I feel slightly better after reading the training guide on the charity web site that suggests that absolute beginner cyclists have at least 4 months training prior to the ride, so if i get started within the week hopefully i will be ok. At least when i was working i cycled 5 miles to work and then back each day(for five years) and i have been known to cycle to whitsands in cornwall and back within the day for the hell of it ( in the summer of course) and also did Roscoff to llanion once ( again just for the hell of it and with my panniers stuffed full of cheap french wine) so that must have been a long way. ( I must get a cycle computer so i can see how far i'm going) Still, all that was when i was 30 and now i am 40. But i had a fair few training runs at that too, which must help in my fitness quest in some way, if only to set the absolute baseline that i cannot possibly sink beneath.
- James concert in manchester( dec 19th) ( lots of jumping up and down for cardiovascular fitness, and i seem to remember very sore calves the next day so they got a good workout.)
- Impromptu champagne limo into town arranged by bruv keith and sister-in law Jules the next day, followed by whiskey night caps with Bruv who was discovered asleep on the sofa at 4 am by Jules.
- Surprise 40th Birthday party on New years eve arranged by other half James ( not the band obviously) and best mate kate. 4 am finish so not feeling too fit the next day.
- My 40th birthday!!! (jan 2nd) After feeling so ill all day on New years day, i did actually go for a little cycle to Plymbridge woods via the cycle trail to meet up with the kids who were doing their usual, skimming pebbles in the water, and then cycled part way back with Keira on the bike seat behind. So felt quite virtuous for an hour or two, then ruined it by going out for a big dinner, and then more drinking and dancing until 4 am with Kate, trying to pretend i am still 20 and not twice that age now.
- Then a weeks skiing in colorado, ( my birthday present) where i spent the first day, screaming halfway down the mountain in a blizzard after taking the inappropriate turning from the chair lift, and then having to be rescued by a skidoo. The next day i went to ski school and felt much better, but to be honest i pretty much pootled down the green runs all week basking in the sunshine, determined not to break my leg and/or wrist, so not much energy expenditure there.
- Then a final 40th celebration in Colorado for willies birthday ( james brother) and again for me and in advance of lizzies 40th. Add on a few too many brandy night caps over the week and then two days in New York on the way back, stuffing myself with Huge portions of cheese cake etc, and you can see why when i eventually did walk into a bike shop in Plymouth i didn't have people falling over themselves to assist the non head-toe lycra shod lithe of limb kimbo who enquired after " hybrid bikes for a long bike ride"
Well i still haven't got a bike but i do have one on order and should be picking it up on wednesday. I have agonised over this decision for ages as i like the rapid fire gears and this bike has some grip twist shifters which i have never used. Also not quite as light as i was lead to believe a hybrid would be. This actually sounds like i know what i am talking about- i don't. I have gleaned such terms from googling the different types of bikes and looking up bike forums to check that what i am getting is ok. To be honest i am still not sure i have made the right decision. I am very tempted to cancel the order and go for the slightly more expensive one in the local bike shop ( which has the rapid fire gears etc) but after explaining everything very nicely and assuring me i would be well taken care of there,and have free bike servicing etc, i decided to stick with the original bike, partly because it had a suspension seat post and a really comfy looking saddle( bum ache will be one of my main concerns), but mostly because i preferred the nice cobalt blue colour of the one i had already ordered. I know that won't get me up hills, but i am very swayed by colour.I don't even like blue particularly- i prefer purple and if there was a purple bike i would have bought it but i didn't see one anywhere. So i consoled myself by buying a purple helmet.
Well i am amazed that with any luck i will have made the £500 mark by february with very little effort on my part so i feel i need to step up the effort with some fund-raisng ideas of my own during February. So far i have had two very generous donations on my just giving web site, (thanks Rob and sally) and thanks to my wonderful proactive sister-in law Jules who rounded up the manchester posse, and contributed £185 and a further £100 from my parents i've had a great early boost to my fund-raising. But now i will be pulling out all the stops in February, so anyone who knows me will most likely be contacted by me, and others besides. So if you are reading this please pass the message on,the more the merrier. I have some other plans up my sleeve and will update you as they come along.
Well that's all for now. hopefully i will manage another update before the end of january. If you have been contacted by me and mean to give but haven't got around to it, please consider giving early in feb after pay day,as i need to raise at least £1000 by the end of the month and then another £250 minimum after that. Hope to update you with some cycle training progress by then too.