Saturday, 12 November 2011

Sporting Inspiration

Before I go on about my own meagre efforts I must say what a great performance by England to beat the World Champions tonight. It was a bit close for a while but our lads stuck to their principles, defended really well as a team and won quite comfortably in the end.

The England Football team did OK as well.

Nice to know the mighty all-conquering St Pats (probably the most famous Amateur Rugby League team in the world) are following me on Twitter. I am deeply honoured. The lads had a great win today. They came from behind with 12 men to beat local rivals Leigh East and  are on their way to a major final next week.

Checked my stats and found I have people in the USA Germany and Russia have read my blog. How good does it get?

Way to go     Благодарю тебя, мой друг    danke mein freund       (thank you my friend)

It rained early this morning but did that bother me? No. Not at all! It had stopped by the time I emerged from my pit at 10.00 am. I did my stretches and exercises, got some cereal (sponsorship available) down me and well and truly  "upped the ante". (Oooer missus). Yes, after much prevarication I finally did my 20 mile training route. I really felt OK but must resist the temptation to go too far this week. Did a decent speed as well and felt good at the end. Long way to go though  but a big step forward.

Friday, 11 November 2011

The money side of things

As far as this bike ride is concerned, it is self-funded. I am going to do it anyway and I am not asking for any donations or other financial assistance. 

I am not actually doing it for a charity but I have absolutely no objection to a charity or charities benefitting from my efforts. In fact, if I can help a worthy cause it will give me a particularly good feeling so it's all positive. They both benefit and so do I and there are no losers. 

My chosen worthy causes are :-

WIGAN AND LEIGH HOSPICE In their own words "Wigan & Leigh Hospice is a bright, modern building staffed by dedicated, caring professionals and assisted by volunteers; whose sole objective is to provide care, compassion and support for patients living with a life-limiting condition and their loved ones".  

FETHIYE INTERNATIONAL GROUP Again in their own words  To promote the education and welfare of children in the locality of Fethiye, through fund raising and voluntary activities.’

I will set up an account into which donations can be made. Any payments into this account, together with any cash donations, will be shared equally between the two. Alternatively, if you wish to donate to one in particular, you can do so through their own website. 

I had a night out last night so it's been a rest day today. Hoping for a dry day tomorrow while I "up the ante".

The Basic Plan

The basic plan is to get to Hull in two stages with an overnight stay at the house of an as yet unnamed friend (hello over there) in Yorkshire. The next stage will take the form of the overnight ferry to Rotterdam, hopefully with willpower (what's that?) preventing too much beer. Straight on the bike next morning and following the Rhine through Holland into Germany with a possible stop at the village of Enzberg where I (think I still) have a few friends. At a suitable point I will leave the Rhine and shimmy across Germany to pick up the Danube and then follow this majestic waterway through the capital cities of Vienna, Belgrade, Budapest and Bucharest to the Black Sea. From there down the coast into Turkey and either through the centre over the hills to Fethiye or maybe round the coast, Izmir, etc. The final route is to be decided and may even change as I go along, subject to progress and a lot of other things. The total distance is approximately 2,600 miles and at an average of 54 miles a day should be achieved in 48 days including 5 or 6 rest days. Sounds simple when you put it that way. Can't wait! 

I received the go ahead today from my chosen Charity in Turkey so will be working with both charities over the next few days in order to maximise income as well as pushing the boundaries of health and fitness back further.

Just managed the 11 miles today on my training run today. Something stopped me going for the 20 and it's just as well! After my training ride I took yon mon for a stick-chasing marathon around the new dam at the bottom of Coppull Lane and when I finally got home to finish a job and then put my feet up I found I needed ink for my printer. The old cartridge would not accept any more of that cheap refill stuff so off I went to ASDA. I made my purchase and cleverly left the car there while I walked into town to put a couple of cheques into the bank and pick up the Pork Scratchings for tonight's session (don't tell the manager). I ended up killing 2 birds with 3 stones because I forgot the car was at ASDA until I was nearly home so I ended up walking almost twice the distance I should have done. 

Not clever at all. Can you trust this man to find his way across Europe?    

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Quiet day on the cycling front

I haven't even thought about the ride today, until now that is.

Sunset at Calis Beach, breathing in like a good 'un

I had quite a bit of work to do so training and arranging took a back seat. I have had a positive response from one of my chosen charities but can not seem to contact the other one. I've sent a couple of emails out to try and track them down. We'll see how they get on.

I hope to do a decent ride tomorrow, 20 miles or so, while the weather is reasonable. May combine it with delivering a job or two in Skem and visit Mum at the same time.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

How did this all start?

Years of playing football Saturday and Sunday, together with a family history, left me with mild arthritis in both knees. The left is worse than the right, or should I say, the right is better than the left - more positive. I couldn't walk up hills in The Lakes, certainly couldn't jog, so I took up cycling. This happened about 4 years ago.

We have a small apartment in Turkey in the lovely little resort of Calis Beach near the town of Fethiye. We spend many holidays there and some family members also have apartments there.

It was at the last holiday in front of a number of witnesses, I jokingly announced that I was going to cycle over next time.

I later (sober) gave it some thought and it gradually dawned on me that I could actually do this and the more I thought about it the more I realised that it would be quite an adventure.

So I'm going to do it. Training is under way. Other arrangements are being made.