Saturday, 19 November 2011

Health Scare!

I managed a few beers on Thursday night but had some bad sniffles early on and expected the worst the morning after. I woke with a small hangover and a bit of a cold but got gradually better as the day went on. That's the beauty of drinking. Dean Martin once said, "feel sorry for people who don't drink. They wake up in the morning and that's the best they're going to feel all day." I felt better still this morning, after a very rare alcohol free Friday night, and completed the short 11 mile ride at about 14 mph which is quite pleasing. There was a bit of a wind against from Coppull Moor or it would have been quicker. Where did the wind come from, I wonder? It wasn't there earlier. It's funny but cyclists never really notice the wind when it's behind them. 

Another beautiful morning. I started with gloves on but soon had them stashed in the back of my jacket. The weather is holding out, tremendous for November, but I believe it will be colder next week but still not much prospect of rain and that's the main thing. I'm not looking forward to going to the gym to train. Much better out in the open air. Another rest day tomorrow and then into only the third week of training, hopefully with a step up in distance to 30 miles at the end. 


Thursday, 17 November 2011

Buddies and Beacons

I thought I'd post early today after my training ride and before my trip into town for a bit of business and the purchase of tonight's victuals to accompany a few proper real ales.

No burn - No gurn
A funny thing happened on the ride. Spooky even. I had set up Viewranger BuddyBeacon to record my progress and was amazed to find a text, when I stopped for a drink of water, from an old "buddy" who was following my progress on the internet. I later found out he was looking at the Blog and clicked on the link from Viewranger that I had added in an earlier post, "Track Me Down". I wasn't aware that it updated like that. A bit more education required, I think, but it bodes well for the proper ride if I can get that sorted out. Needless to say, the old codger (I'm being kind) gave me some stick about my speed but I was too shocked to make a sufficiently caustic reply. I managed the 20 (just less) miles anyway at 12.4 mph which is acceptable at this stage, for me anyway.

Here I am returning from  yesterday's effort, well wrapped up as usual. I am trying to smile but it actually looks like a grimace.Trust me.

Finally, I tried out proper cycling shoes yesterday and they felt great. My other equipment is OK for now but I think I will need better stuff and more of it. As you can see it was gloomy yesterday but beautiful sunshine today. A great day to be out and about. I'm delighted with progress so far and with so many other aspects of "the project".

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

He is "The Man...

...Who Cycled the World". I have been reading Mark Beaumont's Story. That's the title of his book

It's a bit humbling. Mind you, he did have his mum with him for a few days and a masseur for a week! No, seriously, 100 miles a day for 195 days is frightening to say the least. It is very interesting reading and I have learnt a lot from it. It makes me want to get going now.

I have noticed a number of comments made on earlier posts offering advice. I have tried to reply to them all. If I haven't acknowledged you then I apologise. Please keep them coming. I am delighted to hear from anyone who has done this sort of thing.

I just did a steady 11.06 miles this morning (the .06 is so very important) and intend doing a 20-ish mile tomorrow. I actually felt quite stiff after today's ride and thought I might benefit with a massage if I am to do a bit tomorrow. I haven't done a back to back ride yet. I imagine it will be easier than back to front. Anyway, I looked on You Tube and found a number of helpful videos, the most appropriate by a gentleman named Rich Poley showing self-massage methods . I had a go and did feel better so we'll see how that works after tomorrow's ride.


Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Track Me Down

Had quite a productive day today. When I have more to do I seem to get organised better and actually do a lot more. Don't worry, it won't last.

Barney, the blue merle border collie, was winking at me the other day, or so I thought. As this went on the two young adults who share(?) our house decided to do something about it and took him to the vet. It turned out he had an eye infection and I am now just short of £50 poorer. The vet also said he was overweight ( I don't remember asking for a second opinion). Suddenly a rota is produced and today just happened to be my turn. No cycling for me today so, after a productive morning earnings-wise, I didn't mind taking the poor lad for a decent walk. I nearly damaged my shoulder throwing the stick so many times.

I did some "joinery" in the kitchen this afternoon, repairing hinges and shelf type things which gave me a warm glow and, if that wasn't enough, I managed with the help and patience of a young man named Russell, to get sorted with a website named Viewranger. This tracks you down using signals sent from your phone.

This evening I made a couple of visits to discuss arrangements with a couple of friends in Parbold and then in Ormskirk. I had set the Viewranger BuddyBeacon to send a signal every 5 minutes and here is the result.

Very useful if you need an alibi. Lend someone your phone and get them to ride around while you rob a bank.

No rain forecast for a few days so I might go for a decent ride tomorrow with my new cycling shoes. See, I have been so productive I nearly forgot that major item of news.   

Monday, 14 November 2011

Power of T'Internet

I have a facility on this Blog to see in which country pages have been viewed. I find it remarkable that people in USA, Russia, Canada, Australia etc., have viewed some of my pages. I am fascinated and flattered at the same time. There is also a person in Bulgaria which is interesting (are you a cyclist?). I posted a link on the "Calis-Beach Forum", the other day so unsurprisingly, I now have a number of followers in Turkey and I am very grateful already for all their good wishes.

I have been working on the route today and hope to one day upload a map showing, in a decent amount of detail, the road I intend to take. The operation is taking some time, basically because I don't have the computer skills, but I will get there. For now, I will include a list of the towns where I intend to stay in the drop down menu. If you live in or near any of these towns please feel free to join me for as long as you like, as long as you don't go too fast, that is.

I have actually done a bit of work today. I woke to an unfamiliar and distant sound which I recognised from yesterday morning as the alarm on my new phone. Then I remembered it was charging in the loft, which is my workplace. So I left it tinkling away for a few minutes (20 actually) as I slowly came around. There was a day I would have rushed upstairs to switch it off. I think I may have had too many Turkish holidays.

I was soon ready for the day's training which was a comfortable 10 miles. No sense in going too far yet. It is not only the legs that have to get used to the distance. The soles of the feet, hands, shoulders and of course bum cheeks all need to very gradually get used to riding further. On a similar note, my good friend Phil emailed me earlier today with hopes that I don't suffer too much in the Balkans.

Benny hill lives on.  

Sunday, 13 November 2011

A Few Calculations

When I am cycling I tend to carry out little calculations regarding distance, speed etc to keep my mind occupied. Sad, I know. I also sometimes sing out loud which can be embarrassing at traffic lights. You can get away with it in your car but not on a bike. Here are a few calculations I thought out the other day while riding.

I intend to do about 50 miles a day. I can ride now quite comfortably at an average of 12.5 mph which would take 4 hrs a day riding. I will however be carrying about 20 kgs of equipment on "the ride" so it is logical to conclude that I need to ride faster on training runs to equate to the main ride. I could always carry extra weight on training rides but I haven't got panniers yet and I don't like the idea of a rucksack. 

An extra 20 kgs of kit represents 44lbs and somehow I don't think I can lose that much so, with my current weight of 213lbs plus bike at 23lbs the total training weight is 236lbs. With 44lbs added makes a total of 280 lbs which is nearly 20% extra so I need to go 20% faster on training runs to be able to achieve 12.5 mph on the proper ride. 

I think I'll settle for 10 mph on the ride and take 5 hrs a day.

I have had the green light from my old pals in Yorkshire so the first night's stop is sorted. The second night is on the Hull-Rotterdam ferry so only another 40 odd nights to organise.