Category: Bristish Heart Foundation

a couple of firsts

A couple of firsts, it was the first time I have ever done a sponsored cycle ride and it was the first time I have ever cycled more than 25 miles in a single ride. To day was the British Heart Foundation (BHF) Dorset Bike Ride, the start (and finish) was at Queen Elizabeth School Wimbourne. Having read the info that came with my registration I decided that I wanted to be in the main car park (limited parking) so it meant getting up at silly o’clock on a Sunday morning to get to the school nice and early. Well we manage to get there a little to early but hey we had a choice of parking spots.

After the weeks glorious sunshine Sunday dawned damp, drizzly and cold not an ideal start to the day, in fact it was that cold I contemplated wearing my trousers and long sleeved top but I ended up with my short sleeved top and shorts. Waiting for the off, my time was spent viewing the array of bikes that were going to be ridden and making frequent trips to the loo, that liquid intake had to go somewhere!

As nine o’clock arrived the crowd gathered at the start line and as the horn sounded for the off I was to be seen cycling in the opposite direction round the car park, I decided there no point me being at the front so decided to wait till the rush had gone. Well at about 3 minute past 9 (according to my son) I crossed the line and followed the mass of cyclist down the main road for a 100yds and then onto a narrow country lane. One poor Land Rover driver never knew what hit him he was faced with a couple of thousand cyclist forcing him up the bank as we manoeuvred ourselves down the narrow lane, that one up for the cyclists.

Slowly the field started to spread out, I had no idea where I was going but as there were other riders in front of me I did not care, I just followed them. Now that was OK until we came to the point where the 25 mile route split from the main route, then suddenly there is only two other riders in front of me (at least within sight) and within a couple of hundred yards they were behind me. It was shortly after this that I found the only hill I could not conquer and ended up taking my bike for a walk (somebody said there were no hills??) to the sound of the local Witchampton church bells. I was soon back on my bike and making the most of the downward run.

I had been very concious of not racing off to fast as I did not want to burn myself out by the half way mark, I made the most of the downhill sections and coasted. I tried to find somebody to ride with but I could not find anybody at the same speed as me and when I slowed down to their pace I would found myself on there back wheel wanting to overtake them so I ended up riding at my own pace. A few more hills came and went as I slogged my way up them. The most disheartening moment came when I came across a sign which said 7 miles to go, I thought it was around 3 or 4 miles to go.

Around the same time as the 7 mile sign I noticed I was not passing many riders, at one point I was beginning to wonder if I was on the correct road, fortunately one of the BHF sign posts put my mind at rest. Apart from a couple of downhill section this was probably the fastest I had pedalled all day a nice straight flat section of road within 4 miles of the finish. Not sure where to energy came from for this fast pedal, might have been the energy bar I ate a little while earlier, I just enjoyed whizzing a long. It wasn’t long before I recognised a road junction and realised where I was (or at least confirmed my thoughts) I was within half a mile of the finish. The only problem with that was there was a horrible little hill to climb on the main road back to the school.

Near the top of the hill there was a cycle path\pavement so I took to the cycle path and headed for home, as I rounded the corner I could see the wife and son camera in hand waiting on the pavement outside the school. I whizzed past them into the car park and across the line. A quick check of the clock on the school wall showed that I had completed the 25 miles in 2hrs 15 minutes, at least that what I thought. My wife and son caught up with me and informed that I had done the 25 miles in 2hrs 3 minutes and I was about the 10th finisher from the 25 miler (as it is not a race the BHF don’t record times of finishing places), either way, I was well impressed, I never realised I was going that fast.

I will post sometime next week how much I have collected for my bike ride.

Heading for the finishing line
Don't like those skinny tyre on my bike
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Life goes on……………

Trying to be a little more upbeat today, nothing has changed, life is still conspiring to be difficult. I had a fairly good weekend to date, went to Westward Ho! beach in North Devon yesterday. The drive down was a lovely, the sky was blue and the sun was shining, but by heck when we got out the car and stood in the light breeze it was damm cold.

We went to Devon for a for a prior engagement, normally we go to the Ho! (as it is affectionately called in this house) at this time of the year as it normally the last Kite flying meeting on the beach before the summer restriction come into force. But as I am now left the sport and sold most of my equipment I was there just to say hello and good bye to some friend and take a few pictures of the days event. Will try and post a couple of pictures later.

Unfortunately the days events were not that great, there just was not enough wind. But the flyers were thankful for what they got as the forecast had been around 2mph. The beach itself was very rippled and large areas of soft sand, so you either found yourself stuck in the soft sand or you were knocking your fillings out over the rippled surface.

It am sorry to be leaving the sport but I just can’t justify having all the equipment and not using it, there just not the facilities around where I live to fly, to many weekends have been ruined by lack of wind, to strong wind or in the wrong direction.

By the time I got back home last night I did not have the energy to put my mountain bike back together again. As mentioned in my last post I was looking at the rear hub for the source of the clicking noise. Well things had not progressed well during the week, everything from the daughter only picking up one ball bearing instead of 18, to having a bag of bearings of two different sizes, down to not having the right inner tubes for the road tyres (more on that later). I had collected the wheels and tubes from the local bike shop before leaving for Devon on Saturday morning with the intention of fitting everything back on the bike Saturday night.

So 7am this morning I found myself sat in the garden (in a sunny spot) putting the wheels and chain back on my bike ready for a Sunday ride. As next weekend I am doing the sponsored bike ride (see the link at the bottom of the page) I had fitted some road tyres to the bike (hence the new tubes and my bike now looking very odd) and decided we would do a road ride.

We had intended to leave nice and early but I ended up watching the end of the Formula 1 race from China, seem as though I missed a lot of the action which happened in the first few laps. Don’t know what it is but I find something is missing from the racing now a days.

So when we eventually left home we headed for the New Forest. We had opted for a route starting and finishing just down the road from Burley village (free parking), no great distance as wifey can’t mange anything too long. All in all it was a nice ride, we choose the same weekend as Wiggle’s had one of their road rides running. Fortunately they were going in the opposite direction to us, saw everything from the old Raliegh bike to the super sleek high spec carbons racers and everything in between.

We stopped at Homesley tea room for a sandwich and refreshments (the wife was complaining) and very nice it was too. The wife did not fall off the bike this week which is quite unusual although she was nearly in collision with a donkey!

Tomorrow nights is the dreaded weigh in night, not sure what I will be like as I have been up and down like a yo-yo these past few weeks, all I know is there will be a weight!!

British heart foundation banner

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me and my big mouth

Seem as though I have said yes to doing a charity bike ride for the British Heart Foundation. I am doing the Dorset Bike Ride, as I have only just started this riding lark and the ride is on April 25th (so not much time to practice) I am only doing the 25 mile ride, my current longest ride is only 21.4 miles so need a little bit more distance practice. So as ever with these things I am going to be annoying you all for sponsorship for the event, I have a “JustGiving” page set-up so you can do all your donating online, go to my )link removed). Please donate as much or as little as you like, but please donate.

Unusually the wife decided to come for a ride this morning, she normally only does one ride over the weekend and she rode with me yesterday. So we decided to try somewhere new, well there was me scratching my head exactly where, the terrain and the distance late last night, the wife comes up with these idea but then leaves it to me to fill in the blanks. Anyway eventually settled on Wareham Forest after I found a route on-line and then modified it slightly.

I had intended an early-ish morning start, but we awoke a little bleary eyed after the daughter who was (supposed to be) staying at a friends overnight, but after (the friend) had an asthma attack and a visit to A&E, woke me at 3:00am this morning to let me know she was home and not staying at her friends, so kind of her!!

After a breakfast of scrambled egg on toast we soon on our way towards Wareham, we soon found a lay-by to park-in and were soon kitted up and pedalling of in to the distance. After several false starts trying to find the correct bridleway (the imported gps route did not overlay exactly on my gps map) we were travelling along bridleway and woodland paths I never even knew existed. We had to cut one section of the ride out as it showed up as marsh land on the map and looking down the trail it was certainly living up to its name. It was also starting to spot with rain so we decided to head back a different way and pick up the path we came in on. By the time we had returned to the car the sun was shining brightly overhead, sods law. We had notched up 14 miles, there was only one hill the wife could not master and to be fair it had me wheezing a bit, well a lot at the top. We both agreed that we will work out a new route around the forest which will include a new parking\starting spot.

It is weigh in night tomorrow night, I feel good about this past week, which is no measure of anything but I hope the 34.9 miles from this weekends riding add up to a good loss (Tim crosses his fingers)

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