The British Heart Foundation

A massive thank you – to everyone who has donated

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Efforts

As you know last weekend I completed the London to brighton night ride in 4 hours 38 minutes. When I crossed the start line at the weekend I was happy to have just beaten my fundrasing target of £250 so this job was done. This meant one part of the evening was a success and I just need to focus on the ride ahead. I always new there would be some people who wanted to wait until after I had completed the ride before they donated and this is to be expected. However I didn’t bank on the massive response from those who I work with, and have other involement with through youth football etc. I have to say it is very humbling. As the graphic shows I have well and truly smashed my fundrasing target and am now hoping I can climb over £500 doubleing my initial target. On the day the Tour de France has a double clim of Alpe D’Huez on stage 18 I am rather hoping I can achieve my own double, and reach £500.

My page is still open for those people who have not yet got around to making a donation. the page is here

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The next challenge is….?

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The legs have recovered, although I still sleep like a baby, but again like last year I am now thinking about the next challenge. The third London to Brighton night ride is very much on as I still have unfinished business with this ride. Without light gate as mentioned in 4 hours 38 minutes (part 1) @GrabsNowBlog and I feel we can complete this ride in sub 4 hours.

How to improve. Well as I am now a member of British Cycling as a ride member (£28 per year) this has given me access to the many Sportives which you can complete just to make the longer rides a bit more interesting. Obviously the normal Sunday morning cycle with friends will be a very important part of the training and development, if nothing else as a social tool and a chance to catch up after a busy week. The advantage of the Sportives is they don’t all require you to raise money which is a big ask of people to keep donating on a regular basis. @Grabsnowblog and I feel doing one charity event a year is enough and mine will be cycling, but he may run the London marathon if he gets his place. You’ll know as soon as I do and we can support him in his efforts.

The British Heart Foundation already have registration open for the 2014 night ride on 12th July. The only reason I haven’t signed up yet is I am seeing who wants to join me as part of the team. I have alrwady had some requests from people on this years ride an others who have, in the past, completed London to brighton day ride but fancy having a crack at the night ride. If you want to join us on 12th July 2014 for the night ride then get in touch and I can start to organise the team. 

2014 could be a big year. Both @GrabsNowBlog could be cycling London to Paris if we are successful in the ballot and this would definity become the main charity event, however there are other possibilities. I have always fancied completing the Dunwich Dynamo with is this weekend (but other commitments prevent me attempting this in 2013), and this could be an option. I suppose it depend upon the date and other events which could make the calander.

I suppose, on reflection, this is one of the benefits of the 2012 Olympic games legacy. The number of people cycling has increased since the games and as a result this will start to have an impact on the health of the nation. This can only happen if we can actually make cycling an option for people to get about. Cycle lanes are required in ALL towns so we made the roads safer and we need to educate ALL road users. Cyclists need to respect vehicles and likewise the cars, busses, lorries and trucks need to think bicycle as well and think bike!

Whatever I decide I will update the blog and comment on my progress.

London to Brighton 2 weeks to go!

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The 14th July is just under two weeks away (at the time of writing) and its the time I will attempt to cycle from London to Brighton (#l2b) in sub four hours raising money for The British Heart Foundation. There is still time to get in a few more training rides this week, a big one at the weekend and then taper it off next week before the big day (or night). There is still time to show your support by visiting my fundraising page and push me over my target. I know you’ve been busy, but go on do it now! Every little helps.

 

As well as the training for the event I have had to look again at my equipment, train with it on so we know how it feels and how it and I perform with it all in place. Earlier posts refer to the bike, shoes, mits, pedals and jacket which will be the main part of my equipment for this challenge. Within the last two weeks my ride pack has arrived containing my number, map and other useful information. I also need to have alternative footwear for the time in Brighton before the travel service back to London, and therefore a small back pack to wear on the ride. Lessons from last year are this needs to be small as last year my rucksack was too big and didn’t help. I had thought of not having a bag and just use the pockets on jackets and saddle bag, but no space for footwear.

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A solution has been found. I have managed to pick up this bright, reflective and very light backpack which is big enough to contain my jacket, flip flops (very stylish I know), wallet, keys and the mobile. This will leave the pockets in the jersey for the gels and food. The bag is also waterproof, especially as it has now been sprayed with some very good waterproofing spray from Millets before they disappeared from our high streets.

 

 

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I have ordered my nutrition for the event from Wiggle who had a good deal to get the water bottle free. £3.19 for 5 energy bars is i thought a good deal so ordered two. This means ill have two bottles as well so ideal for the ride.

 

Also on order are some arm warmers as I will be wearing a short sleeved shirt and these will be easy to roll down when the weather gets warmer as we reach Brighton. I have checked the long range forecast and the Sunday afternoon could have sunny weather and 25 degrees C! Image If that is the case there will be a need for me to use the other lenses which will arrive with my new cycling glasses. The clear lenses will be ideal for the dark, or I could use the lo light ones, before changing them again for the sunny weather we could get come Sunday afternoon. Again these were available on Wiggle with an offer. The fact these have been recommended by Cycling Plus and you get the interchangeable lenses included, what a bargain (£32).

 

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It would get cold without the jersey. It was a present from my last workplace and I now have an opportunity to wear it other than on a normal ride. It is tight, but then again cycling clothing is supposed to be, but this is the most snug I have ever felt in a cycle jersey. It isn’t too small (at L) and i have some idea of what the pro riders feel like when their wear their skin suits on time trials. I say some idea as this jersey is certainly not a second skin, but very close to it.

 

I think I am ready. Well I know i am ready. Just a few emails to chase by return coach and truck ticket, but I am sure this is in hand, and with a few more rides then it show time. Watch out people no. 2091 will be on his way in an attempt to complete 60 miles in sub four hours, in the process raising more then £250 for The British Heart Foundation. Please if you have read this and not get sponsored me please visit my fundraising page and help me make a different to people we don’t even know. Heart failure can affect anyone of us at any time, and I sure want a cure, so in the future, I am diagnosed with heart failure I might have a chance of living a different life to those present sufferers from the disease.

 

Thank you for supporting this great charity and fantastic cause. Also thank you to all the people who have wished me luck with my own personal challenge.

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What a (cycling) weekend, in la Tour and elsewhere

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Well on Saturday the 100th Tour de France go under way in Corsica. And the first stage was eventful if nothing else. This was a stage which was targeted by the sprinters as their chance to wear yellow for a day, but chaos marred the stage.

 

As the image shows the team bus of Orica GreenEDGE was stuck under the finish line Imagewhich caused the finish to be moved to the 3km to go stage, but then the bus was successfully removed and the finish was able to be used. However there was still a bit of panic in the peloton and a crash ended the hopes of many of the sprinters of taking the stage including Cavendish who was caught up in the delay rather than the crash. As a result the times were neturalised and the yellow jersey was on position. This meant that David Miller was in fourth on the second stage and his team were working hard to try and put him in yellow for stage three today.

 

A potential nightmare nearly played out in the final stages of stage two with a Scottish Imageterrier lose on the road and it just moved out of the way as the fast approaching peloton came around a corner. Thankfully the riders didn’t crash and as far as I am aware the dog is fine to. However if you take a dog near a sporting event keep it on a lead please, as Carlton Kirby mentioned in commentary.

 

However before the do incident on the final climb Chris Froome send a message to his rivals and it could be a big one. Up the final climb he injected pace which took him out of the wheel of team mate Richie Porte and made an attempt to catch the lone Europcar rider and bridge the gap. The peloton didn’t, chose not to or couldn’t respond. After the stage Froome said it was good to keep people on their toes and he went to make the decent safer as he was alone. This may have been the case but it is a clear message that Sky have the option of the explosion which wasn’t seen in last years tour. We knew Froome was in the form of his life, but this really sent a message.

 

So with the third stage today and the final one on Corsica before the Team Time Trial in Nice tomorrow it will be another interesting stage and who knows what will happen today. It might just be a “boring” day of breakaways and cycling skill, rather than stuck buses and wandering dogs. Lets hope so.

 

Away from the tour on a personal note I was out again on another training ride and with just one more weekend before the London to Brighton Nigh Ride, which will be a long one, I am feeling ready to go. This week I’ll cycle to work, put about  in my legs this week, before tapering off the training in the final week to limit injury and ensure I am in the right place to achieve sub 4 hours. Until then its tour highlights just to keep the cycling juices following.

My fundraising page is still active and I am so close to my target, just £20 required before event day. You can show your support here. Thank you it means a lot to me but even more to The British Heart Foundation.

Images from http://www.metro.co.uk and http://www.telegraph.co.uk

I just can’t wait…

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For the Tour De France which has its grand depart at the end of June and for my own challenge if London to Brighton at night for the second year running.

Let’s start with my own challenge, London to Brighton. The distance isn’t a problem, 60 miles, it’s can we do it in sub four hours. This involves a moving average of 25kmph. Sounds straight forward enough, especially on a road bike which I an becoming very comfortable on. Stock up with water, gels and a Jaffa cake or two and as long as we don’t need to stop, the target is on. Even with the big hill, Devil’s Dike at about 48 miles the rest of the ride should allow time to be made up before we reach the climb. I know this as I know the route from last year and I know what shape I’m in with my new bike. Plus there is still four weeks left to lose a few more pounds (as he puts the lovely point of Adnams down). Monday will see the serious diet and proper food prep I tell myself. The training ride in the morning will help, as we are going a power hour. This is a short warm up then go hell for leather in one direction for 30 minutes, then turn as around and come back. The plan is to build the power and operating at a high tempo. On another point good luck to all doing the day ride tomorrow. Your doing a great job well done. I can’t wait for my chance to see if I can achieve my goal of sub for hours, as I know I’ll be raising some money for The British Heart Foundation to find a cure for heart failure. You can show your support by sponsoring me a few pounds, Dollars, Euros or whatever your currency is here. Thank you your help is really appreciated.

As I complete my challenge the greatest cycle race will be two weeks old as the Rogers prepare for the final week. Hopefully Chris Froome will be in yellow and with the support of Team Sky will hold off any final attacks from the likes of Contador et al and we can have another British winner of Le Tour. With a bit of good fortune, which you need in cycling, winning The Tour Dr France could be like waiting for a bus. You wait for ages then two come along at once! Come on Froomy make your great form count now! Last year they said the course was perfect for Wiggins, well I said when this course was announced it was suited to Froome. Only time will tell but I hope he does the business.

I know there are many others who are just waiting for the Tour to start. At least we age nearly there. Let’s cross everything and hope for a great double, sub four hours for me (& reaching my target) and a second British winner of The Tour de France.

You know you’re hooked when ….

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Its still (just) over a month until I complete London to Brighton again Raising money for The British Heart Foundation (you can sponsor me here) and I find myself looking at the next challenge. This happened last year to a degree, but it stopped when I just decided to redo the same ride. However this year it is different. Yes this year I have upped the anti and set myself the challenge of #l2b in sub 4 hours, but i am now thinking of which other rides could be completed.

To date I have briefly looked at the Surrey 100 which includes Box hill as used in the Olympic road race in 2012, but is could be a case of biting off more than I can chew, or a more realistic possibility the 2014 Dunwich Dynamo. Briefly this is a turn up and ride 120 miles from North London to the Suffolk coast. No fundraising involved which might take the pressure off, just a ride for the fun of it and off course the challenge of completing it. However I will do some fundraising for someone, I just know it.

Other possibilities have been incorporating cycling with the love of cricket my friends and I have. There is something appealing about cycling to a test ground, or between test grounds and then getting to watch a days test cricket, or more! I also want to attempt to cycle up Alpe D’Huez just so I can say I have cycled up a famous Tour de France climb. All I know is I certainly have been hooked on cycling and trying to push myself longer, further and possibly higher than I’ve gone before. Mad I may be but I know its going to be fun!