Whilst collecting sponsorships for my London to Paris bike ride – www.doitforcharity.com/tonylockwood a couple of ‘friends’ mockingly (well I hope that they were mocking) asked whether I was having a mid life crisis.
What do you mean? I asked
The response – “well isn’t that what all MAMILs are doing?”
What’s a MAMIL? I asked
Middle Aged Men In Lycra – they shouted back at me. Ohhhh….
I could sit here and try to defend myself and all MAMILs but I don’t think I need to. After all, what is middle age today? I’m 47 and yes when I was 18, I would have thought 47 men were old, never mind middle aged. However, I don’t feel middle aged at all – in fact I see myself much more active than I’ve ever been, and I think that goes for most of my friends.
So Mid Life Crisis – no!
MAMIL – no! – if you have ever tried to ride a road bike for any distance without the padding around the butt, you’ll know what I mean!
Just a guy trying to keep fit, raising funds for a very important cause and enjoying it – what’s wrong with that.
Just wait until I drive up in my Ferrari and then you can say I’m having a mid life crisis!!
I was travelling earlier and listening to Jeremy Vine on Radio 2.
Peter Stringfellow was a guest, talking about his life and the fact that at age 72, he had just become a father again. Congratulations Peter, I say.
I have to say that my perception of Peter changed during the session – he was very thoughtful, eloquent and generally came across as a nice guy. All was good – a little mindless radio babble to help make the journey go quicker.
However, Mr Vine then stated that it was time for the audience to have their view on Peter’s fatherhood and after a series of general ‘well done’ ‘congratulations’ type calls, a ‘middle aged, ‘middle England’ sounding lady came on stating that it was wrong and very damaging for the child, blah blah blah.
Then another one saying that her son had unfortunately lost his father when he was just 4 (due to cancer) and it had a devastating effect on him and as such, Peter should have thought about such consequences!
What a load of rubbish – what has it got to do with anybody else what PS and his wife decide. Why do people call into such radio shows and state utter claptrap? Do they honestly believe what they are saying.
The biggest question though is why Jeremy Vine thought that this would make a good call in subject – it was obvious to any dimwit that the type of calls would be the ones he got – PS dealt with them all extremely well but honestly Jeremy – what was the point?
So, in two weeks, I’ll be in a Travelodge in Crystal Palace, London, meeting up with my fellow cyclists, all I’m sure looking forward (with trepidation) to our early morning start to what will be an amazing experience – riding in a group of around 100 from London to Paris.
I have to say, I’ve come a long way since signing up to the event 16 weeks ago. I admit that I signed up to force myself to get fit, to give myself a goal and a purpose to getting out of bed at ‘ridiculous o’clock’ to get in the training, to ensure that I would do the activity irrespective of the weather.
I wasn’t sure whether I’d enjoy it or despise it. I remember saying to a colleague that although I would get to Paris, I might not ever want to get on a bike again!
Well, I can confirm that I have enjoyed the experience so far and feel a whole lot better for having done the training so far. I learned a lot about myself also – about the need to get away from it all and make time for quiet contemplation, about the need to push myself to better my previous times, about the need to push through barriers – tiredness, aches and pains – and the need to just enjoy the moment.
I will certainly be carrying on after the event and I’ve already started to look at more events for next year!
The next two weeks will be punishing – I need to up my daily mileage over the next week before laying off a little on the last few days leading up to the 14th. I also need to ensure that I’ve got all of my kit ready – still need a few things – weekend shopping trip coming up methinks!
I’ve finally managed to confirm the logistics of getting bike, kit and me down to London and back – good old Virgin trains will be carrying me First Class from Preston to London as well as the return. Only thing to sort out now is the best way of traversing London from Euston to Crystal Palace. So, a quick tip – if you are in London on the 13th – late afternoon and you see an ‘old bloke’ on a yellow bike with a kit bag on his back looking lost – stop and help me please!
I have to be honest and tell you that when I signed up for the London to Paris cycling challenge, a part of me wondered whether I’d (1) complete the challenge and (2) if I did, would I ever get on a bike again.
After just four weeks, I now know the answer to both of these questions. Without a shadow of doubt, the answer is Yes and Yes. Yes, I will definitely complete the challenge and ride into Paris on the 17th August 2013 and have a photograph taken along with the rest of the group under the Eiffel Tower and Yes, I will definitely continue to cycle.
It is great fun, provides me with time to think and is doing amazing things with my fitness and body tone. I’ve been building up my miles and keeping a detailed record of progress on an App – Strava. There are a number of similar apps out there but this one is ideal and best of all Free. It keeps a detailed record of the journeys that I take, highlights times for specific sections, it even tells me how I compare with other Stava users. A very useful addition to my training plan.
I’ve taken a week off to take in the sun with the family and I’ve missed the bike rides. I’m itching to get back in the saddle and build up the miles again! The next few weeks will be telling though as I’ve really got to start to build up the distances on consecutive days – ideally, a few days of over 25 miles each day within the next couple of weeks would be great, especially if on one of those days, I can stretch to 50+ miles.
I’ve still got over 10 weeks to go, before I need to be at Crystal Palace for 06:30 for the start of what I’m sure will be an amazing four days.
I must have got into this cycling malarkey though – I’ve started to look for the next challenge!
The London to Paris trip is in aid of my 2013 Charity of the Year, North West Air Ambulance. I’m hoping to raise a minimum of £2000 for them from this event and all donations are greatly appreciated. Go to http://www.doitforcharity.com/tonylockwood if you’d like to contribute.
If only people were healthier, increasing number of cancer cases in the US as well as in the UK can be brought to an end.
Health is Wealth
Living healthy, maintaining a well balanced diet complete with fruits and vegetables, healthy weight and taking exercise as a routine can help minimize the outgrowing number of cancer cases in the UK and the US.
While there is much higher rates of obesity in the US yet Britons tend to drink more alcohol and as a result the total numbers of cancer cases are equal in both areas.
People may notice that most cancer cases in the US are linked to body fats in fact 20% of the seven cancer types are weight related issues while in the UK the percentage is only about 17%. According to experts, despite that Britons are much healthier in weight yet they are hard alcohol drinkers causing them to match the US in cancer rates, says Professor Martin Wiseman.
Too much of everything can make us sick, so better watch out for your health. Life is good especially if we are healthy and even if we don’t have much wealth or money we can still live happily.