Fundraising

Back on the blog and soon the bike.

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Lots of things have happened since my last post, probably too much to mention.

June has not been a good month for my training. Only managed 192km last month which isn’t ideal before I cycle Ride London next month! However when you spend 4 days in hospital with abdominal and then associated heart problems the the cycling takes a back seat. The result of this is I have has a couple of biopsies taken from my bowel for further tests and we are now playing the waiting game. Fingers crossed.

Well as the new month is here, the month of the Tour de France, I can start to think about repairing some of the training as part of my recovery. Loads of commuting to work and the longer weekend rides are the order of the month, as well as trying to catch the tour highlights, the final week of Wimbledon and the final stages of the World Cup!

When I was in hospital I however did get a boost as my blood pressure is coming down as is my resting heart rate. As we know the fitter you are the lower these become as part of the health benefits. Having a resting heart rate in the mid to low 50’s was a nice piece of data to take away. At least I put in some hard work during April which will pay off next month.

So with the recovery in progress, I had my spirits raised further when my Sue Ryder jersey arrived in the post.

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As you can see it looks good and I have to say I am looking forward to getting out there and giving it it’s debut ride. As well as this I received my start time and option to book a car park place. All this has been done and I am nearly ready. Later today with a bit of luck my new bidons should arrive and then can be fitted to the bike.

Am I ready? Well the training could have gone better without illness but I still feel I can perform well. I now have a cadence sensor and HR monitor so I can better manger my effort on the bike. I have to say the cadence sensor has helped me increase the speed slightly without entering the red for effort and wasting energy. Let’s see how we get on next month!

Please support me at http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/PhilWheeler5 for a great charity Sue Rider!

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How you can help and where your money goes.

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First you can help at my page http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/PhilWheeler5. 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 http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/PhilWheeler5 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.

http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/PhilWheeler5

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 http://www.virginmoneygiving.com/PhilWheeler5

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.

Why I commute by bike.

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I am lucky in the sense that I work close to where I live and this gives three viable options to get to work. If I am meeting friends I can hop on the train and take the 30 minutes journey and feel sorry for the people who have to travel into London on a daily basis. Then there is the car, which I have to use when transporting anything big to/from work and more importantly to sheet my shirts in for the third and best option the cycle.

In a strait line it is a nice 20 km commute so 40km in a day is a great way to lose the excess weight. With access to a warm shower when I arrive I can organise my time to have a relaxing shower and be ready for the days work. Then it’s a nice commute home knowing I’ve done my exercise.

The great option is now I have been getting quicker I can now extend the commute to and from work and have a number of ways in and out which helps split up the boring same old ride day in day out. As I am training for Ride London later in the year the extra kilometres covered are all very useful in ensuring the training gets done and I am in the best shape possible come August. On a side issue my fundraising page for Ride London can be found here please leave a small donation as this will help the great work Sue Ryder Care do.

The best part of being a cycling commuter is I have improved my fitness and in the process saved money on fuel costs. I hope my insurance will benefit from not driving as many miles when the renewal comes up, but we will see!
As previously mentioned the commute is helping with the training at the moment which certainly helps when you commute 3-4 times a week which is where I hope to get to over the coming weeks. I have days when I feel good and depending upon the road conditions and traffic I am able to get a shift on and have a go at some of the segments on Strava, and other times I just fancy a nice present cycle to work. I am always on the look out for different routes to take, one to break up the commute plus the opportunity to get to see parts of the local area which you can’t when your driving past at 30 mph.

There are some dislikes which every cyclist has, mine being the slippery road conditions when it has been raining, flat tyres are annoying but, reaching out to touch the wooden kitchen table my Gatorskins have done their job and I’ve not had one yet. You watch on the commute next week I’ll be half way with a big puncture. Just my luck! I don’t mind the cold, you can wrap up against that with the correct clothing, and riding in the sun is just lovely, although don’t forget your sun cream as you could easily burn in the sun, which won’t be comfortable for riding.

So what do you need to get started, my tips!
A decent bike would help
Check out your equipment regularly and if your new to cycling then either search out your local bike shop or learn the basis so you can maintain your bike.
Helmet and lights along with a good pair of cycling shorts are ideal for the commute, especially in the mornings when the natural light isn’t at its best.
Invest in a decent lock to ensure you can keep your pride and joy safe. Thankfully I work in a secure site but my lock is a nice heavy duty one which makes a potential their think twice. Spend more than you think you need especially if you are intending to leave your bike at the railway station. The stronger the better.

And my last tip is join Strava! Just so you can keep track of your rides and progress. It’s great fun sharing your rides with other like minded people and seeing how you shape up. You’ll then get the bug, which acts a motivational tool to keep going. The benefits are a fitter you and potentially one which has a new more pounds (sterling) in your pocket (obviously if not in the UK then more of your own currency).

What is stopping you. Go out and make 2104 your year to commute by by lice and feel the health benefits in the process.

128 days to go.

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We have just entered April and I don’t complete Ride London until 10th August, which still gives plenty of time for fundraising and training. However when downloading the new Virgin Money Giving app for the iPad it kindly reminded me how long I had left, in days and when you say this it doesn’t sound long.

With this in mind the fundraising is going to need to be pushed and I can’t apologies for this. Without your help I cannot reach my target, which in turn will help Sue Ryder Care complete their excellent work in providing respite and care to people with a range of neurological conditions.

My page is available here. Please have a look and I wonder who will be the first person to kick off my online campaign. Over the next week I will be organising car washes and cake sales to help me reach the fundraising target. At least I will know I will have done a lot of hard work on and off the bike before the main event come August.

Please give what you can in order to help Sue Ryder Care continue the fantastic work they do for many people and their families.

2014 a clash what should I do part 2

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A few months ago I blogged about a clash with the Dunwich Dynamo and the third London to Brighton night ride, both happening of the weekend of 12/13 July this year. This is of course 4 weeks before I will be cycling in the second RideLondon-Surrey 100.

In the first blog I suggested the more sensible plan would be to complete the “dun run” as this would be the longest ride I have ever completed and therefore would put me in tip top condition for the August ride of my life.

Well I am still undecided and have now started to think a stab at getting the #l2b ride close to 4 hours as possible would be a good test of how the training has gone. I know I can complete the distance, having done the ride twice before but this year with better lights, spare batteries and the target of posting a sub four hour time could just be the ticket for getting me through the 100 miles the following month. After all 60 miles will come at the right time in the training and would be ideal preparation I am starting to think. Another thing is if I can ride 60 miles in 4 hours I have a good chance of riding 100 in about 6 hours 27 minutes which on last years times would put me nicely in the middle of the pack, well in the top 70% and I’d take that!

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As you can see from the info graphic last year the average time for men was about 6 hours. This is a good pace and certainly a goal to work towards. Completing #l2b in under four will give me an outside chance of hitting the average from 2013. As previously mentioned first time out the goal has to be to complete, raise the required target for Sue Ryder and then a good time if possible would be the priority.

Whatever the final decisions, which need to be made, the fact is it all has to be about what would be best for the final prepeations fior August. I now have some idea of what the pro teams have to do to get their riders in form for the grand tours and other events throughout the season. The training plan leans towards #l2b as the shorter ride which will act as a final conditioning ride for the big one come August. However lets see!  Any advice is greatfully recieved. What are other #RideLondon cyclist planning on doing?