Sunday, 24 June 2007

The day had come!

It was now time to get on the bikes and ride from London to Sheffield.

Setting of from St Pancras at 0430am the 4 of us found lovely weather and quite roads as we went down the back streets of London.
Skirting Hampstead Heath making good progress north till after barely a couple of hours one of the teams pedal stems snapped with no spare available. The poor chap was faced with peddling one legged, and running along when he came to a hill.
We carried on like this to Elstree where we took breakfast and waited for Halfords to open.
0905 - bike fixed by Halfords and off we set.
Lunched in Luton.
1630 made it to our first base.12 HOURS in the saddle. Quick dinner and sleep.

Plus of the day, never got lost once which was pretty good coming out of London.

Negative of the day, Skelleys pedal failing.

Bed at 2000

Day 2. Off we go. We had originally planned to do a 4 day trip but decided to get to derby instead of Leicester on this leg, leaving us with a day three finish by doing Derby to Sheffield.

The weather again was kind and some of us were sporting a sun tan (burn).

Today’s low points - Number 1, we were near Sharnbrook when we spotted a short cut and initially the route looked good, but it turned into an off road trail. A location map called it a bridal open access trail (B.O.A.T) Well you needed a boat to cross it! The muddy puddles were like lakes, and by the time we had done the short cut had taken us longer than going round the road as we struggled through the mud for 40 Minutes.

After that we needed to find a garage to jet wash the bikes to stop the gears locking up. Whilst jet washing we took the time to jet wash our muddy legs.

The days were broken up into frequent stops to drink and then the inevitable stops to pee.

After one of these stops on day 1 I returned to the bike and found that I had a shooting pain in my right knee when I peddled, which was so bad at times on day two I wondered if I would be able to finish.

Then my knee clicked and the pain was gone never to return.

We made Leicester about 1500, took lunch and set of for Derby.

This was to be the break in the weather. We had rode with the sun on our backs now we had rain in our eyes.

Then we ended up delayed at the side of the road for 40 minutes when we got separated and two went one way and another a different way so we were heading in 3 directions.

Then we finished up on a three lane A road in the rain, scary or what .

We made Derby some time after 2000.

We got sorted for tomorrow ready for a early start and then about 2300 went to kip.

Day 3 – Run for home

Today it was if we had to earn a right of Passage and the ride decided to try and defeat us.

Within minutes of setting off at 430am it began to rain. Light changd to heavy rainan this stuck with us all the way home.

We had found very few UP hills to this Point, but now we hit them regularly as we climbed out of Derby to Alfreton.

Some rain miles later we hit Alfreton at 0630 looking for food. All the cafes shut but the good people of Tesco opened up for us 1 hour early cause we looked like drowned rats.

Then off we set for the rain drenched ride to Sheffield. We were on our last legs as we battled hills and mud filled cycle Paths from Chesterfield to Sheffield, but at last we reached Park Hill flats, 1 mile from Sheffield station. We were nearly home!

POP!!!! The first Puncture delayed our moment of glory.

Finally it’s fixed and we sail into Sheffield station!

In this time we had had rode about 200 miles, had 16 hours sleep over 4 days, and spent 32 hours in the saddle.

I asked the team if they wished to cycle back to London, no takers.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

The T shirts with the charity markings on have arrived, actually look the part now.

Put another 40 miler away with the boy on the back, went very well, Sheffield to Clumber Park and deviations.

The route is planned out, I am ready to go.

I am amazed what you can do with a bit of effort. From early December - first ride returning home after 1 mile with a dizzy head to feeling comfortable after a forty miler. Hopefully without the ballast on the back I can translate that into double the distance.

Friday, 11 May 2007

The cycling has been going very well, with my record distance now 40 miles with the boy on the back.

Try to get out on the bike most days now.

One problem I had was an encounter with a swarm of bees which were between me and my destination on a narrow bridge, luckily I had my yellow jacket on and they thought I was one of them and let me pass unharmed.

Only weeks away from the actual ride!

Tuesday, 17 April 2007

First entry for some time , sorry but my excuse is that I have eloped to Gretna green with my bike, it certainly feels that way as that’s all I appear to be doing in my spare time.

Not really cracked the 3O mile mark yet in one single ride, but I can notice the difference in my leg strength.

Trips I undertook on the one day i had off. I got me, the bike and the ballast out of the house by 0625 to cycle to the train station to join the 0714 service to Alfreton and then cycled back to Sheffield from there. No major problems on the trip.

I have decided to practice changing tires/mending Punctures etc.. to get my speed up should this happen, so every other night I change the tyre, sad or what, against the stop watch. My best time so far is 58 minutes.


Sorry, time to go put the bike to bed now.

Saturday, 17 March 2007

Windy day , having picked up the bike from repairs the crank clicking has gone yahooooo.

Todays objective - Worksop. Met son number one(the big one) and off we set , until we got to Wales (not 'the' Wales but a village near the motorway ) and then son number 1 has a fit in case his mates see him and I convince him he will not be spotted as the route quickly turns cross country. Uneventful relaxed ride apart from a detour caused by road works. The road that was shut was about 1 mile long, the detour was about 3 miles long.

On the way back we discovered why the ride was so relaxed on the way out. On the way back we were now sailing(cycling) into the force of nature the wind, even the down hill stretches you needed to peddle!

Saturday, 10 March 2007

Out with the other boy, the big one. Quick nip to chesterfield and detour around Sheffield, the longest ride I have done to date about 25 MILES. GOOD but day one of the actual charty ride is 60 odd miles.

Think , would I be able to do 25 mles and go straight back and do it again.........errr no!

Thursday, 8 March 2007

Went for a quick spin, finished off with a ride up Handsworth hill. I was really pleased with my efforts, puffing my way up the hill, until an old lady on a bike over took me and started to hold a conversation with me and she wasn't even out of breath! She then dropped a gear and sped of into the distance, kicking gravel up as she accelerated!