride . I had a vague idea of the race route and cycled out in the same general direction. I cycled out to Alvechurch, then TanworthinArden, dickins heath , Shirley then home about 26 miles in two hours. for the first time i actually got why people go cycling. this was not a life or death trip down the Bristol road like my regular commute this was a gorgeous sunny sunday afternoon cycling through beutiful villages and countryside- lots of interesting pubs discovered and stored for future reference. plus there was next to no traffic. I was only nearly knocked off once when i was nearly home- coming down parsons hill someone decided to pull out in front of me with a bit of skidding i managed to avoid going through his rear windscreen.
obviously haviong done such a long ride i didnt bother with any cycling through the week but idid arrange to go out with Mick on the 14th.despite his protestations of being not very good mick was way better than me as you would expect from someone who is doing 10-15 miles most nights. we went out a bit further this time starting out the same way but carrying on to henly in arden then warwick coming back via Solihull. We got to Warwick in two hours which to me is an amazing achievement that is the kind of place i would normally only ever drive to because it seems so far away but when the kids are a little bit bigger we could probably go out as a family there. Looking forward to it. in all we covered 52.9 miles in 4 hours. i wasnt planning on going that far it just kind of happened i foolishly didnt take a drink so i was weak and parched by the time we got to solihull and had to stop at a garage to get a bottle of lucozade which i skulled in about two seconds. that gave me just about enough energy to get home. The biggest relevation of this ride was roadkill man there was tons of iit in a quite startling variety of both bird, animal and state of decay. you dont really notice so much in a car but on the bike its a bit more up close and personnal and thus gross.
this week well i have cycled in to work once and my legs felt terrible doesnt help having had no sleep all week one or other of the kids has been up every night this week. Worst night being wednesday when zoe was on a night and Kat and Dan were up twice each and Al once both the boys finished up in my bed.
Well race day is nearly upon me and mainly i am hoping for a decent nights sleep before hand and to follow the right signs so i dont finish up on the 100 mile route by mistake- must follow orange signs must follow orange signs.
wish me luck
all the best E