Friday, 25 November 2011

Quick One

No, not the ride. Just enough time to confirm I actually did 30.6 miles today at 12.2 mph. A bit tricky up near Preston with heavy rain and motorway junctions but I got through it OK. So now it's beans on toast and off to pick up Man With Bus Pass and off we go to Cropton.

Your good health.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Unsung Heroes

I thought I had nothing interesting to report so I wasn't going to blog today. The thing is, the work of the Real Ale Police is never over. To protect future generations we are out there, tasting meticulously in case standards drop. I have been out for a curtailed session tonight but you can sleep safely in your beds with the knowledge that my colleagues have been to all corners of the immediate vicinity, the suburbs of Worthington and beyond, tasting obscure beers for the benefit of all.

I met with the chaps tonight after their ordeal and find I am inspired to such an extent that I had to record their efforts. Apart from that I just happen to feel in the mood - so, spell checker activated - here we go on my situation.

Yes, indeed there is quite a dramatic situation  in prospect tomorrow morning. Slight-ish hangover anticipated. The bed in the morning will undoubtedly be warm and soft. So what will it be? Shall I spring into action and just get out there and do the 30 miles as required, as promised? We are talking two hours plus here. Or shall I turn over and make some lame excuse? Remember I am off to a monster two-day drinking session in the afternoon so my money is on the good answer. I have a long, non-cycling, rest ahead of me. It will be tough but I think I'll do the right thing.

Watch this space.     

Wednesday, 23 November 2011


I have been looking at equipment over the last week or so and the dramatic conclusion is that I need a new bike, or should I say, a different bike. I have finally accepted the fact that my dear little road bike can not take panniers or a rack which are absolute necessities and I will need a touring bike of some sort which is equipped with all the attachments for that sort of stuff. I have also been looking at proper cycling clothing, lightweight tents, sleeping bags and other camping stuff and none of it is cheap. It's a good job Christmas is only just round the corner and there is a small matter of a birthday as well but we don't want to mention that do we?

I will set up an equipment page on the drop down menu and will, from time to time, add what I believe I will need. Any suggestions will be welcome. Silly ones will only be accepted if they are really funny.

Again I didn't really feel like it this morning but what a beautiful day. Cool, yes, but clear and sunny so how could I refuse? To be honest it occurred to me that one day in the future I will wake up in my tiny sleeping bag in my tiny tent and I will have no choice but to get out there on the road, whatever the weather. Can't wait, actually.

Anyway, I managed a quickish 11 miles and will have a rest tomorrow before attempting 30 miles on Friday morning. I also need to get some work done before zipping off on Friday afternoon for a weekend of good company and real ale.

There was an interesting little interlude today. There I was lording it in the bus lane with all the cars for once giving me lots of space until I heard the noise of a vehicle behind me. What the.......I was thinking. Cheeky so and so etc.  Oh, a bus, sorry.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Less Haste More Speed

I had a meeting with a young man named Danny at Wigan and Leigh Hospice yesterday to discuss the ride and fundraising generally. I was very impressed with the set up there. I was shown around and was amazed with the general atmosphere and positivity. I left very happy that I am in a position to help in some way. I must admit I am not very good at fundraising so I was pleased to see that the financial aspect is in very good hands.

I have unfortunately not been able to visit my other chosen beneficiary but have been in contact, via several emails, with the Fethiye International Group. I am hopeful that arrangements we are in the process of making will maximise income at their end.

I managed my little 11 miles today. It was a struggle three weeks ago and now it's "little". I woke up to a murky Movember morning and didn't really fancy it. I was feeling a bit tired and generally convincing myself that I would be better off leaving it until tomorrow. The sky brightened up later on and so did I so I got my kit on and set off. I thought I'd best take it easy and conserve my energy for later in the week. Strangely though, I felt great towards the end and bombed home. I took a couple of pictures of Winter Hill from two different places and was pleased to see my Twitpics (aptly named) actually appeared on my map on the SocialHiking website. 

Monday, 21 November 2011

The Demon Drink

After an alcohol free Friday surely I couldn't manage an alcohol free Saturday as well!

Spot on, you are correct of course, I couldn't. I did a little favour for a relative a couple of weeks ago and was rewarded with a nice 15 year old Glenfiddich as payment. The bottle had been around for a while and needed opening so I had two glasses while watching Match of the Day. Very nice as well. For some reason I didn't feel too good on Sunday morning so I decided I wasn't going to drink any more. Of course, that doesn't mean I was going to drink any less*. I actually went out on Sunday afternoon for a meeting at St Pats Rugby Club (the most famous amateur rugby league club in the world) regarding arrangements for next year's under 18s team and managed to keep it down to a couple. Arrangements went well. We are obviously looking for players since we didn't have a team for this transitional short season. If you are of that ilk - come on down.

Today's ride was my usual 19.2 miles. Last week I went all the way around on the easy ring but today I mixed the two. I will know I'm on the way when I can do the whole circuit on the big ring. (I am sorry but if these cycling technicalities are above you just ignore them). The speed wasn't bad and I may have a little effort tomorrow.

There is a dark reason I may be out again tomorrow and it is alcohol related again. I am being dragged, kicking and screaming, to a weekend-long beer festival at Cropton in the North York Moors on Friday so will miss two days' training. If I'm out every day this week and manage a 30 mile ride on Friday morning I will feel I deserve the rest and will enjoy some tasty real ales with a clear conscience. The clarity of the headgear on the Monday after will be interesting to say the least.

*Shame on you if you didn't see that one coming.