A blog about cycling...especially the long distance stuff

Monday, 27 February 2012

There goes the training....

Well the last week has been a bit of a disaster in terms or preparation progress. It started actually on the last few miles of last Sundays ride in Cambrideshire with a bit of tendon pain above and behind my ankle. I tried riding again the next day, just into work but it was pretty painful and I had no power.

So took 3 forced days off, and iced it up regularly for as long as I could handle it. Later in the week I got shifted to help on another project at work and this has turned into a monster of a job. I work all the weekend including some post midnight efforts, and that's just totally killed any chance of riding.

So after a cracking week last time I wrote, last week I only managed a paltry 56kms which was just a few commute rides. On the plus side, the ankle feels loads better and I'm hoping work schlep was a blessing in disguise....

Mindless optimism? Put very well by Melchett: 'If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through...'

Here's hoping things improve this coming weekend.

Sunday, 19 February 2012

A greeat weekend of country riding

Just back in from 2 days out of London and with really varied riding in some lovely scenery...topped off with a superb Sunday roast with friends at the end. It started with an early train from London up to Norwich. Unfortunately the weather forecast wasn't great - though it wasn't as cold as recently, there was a strong gusty wind coming from the west and bouncing me round all over the place, sometimes dropping my speed into single digits as I left Norwich. It was a serious grind and an energy sapping 60kms to Bury Saint Edmunds where I'd originally planned to stop for lunch and move on.

Fairly knackered when I arrived but had a quick look round the ruined Abby which dates back to the 10th century. The rest of the town was quite pretty too and I ended up wheeling my bike through a very busy market despite the rain which joined the days list of weather festivities around lunch time...so I ducked into a pub to fuel up and figure out some options. This was what the pub considered a "light bite" by the way:

After finally getting through most of that lot, it was getting too close to dark already, so I jumped on a train to Cambridge where I'd booked a cheap B&B.

Day 2 started with a quick look at the University, nowhere near enough time to take in the place properly but was blown away with the size of it and the glaring history of the place. Kings College was particularly impressive!

Pushing on, I headed west into a much lighter headwind in and with clear skys. The B roads were wonderfully flat and I made great time, adding a few extra miles on my indented route by passing though the amusingly named:

And the downright ALARMINGLY titled:

Say no more. Finally, topped off a good ride with a planned visit to our friends house where my Wife and no less than 3 "Lesser Spotted Buhmanns" were to be seen! A rare site, especially when accompanied by 3 Dahl's at the same location! Thanks for a great lunch guys.

This took my cycling tally for the week to 245km and thats a bit more like it after a low week last week.

Donations however have been really lacking...am not to good at this and need some ideas...

Monday, 13 February 2012

Laps around Richmond Common

Last weekend the highlight of my training rides was a brilliant winter jaunt around Richmond Common. The roads were clear of snow and the park looked beautiful. Its a great training area thanks to lots of undulating terrain:

But also a few flat sections

And not too many cars thankfully! A highlight was seeing the Deer in the snow, beautiful animals, and got some nice photos:

The ride was a fair bit shorter than what I should be doing so this weekend I'll try to make up for it. It does look like it will be so much warmer at least!

About the Dom Pardy Trust

I've known Dom for a few years now, he's always been a highly charismatic and energetic individual...with a huge circle of friends and a zest for life. We were all horrified a few years ago when Dom suffered a stroke..I 'd thought that happened only to old people? I was wrong...

In Dom's words:

"I thought I'd made a success of my life, girl I loved,great friends, exciting sidelines, job I loved, financial independence, my own flat, gym three times a week, I thought I'd achieved happiness until I nearly died after having a massive stroke without warning on xmas day 2005. I can't lie, this has fecked my life. After 2 years of hell in hospital I'm living semi-independently."

The Dominic Pardy Trust has been set up to help support Dom through his recovery. I want to help this very specific cause. If you'd like to help, you can send a donation via Paypal to:


Please include a comment mentioning this charity cycle. And thank you very much!

Friday, 10 February 2012

A word about Rethink

Rethink in the UK was originally set up 40 years ago as the National Schizophrenia Fellowship. I'm from New Zealand originally and my family back over there think very highly of the tremendous work they continue to undertake supporting people affected by mental health issues. For my family, this has been a close encounter. Sometime ago now, a family member became so overwhelmed, illness very nearly took her life.

But in her own words:

"Its bean a tough journey but my friends and family have given me hope and helped me get through. You can have a mental illness and lead a rewarding life. I am one of the lucky ones who responds to medication and gets better all the time. I feel fortunate."

The main aim of rethink is to raise the quality of life for people affected by severe mental health issues. One of the toughest challenges for anyone suffering from a severe mental illness is not just the illness itself, but social exclusion, even from key issues such as physical health treatment which can become seriously affected by the illness as well. So rethink are currently surveying people who use these services to try to establish if they are getting adequate care.

Personally I am concerned by mental health treatment that places too much emphasis on medication without the resources or (arguably) drive to take a more holistic approach.

Whilst I appreciate medication is critical, it shouldn't be the only treatment. I was really pleased to hear about Rethink's "Personalisation" study which empowers unwell individuals to have more control over their own care. Options can include activities such as classes and sports. Something so simple sounding can be of great benefit...

Have look at their work on their website and if you feel you'd like to help, and donation would be hugely appreciated! You can safely do this on my Just Giving page.

Thank you!

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Cold weather cycling

Not a bad week of training this week despite the cold. Finally got set up with access to bike storage at work to resume commuter riding which has helped make this weeks total bigger than last weeks. Hurrah! Yesterday was a real mental battle to get out the house as it was just so cold! After a fair amount of moaning on my part I finally got going and it wasn't too bad provided I kept moving.

I cycled south out of London on the A24 sticking to the main road as it had been gritted recently - and got just about all the way to Horsham before turning round to head back north. I was also motivated by a visit to Dom's place and it was great to see him (and meet his cats). This added up to just over the 100km target for the day with a few ups and downs on the Surrey Hills:

When I got back home I was bitterly cold though and it took a shower, a hot drink and hiding under duvet to get warm again. I could see it clouding up in the late afternoon and sure enough the snow hit last night.

The snow has put an end to any chance of a recovery ride today, but am quietly not that bothered! Hmm London will no doubt have ground to a complete halt tomorrow...

Wednesday, 1 February 2012


I started training for this trip back in September 2011 but ramped up fairly slowly. Now, with only about 3 months to go I need to get more serious!

So at the moment I'm looking 1 long ride every weekend of at least 100km, with a recovery ride the next day. I'm gradually ramping up the length of the recovery ride until it just ends up being another 100km as well. During the week, I ride to and from work but this isnt a great distance and will soon need additional km's added as well.

Last weekend I had a great ride round Kent with the reward of visiting friends at the end to spur me on in the cold. I was a little shocked at all the hills around Kent! Not big, but tricky when you have been riding for 100km and you are not fit...1000 miles feels like such a long shot right now.