Daunting: Mark

Twhite mug with black drawn cartoons about reasons to love cyclingraining runs twice this week.

Still on my neighbour’s mountain bike…which is soooooo sloooow!

Knobbly tyres and low gear ratio’s.  Hardly your endurance, road racer.

Because of this I’ve taken to making detours wherever possible.  Just adding a few miles here and there.  Plus the odd extra hill.
It would be churlish of me not to take it ‘off-road’ too, hence my frequent detours through the local commons and up to the Telegraph Hill (where the last London to Portsmouth Semaphore Tower still stands – and is open to the public on selected days of the year).

Not sure if I should be cycling across these commons but I try to stick to the Bridle-paths wherever possible.  It is very hard going on the sandy soils, especially when muddy or churned up by horses hooves.  Still as a local volunteer for Surrey Wildlife Trust on these very same commons I’m sure our lovely local Ranger would let me off just this once.
My bike is still in for repair!!!

But I’ve obtained for myself a pair of cheap cycling shoes and some SPD clips.  For now, and to get used to them, I’ve had them fitted to the mountain bike.  It would be best to try them out now rather than wait to Tuesday.  It’s a new novel experience having ones feet ‘locked’ onto the pedals.  I’ve nearly fallen over twice now.  The main problem (apart from forgetting one can’t put one’s feet down) is that my left (Parkinson’s) foot is unable to easily twist out of the bracket.  And definitely not with moving.  So I have to look ahead and anticipate.  Get my Right foot out, stop and then try to get my Left out! The obvious problem, again, is that leaning to the right is where the traffic generally is (especially the Surrey Chav Rover cyclist hating traffic).

….and a friend of mine who overtook me on yesterday’s training run down a narrow country lane.  He drove slowly in front of me not knowing that ‘clipped in’ I didn’t want to stop as I hadn’t practiced getting ‘unclipped’.  With much gesticulating and hand signals we both managed to pull over in a Passing Bay and I could lean against his car and sort out my feet.  This must have looked quite bizarre and hilarious to the on-coming traffic.

But I’m getting the hang of it

Which brings me to….

..last nights training session!!!

One of my students has a father who lives and breaths cycling.  He is an ex-professional cyclist (John O’Groats to Lands End in a 4 days…..and things like that).  He offered his help with a training regime and asked if I had one set up.

I answered, “I’m off on Tuesday”
“Pardon”
“I’m off on Tuesday”
“But you only decided to do it last week”
“Yup”
“How much training have you done?”
“My bike’s in for repair!”
“Oh”
“I’ve borrowed a mountain bike”
“You’re not doing it on that?”
“No,  they’re providing bikes”
“How many miles?”
“…mmmmm, about 260!”
“How many days”
“3”
“Do you cycle regularly?”
“No”
“Good luck!!!!!!!!!”

…which then made me look at the schedule…

08.30 Depart – 11.00 arrive Maidstone!!!  – circa 45 miles – 18 to 20 mph

Day 2

14.00 hrs depart Calais – 16.00 Arrive Ypres – 59 miles…..in TWO hours…..nearly 30 miles per hour.

Whoops!  having a bit of a wobble right now

Must go and get my bike back

At least it’s stopped raining…..for the moment!!!???


Photo: Cartoon Mug from Evans Cycles with thanks to Dave Walker on Flickr, available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/davewalker/8475975654/

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