Quite literally as I type. For those who don’t follow me on twitter or facebook today was a success. Paul and I toiled around in 6 hours 50 mins. A fuller account to follow soon.


Coming, ready or not

Days to the 2010 Tour Ride: 1

I think that says it all.  Hopefully I’ll update from the start line tomorrow but who knows.  I’m full of nervous energy right now and just want to get it started.  Roof rack fitted, bike ready and kit almost in the bag.  Only thing left to do is carbo-load tonight.  My dad once told me of the time he went to see the acclaimed – and some might say flawed – Himalayan climber Don Whillans.  At the talk someone asked him when he began training for an expedition up a particular Nepalese peak.  His answer: “When I leave the last pub in Katmandu.”  I mention this as a) I will not be spending tonight loading with those types of carbs and b) because tomorrow’s route goes very close to Rock Hall, Whillans tiny climbing hut at the base of the Roaches.  It makes you think though.

Come in Number 22….

Days to the Tour Ride 2010: 2

So this morning (or should I say yesterday if only the postman had bothered to let me know the package was with my neighbour) my Tour Ride number and timing chip arrived.  As you can see below, I am number 0022.

Did I really sign up that long ago?

So my dear readers, you have been with me almost ever step of the way now from sign up to the event itself.  Make a mental note of that number.  What was it again?……. That’s right, 0022.  And what are you going to be doing this Sunday? Did you say you’d be heading out into the wilds of the Staffordshire Moorlands to cheer me on one of the many tortuous and unforgiving climbs?  That’s very kind of you.  Oh, but you want to know where those climbs are? Funny you should mention that as I have a map of the route right here for you – the hills are those little spiky symbols, but I can’t see any pubs:

Joking aside, it’s quite a strange feeling to be this close to the ride.  My nerves have gone now the logistics of the number are out of the way I’ve got a strange feeling of calm descending over me. And again I must thank all of my very kind and generous sponsors – my VIP start is down to the fact that I was one of the first 80 people to raise over £500.  Without you it wouldn’t have happened.  You’ve given me the boost (and the early start) I need! And so this afternoon I cleaned the bike in readiness and now the steed is looking pretty good.  So if you are out on the route on Sunday remember number 0022 and here is what you should be looking out for:

Is that Olympic Champion Samuel "Sammy" Sanchez?

Looking and feeling good – for once.  Long may it continue.

And so today I’m going to leave you with some preparation tips from David Schneider, oh and some bloke from a professional cycling team who’s recently been on the telly too.  I could have put Kristian House’s official tips but they aren’t as fun.

It only happens when it rains

Days to the Tour Ride 2010: 3

I’m starting to think its something personal.  For the past few weeks, every time I’ve mounted my steed the heavens have opened.  Not just this but the clearer, milk-like sun filled skies have been toying with me, tantalising close whilst I am being soaked.  It’s not just on the bike, it also seems a perfectly acceptable metaphor for one other aspect of my life where I feel like the umbrella that I’m protected by is actually deluging rain whilst its sunny all around me.  Some would call it character building.  I’d say it has become more than a mild annoyance and reached the stage of moderate irritation. Call me paranoid but I’m now sat at the desk with cloudy yet bright skies outside dancing around taunting me.

At least I can’t be called a whimp, a poser or a fair weather cyclist.  This morning I had my last spin before the big event – in the rain! I’m as prepared as I’ll ever be.  Sunday will be a challenge but I will be its equal and as long as I finish before sunset it will be a success.  Some last-minute fine tuning to the bike and I am sorted.  I’m now in a very strange limbo.

I want to ride my bicycle

And I want to ride it where I like!

Day to go to the Tour Ride 2010: 5

As I gaze out of the office window, distracted as usual, the sun is shining, the grass is green and the leaves on the tress are just on the turn.  It’s on days like these that I would much rather be outdoors and what better day for a bike ride.  After all the rain enduring rides I have had recently it seems a real shame to be stuck behind glass and not making the most of what might be the last vestiges of summer.  And so today’s challenge is to hold that though and remember it the next time I find it hard to get out there. I suspect this may be the case on Sunday.

As the big day approaches I can feel the stress levels rising.  This is not connected so much tot he distance to ride but rather the logistics around the day.  Mrs AB and I are already staying in Stafford the night before at my folks in order to be that bit nearer the start and we are picking up my brother Mr Leadout on Sunday morning now that the car has a newly purchased and soon to be installed roof rack. But I haven’t a clue how far it is from the official car park tot he start or whether Mrs AB can drop us both off nearer and then find somewhere to put the car.  I am torn between wanting support and putting Mrs AB through a day of sitting in the car, bored to tears – I honestly have few ideas about what there is to do on the route other than ride.  Its these small logistics that take over me and I feel that binary approach of  pass-fail, all-nothing, black-white start to drive my thoughts.  It isn’t good but I’m finding it hard to remember how to challenge it.  As I’ve said before, planning isn’t really my forte until I’m hard pressed to do it.

Having said that, I’m sure we’ll get there.  Starting with the need to sit down and map out the route.  Watch this space.

Now I suppose I’d better get on with some work.