+3 days; Diary of Horace Wimp helps me get back on the horse

Time for a quick solo hour ride out. The weather was good and I had no reason not to go out.

I’ve been thinking a lot about Sunday. Friends and family have been really lovely. They know how much training we have put in, but we feel that we want to make up the mileage and just have to figure out how and when.

On Sunday I wrote to my friends that we had only done 54 miles (46 plus the 8 back to the hotel). Then I thought about it. Only 54 miles? 2 years ago I was terrified that I wouldn’t be able to cycle 45 miles of the Prince’s Trust Palace to Palace ride. I thought those doing the 90.mile Ultra route were crazy. Then It took over 4 and a half hours of cycling time on a mostly flat route.

So it is fair to say some progress has been made those 2 years! Anyway, I went out last night and had my Garmin set for an average of 13 mph. Not that fast admittedly, but faster than some of our training rides a couple of weeks ago. I checked it on the ride, I was ahead of the pace! The route I had taken had some ‘rises’ for sure and Stoke Hammond hill which in the past had me cycling it at walking pace. One time I had barely managed to overtake a man walking it! It’s short, though, with a maximum inclination of 8.7%.

Strava segment (in case you are bothered)!

StokeHammondHill

“It’s not a hill” I told myself, “it’s just a rise”. I compared it to Wimbledon Hill that we cycled on Sunday and thought it’s not even as long or steep as that. Up… Up… Up… I pedalled. It seemed to be at the top quicker than normal. Good.

Home straight now. I cycled and sang ELO’s Diary of Horace Wimp in my head then (sort of) out loud coming home.

Horace_Wimp
Cover art for single The Diary Of Horace Wimp by the Electric Light Orchestra. The cover art copyright is believed to belong to the label, Jet Records, or the graphic artist(s). By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=6667559

Don’t be afraid. Just knock at the door. Well he just stood there mumbling and fumbling, when a voice from above said Horace Wimp, this is your life, go out and find yourself a life…  you can do it come on, Horace...”.(etc).

Thank goodness there was hardly any traffic! Bizarrely this motivated me … come on Horace, you can do it! Got home. Computer says 14 mph average! And load of personal bests. Finally. I have found a little speed!

So it seems this cycling thing is not yet over. More things to achieve and improve. The Pretty* is not going on eBay yet!

*my road bike

 

 

Yippee! Mission accomplished

2015 Palace to Palace … done! First I want to sat a massive thank you to all the wonderful people who sponsored me… your generosity means that the total stands at an amazing £765 – see Justgiving page

We managed to do it in 3 hours and 37 mins of cycling time … and nearly an hour off our previous time 🙂

Thank you so much you are totally awesome in you generosity xxx

Here are some pics from the day:

Early start:
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Roads were quiet:
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Parked at the office:
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Picking up the bikes on The Mall:

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30 miles in … pitstop!
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Yay! Did it!
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And now … recovery time:
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And finally a massive thank you again to everyone that supported me xxx

2 weeks to go: Hills, wind, rain and a puncture

It was Sunday morning. Again. And that could only mean a Prince’s Trust, Palace to Palace training ride.

This week, I was hoping for a slightly easier ride. We were tackling the same hilly circuit as last Sunday. In terms of other training, I only managed a brief 13 miles on Friday night – late in the evening and it was dark! Very spooky through the trees and foliage. Unfortunately I came back with aching shoulders and back … and a sneaky suspicion something was not right on my bike set-up or my posture. Time for some research.

Cue to look for cycling magazines all over the house (Me? Hoard? I don’t know what you mean?).

Success! I found one called ” Cycling Weekly: Complete Guide to Bike Fit & Injury Prevention”. Perfect. Loads of helpful articles. So it seems that my seat is too far from my handlebars … so my personal and favourite bike mechanic made some adjustments before we went out on Sunday. (Thank you, Wayne xx)

Where was I? Oh, yes. Home, Sunday morning. Porridge and bananas consumed. Drinks, gel packs and snacks packed (seriously. someone invent a stylish bum-bag, please) and we were off. The riding position seemed pretty good and the weather was dry, but windy. So far, so good. Not for long. The heavens opened and it poured it down for about 2/3rds of the ride (ie 20 miles!). Luckily we were warmed up otherwise it would have been so tempting to just turn around and go home. Right at the end on the last 100 or so metres from home, my bike suddenly felt very heavy and bumpy – like riding over lots of uneven ground. Oh no… a puncture! But thank goodness – it was right by the house.

Considering the rain, wind and traffic on the roads, the time was respectable (slow by most people’s standards but we ARE improving!) and virtually identical to the week before. We both felt reasonably okay for the rest of the day which is a big improvement on last year when the same 30 miles felt like total and utter torture!

Well, my dear readers, all this cycling is not just for the fun of getting completely drenched in the lovely UK summer, it’s about raising money! Three in four young people supported by The Prince’s Trust move into work, education or training. The Prince of Wales’s charity has helped 750,000 young people since 1976 and supports over 100 more each day.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, if you have already supported! If you’d like still like to sponsor me for the 45-mile ride, you can do so here.

Thanks for reading.

Easy like Sunday morning ride – I wish!

With 3 weeks left before the event, we thought we’d better venture out and do a longer cycle ride out. With hills. According to the training plan we should be doing our longest rides this and next weekend. The weather forecast was not good in the afternoon (torrential rain), so alarms were set for 8 a.m. on a Sunday (unheard of!) and for once I did not press snooze, snooze, snooze.

We were out by around 9 a.m. for our longest, hardest ride for 11 months. A circuit of 31 miles including some unwelcoming hills. According to my Strava cycling app last time out we did the same route it took just about 3 hours. I also remember feeling pretty terrible and whinged and moaned the whole way round. And ached like mad afterwards. So was definitely hoping to have improvement in time and fitness this time around.

The hills were still pretty horrible, but I whinged less and pedalled more this time. We managed to do the circuit in 2 hours 35 mins. Yay! Once home, I have to admit to feeling a touch jaded and fell asleep on the sofa for most of the F1 from Spa on the TV. Ah well, it was Sunday after all.

The weather forecast this week is still terrible so will try to get some more miles in somehow, plus have another long ride next weekend. Of course all this cycling is not just for fun 🙂  it’s about raising funds for The Prince’s Trust. Since 1976, they have helped over 80,000 young people realise their dream of working for themselves through their Enterprise programme – helping to start all sorts of businesses from beauticians to barbers and digital agencies to dog grooming.

If you’d like to support the cause, you can do so here.  Until next time!

Summertime and the training is easy … not! 5 weeks to go

This Sunday we actually had a day that resembled summer, unusual to experience with our variable four-seasons-in-a-day British climate.

We have worked out a 23 mile cycle route from home that is mostly roads (yay!) and quite a few hills (boo!) but I am trying to learn to love hills! I do like them when I am at the top, at least as it’s heavenly to cycle (roll) down them!

We (the man and me) had planned to get up early on Sunday to do our training ride avoiding the forecast heat, but somehow we didn’t manage to get out until nearly midday so by that time it was hot, hot, hot!

I am not very good in the heat, never have been. It seems to have started when I was in Primary School and our class went to do a country dancing display at the Buckinghamshire County Show (how very British!) on a boiling hot day. Sadly I ended up with heatstroke as it seems that my pale English, freckly skin does not much like activity in the humid British heat!

I know this is potentially an issue if the day of the ride dawns and it is super-hot, so I have to push through it. So push through it I did by drinking loads of fluids on the way round which definitely helped. Knocked 5 minutes off the previous week’s cycle time at just under 2 hours, which is pretty okay considering the heat!

Made it!

Made it in the heat!

When we go home we went for a “cool down” (code for cycle to the local pub for a drink in the sun) but the closest pub garden was already full, so we cycled on to the next one. This meant we upped our miles more than we were expecting. Total cycle ride: 30 miles – 23 at a reasonable pace, 7 very slow! On the last couple of miles, I was definitely ready to be home.

This week coming is a busy one – so will be tricky to do any training, but will try to fit something in.  It’s all for a great cause – to inspire young people. Almost a million young people are not in education, employment or training in the UK. The Prince’s Trust need your help to tap their potential and build their confidence. The results can be amazing. Have look here if you have a moment: http://www.princes-trust.org.uk/support_us/lewis_cassidy.aspx

Thank you for your financial and/or moral support to this cause!

https://www.justgiving.com/Andrea-Davis2015/

Signed up again! 6 weeks to go and toothache did not interrupt training!

Yep, so I’ve signed up again to do the 2015 Palace-to-Palace cycle ride – 45 miles of cycling from Buckingham Palace to Windsor Castle on September 13th. Last year it took 4 1/2 hours of cycling to do it. This year, I’d really like to try to break the 4 hour mark this year if possible.

Unluckily for me for the past 10 days or so, I’ve had toothache! Yesterday I finally managed to get a dental appointment. Penicillin has been prescribed as it seems I have some kind of infection with a few more appointments to look forward to.

Pencillin 20150804_132258

I didn’t let it a little bit of toothache stop me from doing a 13 mile training ride last night! It’s all for a great cause, as the Prince’s Trust does amazing things to help young people in need. They aim to 58,000 young people this year, so every little helps as they say!

If you’d like to donate, please do so here – thank you!:

https://www.justgiving.com/Andrea-Davis2015

10 days to go! Cycling 45 miles (72 kms) for the Prince’s Trust

So it’s 10 days to go and my knees hurt! The other half acquired some new lights for our bikes this week so we could do some evening cycling training (really?!) We went out last night after work and cycled 14 miles around 2 lakes in the pitch black. Pitch black! Not that keen on that I have to say – a little spooky – despite the mega-wattage lights!

The longest training ride we have done so far is 32 miles. Just once. After that, I was exceptionally pleased to be home and on the sofa. 45 miles will definitely be a stretch. And I am still trying to convince myself that I like hills! I love hills. I love hills. I love hills…

Of course, aching knees/shoulders/legs/bottoms aside, this is really all about raising funds to help disadvantaged young people in the UK to change their lives and get into work, education or training. This year, The Trust aims to support 58,000 vulnerable young people, helping to give them the skills and confidence to find a job – for this they need to raise over a million pounds a week! We’re hoping that our Xerox extended team of over 100 people will contribute a massive £20,000 just from this one event – which would be absolutely amazing!

Thank you to those of you who have very generously donated already – you are very kind! If you haven’t, but you’d like to, thank you in advance for your support! Every Pound, Euro, Ruble or Dollar etc. helps! https://www.justgiving.com/AndreaLouiseDavis/

UPDATE: Thank you, thank you, thank you! It took 4 and a half hours but we did it!

My final total was £785 raised – far in excess of what I could have hoped for. As a team of around 100, we raised around £30,000! Seriously, you guys are awesome. Thanks again.

Before - at the start!

Done - 4 1/2 hours - but done!

Done – 4 1/2 hours later – but done!