It's the end of April, which means that I am just over 3 weeks away from starting my JOGLE. As the long rides increase, I am getting a realisation of just how hard this is going to be to achieve in just over 8 days, cycling from the top of Scotland to the bottom of England. 121 miles were cycled yesterday with the last 40 miles into a strong coastal headwind, it may have been flat, but there was no escape. I struggled to get the speed above 10mph at a few points as I became tired and bored of the wind.
I have booked a few "me" days over the next couple of weeks so that I can add in extra training without affecting family life too much. Next weekend I should be able to do about 200 miles over Saturday and Sunday, have Monday as a family day, then another 100+ miles on Tuesday. If all goes well over the weekend, it will add a good confidance boost...
It's also time I started to seriously think about exactly what I will be taking with me. A few basic tools need to be included, spare cycling clothes and a few clothes for the evening. I need to leave enough space in by bag for food though which I will be buying as I go along. Lots of Bananananananas and Mars bars methinks.
A nice ride today with Ian and Jez. I cycled over to Polegate to meet up at Ians house, then we went on a 35 mile loop around the Sussex lanes in the Sun. Yes I did say Sun!! Not a cloud in the sky for the whole ride, although it was still quite cool. After we arrived back at Ian's I thought I would go the long way home up to Beachy Head to add a few extra miles and a few hundred more feet of climbing. An afternoon at the golf with Caleb followed by going out for an Indian topped off a lovely day. I'm looking forward to riding about 100 miles tomorrow.
It's been an eventful couple of weeks since the last post, lots of training, my first 100mile ride and then a chest and throat infection which put me off the bike for a few days. Two rides have resulted in faulty valves on the inner tubes provided with the bike, despite Specialized selling their own brand tubes, these were some cheap chinese rubbish. Along with the dodgy valves I also had another puncture. Not sure that I can afford to have that much bad luck, so may well put my Schwalbe tyres on from the Raleigh, they seem less prone to puncturing. Need to order a few more decent tubes ready for the JOGLE.
My first 100miler went well. I managed to do it at an average speed of 15mph, which is well above the speed that I expect to do on the ride, so pleased with that. The first 50 miles was lovely, nice and warm, slight head wind. However after a coffee break, the weather had changed and I got soaked for the next 50 miles. Luckily i had my waterproof jacket with me, so kept most of the rain off my top half and kept warm. Could have done with putting the shoe covers on though to keep the feet dry.....
On the Thursday before the 100miler I had started to get a sore throat, which didn't hold me back for the 100 miler, but after 25 miles on Sunday I was starting to feel weak and found it hard to breath properly. However by Monday I knew that I should go to the Dr., so 8:40 I am sitting in the Dr's listening to him say I have a chest & thorat infection and also high blood pressure to boot. Not happy.... A course of anti-biotics seem to do doing the business though, I went out for a bit of hill training tonight without any ill effects. Blood pressure also seems to be back to normal, so much have been connected to the infection.
Onwards and upwards, this time in 5 weeks I shall be on the Inverness sleeper train :-)
So, 7 weeks today until I start my JOGLE. By this time I will have cycled from JOG down to Wick (17 miles) to what will hopefully be a comfy 1st B&B of the tour.
SInce my last post, many days, weeks ago, I have been doing lots of training, managing to actually get outside to ride rather than staying in on the turbo trainer. Most of these rides have been with my Carradice on the back, fully laden as it will be for the JOGLE. As I see it, there is no point putting the miles in if I don't do it with the bike weight and handling as it will be in 7 weeks time.
Last weekend a couple of longish rides were completed. A 65 mile trip taking in Seaford, Hailsham, Battle and back to Eastbourne. This was followed on Sunday by a ride over to see Mark in Portsmouth. Riding over to Portsmouth, I must say was a bit boring as once I was in Brighton, the road was flatter than a pancake.
This weekend Donna and I are partying big style! Friday night we are off to Brighton to see The Wonderstuff, with Erica Nockalls also providing support, we can't wait. Could be good exercise for the calves, bouncing around to the Stuffies is always good fun! Then on Saturday, we have a black tie do up in Crawley, the dancing might be a bit more sedate, but I'm sure the drinks will flow...
As for the riding, I am hoping to get a smallish ride in Saturday morning before we head up to Crawley, then I will ride back from our hotel in Crawley on Sunday. I have booked Monday off for a decent long ride, could well be my first 100miler! Fingers crossed....
Next time I'm here, will be watching the 8 legged groove machine that is The Wonderstuff