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Archive for July, 2008

London to Cambridge Cycle Ride 2008

I did it, I completed the London to Cambridge Cycle Ride 2008 in 4 hours 19 minutes.

I would like to thank everyone that supported me, helped me, gave me advice and sponsored me, you know who you are. I would especially like to thank Yvonne for putting up with me through all the training.

The day before the cycle ride I made some fruit smoothie, to build up my energy, I ate mostly all day carbohydrates, I had plain porridge with a banana chopped into it, for lunch wanted to have a jacket potato, but had to eat out and ended up having sausage roll, and a shared baguette with butter. For tea I had Tuna pasta salad with a side order of new potatoes cooked in minted oil (in the microwave not deep fried).

I bought some carbo tablets and sports powder to add to water for energy, also come carbo gel.

We went to bed just before midnight as I needed to make sure I had everything, I am a person that believes in ‘just in case’ I tend to over pack rather than travelling light. I packed my bicycle pump, mini bike tool kit, puncture repair kit, 2 spare inner tubes, waterproof trousers, waterproof jacket, tracksuit bottoms (in case it was a cold day) clothes for after I finish, sandwiches, carbo tablets, sports powder and carbo gel all in my pannier.

The following morning woke up at 4:30am, rechecked everything in the pannier, and the things I was going to have on me or my bike like padded cycling shorts, cycling top, helmet, shoes, socks, MP3 player, water bottle, money, cash card, keys and mobile phone.

We packed the things and children in the car and put the bike on the cycle carrier and set off. We got there in plenty of time and I unloaded my bike and we started packing it in bubble wrap, to protect it for the journey. I had to then stand in a queue for 30 minutes to pack my bike in the lorry.

Eventually I packed my bike and got on the bus, we must have waited there at least an other 30 minutes before setting off. We were meant to start the ride at 7:30 am but we did not arrive there until 8:30 am.

After unpacking my bike, removing the bubble wrap, going to toilet and getting ready it was nearly 9:00 am. I got my map and went to the starting line.

When I set off it was an easy start as we were on normal roads in traffic, so a leisurely 12 mph, we then got more into the country and we could speed up a little. I still wanted to keep my speed around 15mph as I didn’t want to burn myself out like I had done previously.

The road was more hilly than I was used to being used to Cambridge which is the flattest place on the earth, but it was not more than I could handle. After about 13 miles I got to the first refreshment stop, so I finished my drink and locked my bike up and went to buy some water. They had sold out of bottled water but I was welcome to use the garden tap, which I did. I put some sports drink powder into it and set off again.

At 19 miles there was a grassed playing fields where you could sit down and relax, again they didn’t sell bottled water, so I bought a sandwich and a pint of orange squash. I sat down eating and drinking for about 10 minutes then I set off again.

At about 20 miles the road got really hilly and I was starting to struggle a little, the good thing is the more you climb the more you can coast down the hills. I decided to use the coasting down the hill as my break, so I would be happy coasting down at 15 – 23 mph and having a break rather than pushing it and getting up to 25 – 28 mph and not resting.

I kept going until about 33 miles in and had a drink break, where I finally could buy some water, so I bought 3 bottles of water. I felt ill and was close to passing out from the lack of water and a temperature of 32 degrees Celsius. I put one bottle of water in my empty water bottle, the other one I drank straight down and the other one I put into my pannier.

After this I continued and it the further I got the easier it was to continue. At 50 miles in it had a 10 mile count down, this was great, however, I thought this was a 55 mile cycle ride not a 60 mile cycle ride. It is only 5 miles but that could be the difference between being able to finish and not being able to.

During my cycle ride there was a “30 miles to go” sign “20 miles to go” sign. but from “10 miles to go” sign it counted down each mile. This was great because it spurred me on as for a mile I was saying to myself “only x miles to go now”.

I was so happy when I saw the “Welcome to Cambridge sign”. As I got closer and closer there were more people that started clapping and cheering as we passed. It was a great feeling, and the people lined the streets near Midsummer Common.

When I reached Midsummer common, I passed through the finish line I received a certificate to say that I had done it and a bottle of water, I could have done with the water earlier, but never mind.

I then spent a couple of hours in Midsummer Common with my family, it was a great day. It was a fantastic experience, I would recommend any one to do it, and I would certainly do it again. I felt tired and sore for the rest of the day, but the next day I felt good and cycled 13 miles to collect sponsorship money.

I will add some photographs to this blog but my card reader cannot read the card with the photos on, I will have to add them later. During the ride I made a video that I will post a link to on when I have put it all together.

All together I have raised over £400, thank you to everyone.

Unfortunately, I cannot post any more photographs on this blog, I must be up to my limit, but please see my facebook (http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=730690708) for the photographs from the london to cambridge cycle ride

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I can go the distance

Last weekend was the last opportunity to cycle a long distance, so last Saturday I set out to go as far as I could, I was disappointed that I got very tired and wanted to turn back after a couple of miles. I had not cycled much for a month before this, so I thought all my hard work was in vain.

I managed to struggle but when I got home I had managed 20 miles.

I was very disappointed with this so Saturday I decided to Carbo-Load and try some of the things that I was told. So on Sunday, I set out to do over 4o miles. I got to 22 miles and was not feeling that tired, so I stopped for lunch. I set out again, it was tough at first to re-start but before long I back in my stride.

I went from my house to Landbeach, Waterbeach, down by the river to Chesterton, Newmarket Road Park and ride, then to Swaffham Bullbeck, Swaffham Prior and on to Reach, then a couple of miles on the wrong road and back (oops), then back to Swaffham Prior, Swaffham Bullbeck, and to Chesterton, Waterbeach, Landbeach, Milton, Milton Road Cambridge where I used to work, Histon, Oakington and back home.

When I got home I had managed 51.8 miles and I had enough energy to continue my day, I was a little tired but not as bad as I expected to be.

Hopefully the cycle ride tomorrow will go as smoothly.

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Is 35 miles my limit

I tried to cycle as far as I could, I cycled out on national cycle route 51. I got about 17 miles out and felt really ill.

I had to return, by the time I got back I had done 35 miles, but I was exhausted, I spent the afternoon laying down as I did not have any energy.

Yvonne cooked a nice roast chicken for dinner, I only had enough energy to only just eat it. After that I felt much better and I was OK again.

I was worried about the London to Cambridge cycle ride coming up and I could only just make 35 miles, I had to do an extra 20 miles on the cycle ride.

I was talking to people about this and the reason was diet. I only had some serials for breakfast and I set off for my ride at lunchtime, so I had no carbs. I also spent the first 5 miles at over 20 mph, so I burned all the energy that I had very quickly. I also did the whole trip without stopping.

For the London to Cambridge I am Carbo-loading, which means that I am spending the whole of today eating carbs for every meal. In the morning I will take some energy food with me like bananas and energy bars, and I may stop for come lunch, and have a couple of peanut butter and jam sandwiches. But just as important, when I set off I will pace myself and try to stick to 15mph. Hopefully this should work.

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Last chance to sponsor me

Tomorrow is D-day, so as you know I will be cycling from LONDON to CAMBRIDGE 2008, which is 55 miles to raise money for Breakthrough Breast Cancer and would really welcome your support, either to be there at mid-summer common, Cambridge tomorrow afternoon, or to sponsor me.

Please take a moment to sponsor me if you have not alread. It’s really easy – you can donate online by credit or debit card at the following address:http://www.justgiving.com/breatnacAll donations are secure and sent electronically to Breakthrough Breast Cancer. If you are a UK taxpayer, Justgiving will automatically reclaim 28% Gift Aid on your behalf, so your donation is worth even more. Please join me in supporting Breakthrough Breast Cancer and a fabulous cause. London to Cambridge cycle ride tomorrow,

To see more about the London to Cambridge Cycle ride 2008 please visit http://www.bike-events.com/Ride.aspx?id=158

Breakthrough is the UK’s leading charity committed to fighting breast cancer through research, campaigning and education.Their essence comes from the thousands of people who are committed to a single vision – to work for a future free from the fear of breast cancer. http://www.breakthrough.org.uk/

Donating through this site is simple, fast and totally secure. It is also the most efficient way to sponsor me: Breakthrough Breast Cancer will receive your money faster and, if you are a UK taxpayer, an extra 28% in tax will be added to your gift at no cost to you.So please sponsor me now!

Many thanks for your support.

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120 miles in a week

On may bank holiday I did the Cambridge to Reach Cycle ride which is a return trip of 20 miles, as I cycled to Reach via Cambridge from my house it turned into 38 miles.

This was the first time that I had cycled with other people, the pace was very slow but it did not seem as long as 38 miles all together.

When I got to Reach it was great as they had a fair, the mayor threw pennies to the peasants (old tradition). The best thing about it was that as I arrived on my bike I saw my family and friends greeting me.

I can only imagine what it is like to have my family and friends greet me when I finish the London to Cambridge, the thought of that will spur me on.

The cycle ride to Reach introduced me to to the national cycle routes, they are really good and plan out a known cycle route. I took that week off work and cycled everyday, I ended up cycling 120 that week.

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No time to write

Sorry, I have not written in this blog for a while, I have been busy with a lot in my life lately. I have a new job in London now. So getting ready for that has been pretty hectic.

I have some stuff to write from May, but the truth is apart from cycling to work and back, between bad weather and being busy, I have not done that much more cycling lately.

The London to Cambridge Cycle Ride is looming, although I think I will make it, I wish that things had been a little different and that I had the time to cycle more and write in this blog more.

I am now staying in a room in a shared house in London during the week and going home at weekends. It keeps me pretty busy. I do not have my bicycle with me. but I will pick it up this weekend.

I will write more soon…

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