Friday, 9 August 2013

Ride London 100 ~ Done! 6hours 15mins 7secs!!!

An early start to get to the Olympic Stadium for the start of the inaugural Prudential Ride London 100 event but well worth the 5am get up! The whole event was awesome!!!

I was utterly bowled over with the day, the exceptional organisation, marshalling and opportunity to ride on over a hundred miles of closed roads through our capital city, London... A once in a lifetime experience! I was also very proud once again to be raising funds for the Isaiah Trust!
Cycling out through London

The first 20miles or so of the ride passed in the blink of an eye! I was that busy trying to remain aware of the riders around me that I almost missed riding past the sights of the Tower of London and Harrods riding down Knightsbridge!
Quickly through the beautiful Richmond Park and then in to the lanes and rolling countryside of Surrey and a change to much hillier terrain.

It was a fast journey out of London... I didn’t drop below 19mph average on my bike computer until about 45miles where the first of the big climbs at Newlands Corner in Surrey kicked in which slowed me up a little (my best previous average event speed was 18.8mph on the Tri bars at Capesthorne Tri earlier this year over only 13miles so to maintain such a speed over 45miles was a shock!)
Summit of Box Hill!
Leith Hill was tough but doable but I'd thought the infamous Box Hill to follow was going to be even tougher so tried to pace it but it just didn't seem to have the same steeper incline sections as Leith Hill and at the summit I candidly wondered what all the fuss was about (certainly no match for Mow Cop in Cheshire!).

Cycling the closed roads in London!
I touched a breakneck speeds of 43mph though descending Leith Hill which on 22mm wide tyres is white knuckle fast! Saw a bad crash at the bottom where a few riders had clipped at I guess similar speeds... It didn't look pretty with not much lycra left on very road rashed bodies! Ouch!!! :-(

Houses of Parliament on the run in to the finish line
Other than a few seconds photo stops at the 50mile marker and top of box hill I didn’t stop until the drinks station at about 83miles to restock on drinks. A few moments off the bike on wobbly legs to get the most awful powdered drink I’ve ever tasted!

Pall Mall, Approaching the Finish Line!
The ride back in to London was great and probably about that time I really felt the benefit of drafting and wished I’d cottoned on to that tactic sooner! I tailed a group in from about 85miles in and just seemed to find new legs in their slipstream!?

The finish on Pall Mall was awesome! I felt just like Mark Cavendish on the sprint finish of the Tour de France! ;-)
And then the realisation that the ride was over and photo opportunities outside Buckingham Palace before meeting up with my family for a rest and gorgeous picnic in Green Park... What could possibly be better!... All in all it made for an unforgettable day!

With the cycle ride to and from the start line, I covered a whopping 118miles on the day!!!

At the finish outside Buckingham Palace!

For those interested you can see the full breakdown of my ride from the data uploaded from my Garmin GPS watch here ~

The most important thing of the day though was the invaluable funds raised for the continuing work of the Isaiah Trust! Over £320 in donations with around £400 from Cake Bake stalls and raffles in work! Bringing the total so far to well over £700 and counting! A massive thanks to Julie Jones at EGL for all her hard work baking and running the cake stall and raffle and huge thanks to everyone for their well wishes, donations and general support!

When sending out requests for donations I do often feel anxious and uncomfortable about pestering folks but the rewards are worth it and made worthwhile by some of the comments I got back such as "Thanks for an opportunity to retain some life perspective with the work challenges..." and "There are too few people on this planet that take time out to do things for others .My  concern with many modern charities is that the funding ends up going to pay a Chief Exec or worse indirectly funding a conflict. Yours seems very is not too much to ask that we support your efforts"... Very humbling!

The donation page will remain open until early November for any late donations... Nicky and Tim who run the charity cover all their own expenses at enormous costs to themselves so you can rest assured that EVERY penny donated goes direct to helping some of the most under privileged kids on the planet! ~


Thursday, 1 August 2013

July Training Blog, Ride London imminent!

This month the training has been all about getting extra miles in on the bike ready for Ride London 100 for the Isaiah Trust with some of the longest bike rides I've done to date!

This small registered charity was started back in 2001 by two friends I work with,  Nicky Cuthbert & Tim Broughton. The Trust work with street children and orphans in East Africa, providing homes, rehabilitation, street outreach, training and work programs.

I've been fundraising for the Trust since 2007 when they first got some places for the Great Manchester 10km Run. At the time I'd not run since shortly after leaving school and whilst I went weight training fairly regularly my aerobic fitness was rubbish!. My first runs were awful and I wondered what I'd taken on but with a good training plan I eventually worked up to running the 10km in just under 55minutes. Since then I've run it a few more times before progressing to a full blown marathon and then an Olympic distance Triathlon. What the Trust taught me is that you can put your mind to anything if you give it a go. It must have been very tough and over awing for Nicky and Tim in the early days to know where to start but the work they do and the lives they've changed has been an inspiration to keep myself fit and keep doing sponsored challenges in support.

The fundraising is hard. From raising over £2,000 in 2007 I only managed to raise £120 in 2012 but it was enough to pay tuition fees for a child which kept him in School for another year. Without that money he'd have had to leave the school. Every penny I can raise really will make that significant a difference to a kids life!

You have to be inventive with the fundraising. As well as being a bit cheeky (if you don't ask you don't get)! This year we're running raffles, a cake bake as well as sticking my chin out and asking for regular donations. Folk have been surprisingly and often overwhelmingly supportive! If I can raise enough to keep another few kids in school the aching legs at the end of the 100mile bike ride will have been a small price to pay... and in honesty I'm really looking forward to the event, if more than a bit nervous!

Ride London Cycle Shirt!
The Ride London event is being billed as the London Marathon of cycling, organised by the same team as a legacy of the London 2012 Olympics. The route follows the 2012 Olympic cycle road race where Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome, Mark Cavendish etc. chased but just missed a medal. To be riding the same route on closed roads finishing on Pall Mall outside Buckingham Palace will be awesome I'm sure!

Thanks to everyone who has supported so far ~ here's the link for those interested ~ 

Here's this month's training summary...

01/07/13 ~ 8 mile bike sprint around Winterley & Sandbach in 25mins 49secs
                  averaging 18.5mph
06/07/13 ~ 84mile bike ride from Abersoch to Barmouth along the Cardigan Bay
                  coastline in 5hours 25mins averaging 15.4mph

Bike ride past Criccieth Castle
10/07/13 ~ 11.5mile bike sprint around Sandbach
                   in 39mins 4secs averaging 17.6mph
14/07/13 ~ 18.4mile Bike sprint around Hassall,
                   Winterley and Crewe in 1hour 3mins
                   averaging 17.5mph
16/07/13 ~ 5mile check out ride after bike service
                  in 17mins 3secs averaging 17.2mph
17/07/13 ~ 32mile Climb of Mow Cop and loop around
                  Winterley & Crewe in 2hours 14mins
                  averaging 14.4mph
18/07/13 ~ 8mile bike ride to Boundary Water park
                  in 27mins 53secs averaging 17.1mph
               ~ 800m open water swim at Boundary in 20mins 40secs
               ~ 10.5mile bike ride back from Boundary in 36mins 24secs averaging
21/07/13 ~ 27mile bike ride around Abersoch taking in the Pwlhelli Tri bike
                  circuit in 1hour 39mins averaging 16.2mph
28/07/13 ~ 31.2mile bike ride from Pwllheli to Porthmadog in
                  1hour 52mins averaging 16.7mph
29/07/13 ~ 13.5mile bike around the Pwllheli Tri course in 52mins 5secs
                  averaging 15.6mph