Friday, 22 May 2009
As the details about Rapha's Saville Row Suit emerge, I am imagining an exciting new task for Surallan's witless recruits........... clad of course in Timothy Everest's fine creation.
Anyone for a spot of courier racing through London by the self styled finest business brains in the country (!) wearing said apparell? Last one to the Boardroom gets 'You're Fiyed'?
Friday, 15 May 2009
The format is as follows:
Sunday 17 May Hull – Salterforth, East Lancs
100 mile roadbike ride
Monday 18 May Salterforth – Wigan
46 mile kayak along Leeds Liverpool Canal
Tuesday 19 May Wigan – Maghull
24 mile mountainbike (on Canal) followed immediately by:
Maghull - Liverpool, Albert Dock
13 mile (half marathon) run
The chosen charities are:
Army Benevolent Fund
Great Ormond St Children’s Hospital
St Joseph’s Parkhill (my children's school)
It has been organized by one of the parents at the school, and there is a team of 4 of us, with Landrover support from a further lucky soul. We have been supported by British Cycling and will be wearing full GB kit (I kid you not!) and using nutritional products from Science in Sport.
There is an official send off with press coverage from the school Summer Fair on Saturday and the school children are going down to the canal on Monday to watch us paddle past at 4 different locations.
Follow us live in the run up and from the course on www.twitter.com/C2CChallenge with pics and updates as we go along.
Blog updates later when the dust has settled.
Tuesday, 12 May 2009
As I was chatting to a friend I hadn't seen for nearly 20 years at the end of the Fred Whitton, he astutely remarked that for him, riding this type of event led to a gradual release of memories and experiences over subsequent days and weeks, one that sustained him for some time, after the physical memories had gone.
This chimed well with my previous experiences too - though I still have some very physical reminders of my day out last Sunday. The denouement started at Cockley Beck as I fell apart in the cold, hail and rain after the brutal effort of Hardknott, continued with an anti-climatic finish at Coniston and rumbles on this week in the aftermath. I won't attempt a blow by blow account of the ride, others have been there before more graphically and accurately than I can achieve. For me, the Fred was a series of snapshots along the way that are gradually coming together in my head to form a definitive narrative:
the loneliness of riding 8 hours with 1100 people and chatting to only 3 at any great length. Must work on being more sociable.......
incomprehensible and irrepressible Geordies up Holbeck Lane
catching the tandem train into Keswick - wow, those things go fast down hill
carnage on the first 25% ramp up Honister
relief on being in one piece at the base of Honister compounded by the mirror like beauty of Buttermere - sublime.
a chat and thanks from a lovely woman for keeping her safe on the narrow, car laden descent from Newlands to Keswick. She dropped me like a bad habit after Lorton - strong.
delight at seeing friend and NW Cross Vets champion Mick Style, only for me to immediately crash heavily off the 1st right hand hairpin off Kelton Fell down an embankment and into a large bramble and nettle patch.
surprise at how much blood can come from such tiny wounds and how so many thorns can take so long to remove from my hands
the painrelief from aching arms and shoulders afforded by a huge release of adrenaline after crashing.
the subsequent collapse in energy as the adrenaline wore off.
Jebby and Dobbin dancing on the pedals in the big ring at the top of Cold Fell.
riding into Mordor (as http://irontwit.creativeblogs.net/ so aptly put it), as I headed up Eskdale into the impending storm above Hardknott.
being interviewed riding the 30% ramp on Hardknott - are you serious?
fear down Hardknott and Wrynose - 1 crash was enough already.
numbness through Little Langdale, I just want to get home and warm again.
resignation on missing a sub 8hr ride - do I really have to come back again??
Courtesy of janpat41, Flickr
I had delusions of grandeur really - a sub 7hr Elite time was achieved by many superb riders, but in realilty is not a remote possibility for me. I wanted 7.5hrs but the Fred humbled me as it should - it's not a ride to be trifled with. I emerged, cut and bruised but with a new and sanguine (no pun intended) appreciation of why it is one of the finest one day challenges in the country.
The next challenge is this weekend - a Charity Coast to Coast, Hull to Liverpool over 3 days and using 2 wheels, a kayak and my running shoes. Post later in the week.
Many thanks for all your kind words and comments. Appreciated.
Monday, 11 May 2009
No of bottles of wime consumed that evening to ease pain from lacerations and over-exertion - 1
And my time.........
More to come...........................
Friday, 8 May 2009
Mark with his background in personal training told me to zone into a positive mental state. He's right of course, but the temptation to interpret that as getting hammered on Duvel and Delerium Tremens wasn't that helpful to the overall goal. Luckily before long I realised that it was my insistence on perfection that was doing me down - wanting to get into the right group, wanting an immaculate pacing and nutrition strategy, wanting to ride up Hardknott at all costs and above all, wanting to get an Elite sub 7hr time.
(I still want to get up Hardknott without putting any feet down though..........)
Tuesday, 5 May 2009
After a slightly forced answer confirming that indeed she and our mutual offspring were also in my thoughts on a regular basis (note no pecking order attached), I started to worry about what she was intimating and indeed the fact that she was onto something - that I had an obsession of grand proportions. Having not heard too many uses of the 'O' word in a positive connotation, it began to occur to me that this might not be a good thing either.
I study maps of where I would like to ride, I study pictures of equipment I would like to ride with and in, I study maps of where races have been and where they are going to go. Witness fellow Flanders sportive rider and friend Gary as he was both frightened and reassured by my encyclopaedic knowledge of the Tour of Flanders sportive route, despite the fact that I had never until that point ridden in Flanders, let alone done that particuar route. Hours of map, route and DVD study had given me a frightening amount of information, some of which I simply couldn't let go to waste as we pedalled through the Flandrian landscape. He found it vaguely useful to know how far there was to go or whether there was a climb ahead. Me, I was living my dream..........