Tuesday, 29 June 2010

The cavaly has arrived...

To assist my fellow work colleagues during our Coast 2 Toast ride over the Pennines and back in 96hrs, today we have taken delivery of a Ford Galaxy, which will mostly be used for carrying some £300 worth of energy drinks, bars, gels and our Service Course workshop.

Just heard that full team kit, including arm and leg warmers (they know we're going North), has just arrived from Giant UK!

An early start tomorrow of around 7am will hopefully see us in West Cumbria for lunchtime. An short warm-up day to start goes over Whinlatter Pass to Keswick, then 3 long days in the saddle. Day 2 is over the Penines nealr to Newcastle, taking in about 7 main climbs including the Old Coach Road and Hartside. Day 3 is down to the coast at Tynemouth, before turning North west and heading to remote Kielder Forest, some 95 miles in total. Day 4 will take us briefly into Scotland enroute back to Cumbria for our last stop at Cockermouth. Sunday morning is a gentle run back to Whitehaven along the coast, and if we're not toast by then I'll be Belgium !!!

Friday, 25 June 2010

Trial Run

In readiness for my C2C challenge ride next week I have spend the last few days sorting out "Oom Johan", so now I have "pimped my ride" tourist stylie.

So yesterday I took him out for a spin to work, down some old lanes and bridlepaths to see how he handles. Effortless took all the rought stuff thrown at him, but will need some adjustment to the brakes to give a more positive response when braking on the hoods.

The panniers on tha back catch the wind just lovely, but the low 34/29 gear will hopefully handle the Old Coach Road out of Keswick and across Thelkeld Common to Dockray - my only fear for next week.

Back to yesterdays ride and the return home wasn't back at all. A quick stint up Moss Lane, over the potholes and road debris, then up the bridlepath to Pink Green where I met a padlocked gate. Even in tourist mode, Oom Johan was easily thrown over then I followed.

Here are a couple of pics of Moss Lane and the bridle path.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Mid Summer's Day

This morning I took the long way into work, firstly going 5 miles in the opposite direct before swinging round in a big loop. Funny thing, after about 7 miles I noticed another rider in the French tri-colour coming the other way - I think a jolly Bonjour! is in order, then notice it is Rob from work doing the same as me but the opposite way round. Rob will be riding the C2C with me next week, however as I was in "the zone", riding tempo it didn't occur to me to turn and ride with him until about 2 miles down the road!

As the clouds rolled away this morning and the sunshine flooded out, I happened to be passing an old "broken" lane that I often used last year when doing some 'cross training. So in my new Team HCtB jersey I took the turn into the track, the closest thing to cobbles around for a bit of rough stuff fun :D

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Wind, hills but no rain

The Sunday just gone was the last group training ride for our little team of work mate who are attempting the C2C and back at the end of the month. The plan was to meet up near Burton-on-Trent and ride north into the Peak District, take in a few climbs and circle round back for an 80ish mile ride. The route to be taken was similar to the Midland Monster sportive, and the aim was to get some serious hills under our belts. The forecast was bad, real bad. How wrong predictions can be. The torential rain came early, and all though we did have a stiff head wind to contend with as we headed north we made reasonable progress, until we got into the foot hills of the Peaks.

After struggling into the wind and up some long drags north of Waterhouses, we decided that it would be prudent to cut out the top corner of our route, about 10 miles and some seriously undulating terrain. After see the field of the Polka Dot streaming passed us in the other direction we cut across and headed toward Grindon and on to the "Wall at Wetton", measured at over 22%! After folks had recovered fromo their bouts of cramp and lack of oxygen we ambled thru the rolling countryside, taking in some spectacular views before taking a stop ate Ilam to refill bottles and scoff 99's before the ascent out towards Mapleton and Ashbourne. It was here at one of party could take no more and called for a the broom wagon, in the shape of his brother-in-law, to meet him by the chippy in Ashbourne Market Place. The rest of us only had the torturous climb out of ashbourne the a wind assisted run back to Burton, where we met up with our weary collegue again, who bought us a well earned pint.

The folks now have their eyes well and truely opened in readiness for our trek over the Pennines, where we will be taking in most of the major climbs in one made day from Keswick to Edmonbuyers - may the Madonna di Ghisallo smile upon us :)

Thursday, 3 June 2010

Terrible goings on up North

Yesterday a tragic incident unfolded in West Cumbria, 4 weeks to the day before we will be arriving for our big cycle ride across the country and back.

By mid afternoon over a dozen people lay dead and almost the same were injured after a gun man had gone on a shooting rampage around the countryside. I am thankful that this type of incident is very rare in the UK, and I'm sure that the Great British public will do what they can to help this rural community come to terms with what has happened.

It makes you wonder why folks feel the need to have firearms available at home...

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Only 4 weeks to go...

In four weeks time, myself and 7 work mates will be heading north to ride from the shores of the Irish Sea over the back bone of England to the North Sea and back via the borders country. Yes, another C2C but this time with the added twist of also riding back and all in aid of charity.

Covering 320miles, hopefully there will be no getting lost en route, in less than 96hrs we are hoping to raise £2000 for Birmingham Children's Hospital. Most people do just one way in 3 or 4 days so this will call for some speedy pedalling or some very long days.

Most things are all set to go; accomodation is booked, travel arrangements, even a support vehicle and driver.

We have a final training ride on Sunday riding 80 miles through the hills of the Peak District from Burton, and then we will see how everyone is fairing at this point and who can make a ride into work on Monday morning.