Month: May 2014

How you can help and where your money goes.

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First you can help at my page As you know I’m cycling 100 miles for Sue Ryder in the 2014 Ride London-Surrey 100 on 10th August.

If you read my previous post, or should I say watched the video about the fantastic work Sue Ryder do then you will know that every little bit counts. Here is a more detailed list of how Sue Ryder use the donations they receive.

How your donation can help Sue Ryder

£7.80 provides one hour of incredible care from one of our trained carers.

£15 pays for two stress relieving complementary therapy sessions for someone living with cancer.

£50 covers the cost of a day care/therapy session for somebody with dementia.

£150 enables three family members to each receive three bereavement sessions in one of our hospices.

£570 covers the cost of a highly trained nurse for a week providing care and support for patients and their families.

£1,000 pays for a clinical nurse specialist for a week working in the community offering individual and tailored support to patients in their own homes.

Sue a Ryder has 13 care centres across the UK which offer this incredible service for people. 1in 4, a massive 25% of us will suffer with some form of illness which we will require assistance from organisations like Sue Ryder. Let’s do something about making like better and being pro active rather than reactive.

You can help sue Ryder continue to deliver the incredible service they offer as well as finding vital research to improve the lives of us all by visiting my page just think £15 pays for two stress relieving complementary therapy sessions for someone living with cancer.

I would like to think if I am ever in the situation of needing specialist care the fantastic UK population would help out to make my end a little more comfortable.

Of course when you have sponsored me you can relax and enjoy me suffering with the pain in training and on the day when I aim to complete the RideLondon-Surrey 100 in a decent time. If I can achieve my target it would be the same as providing:

The cost of a day care/therapy session for somebody with dementia.

Three family members to each receive three bereavement sessions in one of our hospices.

One highly trained nurse for a week providing care and support for patients and their families.

Pay to have me suffer and helping people less fortunate than ourselves. Sounds like a good deal.

Thank you for your support.

The incredible work Sue Ryder do

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The fantastic work Sue Ryder does for people with incurable conditions. This is why I’m proud to be part of #TeamIncredible at the 2014 RideLondon-Surrey100.
Help me help others at

Joining a club?

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In an ideal world I would now be on my first ride with a club to try out what they have to offer, however whilst I might be out of action for a week or so with a bloody injury to my stomach I have had some time to think. This is a horrible time as I am very frustrated about not being able to ride, even for enjoyment.

I have also been thinking about when I get back on the bike how I can start to improve my performance on a bike and safely. To be fair this thinking process started before my injury, but now I have time to complete some proper research.

Why join a club?

At this stage I won’t be a competitor for the club, just looking for more social rides with like minded people and to be able to gain advice on my riding style, training and more importantly how to ride in a group.

This last point is an important one. Yes I have been involved in mass cycle events I the past, but never received or sought any training on how to ride in a group safely. This will be a vital skill when I cycle RideLondon in August. I’ve picked up a few ideas from the Sunday social rides I’ve done with friends but this area of my cycling is an area I need to know more about.

Well once I’ve recovered from the injury and cleared the other commitments I have at the weekends, I look forward to contacting the club again and getting out with the club, just to see how I get on.

Out of action

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I didn’t think I would have an injury which would put me out of action for a while. I don’t know why I didn’t think this as they can happen at any time, after a crash or through over training or pushing to soon for a goal, but I just assumed I would avoid these.

The annoying think was this weekend was going to be a sportive with a mate and the chance to put some hours on the clock for the next Strava challenge, one I could actually complete in the time for once. However due to ripped stomach muscles I will be forced to rest and allow the body to recover, which is frustrating to say the least.

I just hope I am not off the bike for to long.

The local bike shop

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Rule #58 support your local bike shop!

This is a clear rule and one which I am trying to do more and more. For me the local bike shop in question, Newdales in Saffron Walden, has 2 very knowledgeable staff who can answer almost any question, no matter how silly you think it is. Plus they won’t try and sell you anything you don’t need, even if you think you need it!


It is a real joy to go in (to Newdales) even if it is just to purchase some new Zero table or a few gels for the weekends cycling and have a chat with the staff, when they are not to busy. They will always make time for their customers and have an excellent ability to give you the time you need to make your purchase, and the right purchase too if you are stuck, as well as get the wide range of bikes repaired and serviced which come through the door. I haven’t purchased a bike from them but you can as they stock a range of Giant bikes which will suit anyone’s taste and ability.

I mainly use the shop for advice on bike parts and accessories and the small repairs and maintenance I an learning myself. I do however take my stead for a service in the Autumn before winter storage and a few other times in hype year when a service is due. The thing to remember is they get booked up very quickly so you need to plan ahead as much as possible, especially for the planned services and checks. Repairs are another matter obviously.

I knew about Newdales before I got into cycling as they are in the local town, but through Twitter and various cycling related websites and blogs I have managed to find other local independent cycle shops. Just a stones throw from work is another local chain in the south east, and recently opened in the next twin are a few others which colleagues have mentioned and the services they offer. What I thought was a niche market is actually quite vibrant and varied and I am glad to say these businesses seem to be benefiting from the increase in cycling in the UK and it’s growing popularity. I suppose the next job would be to brush up on my skills and open my own business, but that remains a dream at the moment.

Well thankfully I am blessed to live near a local bike shop which prides itself on what they sell you and ensure to the best of their ability what you buy is right for you, and what you get for your money. Excellent customer service goes along way to ensuring repeat business. Well done Newdales you have customer service down to a T, and I know you’ll keep it up.

Thank you.

Still time, but how fast will I be?

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As the sun starts to shine and more riding can be done in daylight without the need to wear extra layers, again my thoughts turn to how fast could I complete Ride London 100 in this summer?

The first goal however is to finish and the second raise loads of money for Sue Ryder. You can help by visiting my page here. However being the type of person I am and from reading peoples accounts of last years event I have started to think about the time.

When I found I had a place I thought if I could complete the course around 6.5 hours then this would be a good time. Also something I could achieve with an average speed of just under 25kph (24.7). This is well within the 8.5 hours allowed to complete the course even with a few rest stops thrown in. However my training has got me up to around 28kph which would give me a time around 5 hours 45 mins. I have even calculated 5 hours but this is a stretching 32.2kph and outside my reach. But you have to dream.

Well I suppose I have now set myself another challenge, to complete this in sub 6 hours. I have a history of this as last year I set a target of sub 4 hours for London to Brighton only to be hampered by light failure, but I am sure this will be achieved soon. However this challenge is different. The last hill comes at 109.4km which then leaves a final 50k to get the power down for a grandstand finish on the Mall being cheered on by the large crowd which will no doubt push me on. London to Brighton has the big hill at the end which drains your energy and then you have no time to recover before the finish.

Well it looks like the training will continue to be hard to ensure I build the power, strength and aerobic ability to allow me to travel faster and further for the same amount of input. Time to update the training plan.

When you have been cycling for about 3 months then you will have the basic strength to build upon to complete your sportive or event ride. I have built this up with commuting to and from work plus the weekend longer rides. Now it is time to step up the training to improve my ability. I have found some longer routes to commute to increase the distance cycled each week, which will help, but I am going to start using the normal commute to work as shorter time trial rides and for interval training. In theory this will improve my overall moving time (average speed) to allow me to achieve the magic sub 6 hours. Then the weekend rides are for the social aspect as well as getting the time in the saddle completed. I will target certain segments on Strava and use these as markers on my progress. Hopefully come the end of June I will have seen some improvement in my general average speeds on rides and then the plan would be to keep these up on the longer rides come the weekend.

Let’s see how I get on.