Friday, 30 December 2011


I have heard about a technique in sports psychology whereby the performer is encouraged to visualise a successful outcome to his task. It is felt that if you "see it happening" your body is more likely to "make it happen". High jumpers see themselves sailing over the bar. Golfers picture to ball rolling into the hole before they take a putt etc. Now I agree that this technique will not be of much use to me. I can certainly imagine riding down the main road in Fethiye on my bike but there are a few thousand other things I have to get right for that to happen.

However, after tea yesterday, with the help of Google Maps, I plopped the little yellow man down at the ferry terminal at the Hook of Holland and managed to literally "visualise" the first mile or so of Stage 3 of my journey. It looked like a nice road, very flat, and there seemed to be a wide cycle track next to the road, which would be nice. I could have spent a few hours and maybe completed the stage but let's just say I had other things to do. It was Thursday after all and there was beer to be drunk although the call isn't as loud or clear when you've had a drink or two every other day for the last week. We got through it though and very enjoyable it was, too.

I woke this morning and imagined what it would be like waking up in my tent. Would I turn over and go back to sleep (like I actually did this morning), or would I jump up, eager to get out on the road? For a start I would have to figure out what day it was and also where I was in the world. That could take a while. It is likely that I would have been in bed earlier than usual so I wouldn't be too tired. Also, I don't think the sleeping bag and mat will be as comfortable as my own bed so I suspect I would probably lie there for a short while and then get on with it. So you see, I have visualised it. I just have to do it now - 50 odd times.

The weather was cold and wet and miserable today but I managed a quick 11 miles at 14 mph despite the rain and hangover. I haven't done many miles this week for various reasons but I do feel a lot better today mentally and physically. Next week will be the halfway point in the training schedule and time to complete the equipment and kick on.    


Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Injury Scare Thwarted

When I was a lot younger and I overdid it in any form of exercise or training I would feel a bit stiff the next day. As I got older I found I was OK the next day but started feeling the effects the day after. I didn't know this "delayed-action" reaction went on even further as one gets older, but maybe at a certain age some people get what they call common sense and start to ease off. Not me. Nooooo. I never had much time for that common sense stuff.

The result of all this is that on Boxing Day my knees felt sore and every muscle in my legs felt stiff. This carried over to Tuesday as well and I was seriously worried about when I'd be in shape to go out on the bike again. It is obvious that I had overdone it last week with 40 odd miles on Tuesday followed by 50 odd miles on Thursday. There is also the matter of a decent drinking session on Friday and the usual Christmas Day socialising which may have delayed recovery. I also realised that I had not been taking my glucosamine tablets which are supposed to help arthritis in knees. The jury is still out by the way. I actually bought myself some glucosamine while Christmas shopping on Saturday and have been taking them since so that will not be an excuse for much longer.

I felt a bit better today and the weather was fine so I ventured out and did a short, easy 11 miles. I felt OK at the end but, as I put my bike away in the garage, I noticed the seat on the new touring bike was about 40 cm lower than the seat on my other road bike. I hadn't checked them together when I bought the new bike. I just put the seat to where it felt OK and got on with it. It never really troubled me but it must have had an effect on the long rides I did last week. I have adjusted the new seat now and will see how that goes.

I finally bought a tent on Boxing Day together with a mega cheap solid fuel stove. After my little break I will slowly start to build up the mileage again but equipment must be the focus over the next few weeks. Hopefully, when I have all the camping stuff I will be able to do a few trial runs involving nights away in a field but I will have to find a field near a guest house or hotel. Just in case, you understand. It's called common sense - I think.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Christmas Night!

Possibly a strange time to post but it must be placed on record that we have had a lovely Christmas Day with visits from a number of valued family members and a lot of laughter and fun enjoyed by all. Among other scandals was mentioned an amazing possibility with regard to a nautical escort throughout all or even part of my trip but there is a chance that  alcohol may have played a part in that and let's just say, we will see. It will be good if it works out though.

I must say our own family meal was excellent and we have since then sort of eased off and all been in various states of slumber watching "Happy Feet" and other such stuff too clever for me to understand.

I will have a snoozette now myself and hopefully will be awake to see the start of the test match between the 2nd and 4th in the ICC test rankings at 11 pm. I have supported England cricket through thin and thin over the years and will enjoy every year, every month, day, etc, that we are at the top.

I won't be up too late though. The weather is forecast good for tomorrow and for the rest of the week. I haven't been out since Thursday so a bit of a jaunt is called for in the morning and probably every other day this week. In any sport one must not take one's eye off the ball.

I must also attack the sales this week for camping and cycling bargains. I've got a great team behind me in that respect. People who can shop with a capital SH. Hopefully they will be up for the challenge.