Two weeks to go…

London to Paris - 14 days to go

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!

Sponsoring is going well – I managed to get some ‘corporate’ sponsorship from xynergie and Intuitive Interim & Executive Search as well as MyGoalBook – just waiting for my kit to arrive now – take a look at this little number… Thanks to the guys at Clifton

MyGoalBook cycling Kit
The new MyGoalBook Cycling Kit

Always opportunities for more sponsorship, If you’re interested, go to www.doitforcharity.com/tonylockwood – everything raised is going to North West Air Ambulance.

NWAA

I’ll be blogging regularly for the next two weeks and during the event itself – I’ll also be posting pictures on my Facebook page as well as the event Facebook page.

Advertisements

I’m getting into the cycling malarkey!

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.

Training Starts in Earnest…

London to Paris Cycling Challenege

So, I’ve signed up, I bought the kit (Lycra – not a pretty sight!) and I oiled up  – the bike!

Best get off and start the training.

I’m 18 weeks away from cycling London to Paris over 4 days – travelling an average of circa 70 miles a day. Given that I’ve been a social rider so far – i.e. a couple of times a year with the kids, this is a significant challenge for me.

I have to say, I’m not sure that I have the right kit – my hybrid bike is OK but heavy and not streamlined – what can I do to upgrade it? Let’s check the internet….  Things have certainly moved on a lot since I was last ‘into’ bikes. I uncover the latest technology on pedals and click, I’ve ordered them, now lets look at tyres as my off road ones seem to strip off speed better than my brakes, either that or the big bloke on top of the bike is acting like a big ‘sail brake’ – I’ll go for the tyres and see if they make the difference.

Found this great app  – Strava Cycling – downloaded it and instantly, I have a way to measure my efforts and record my activities – in basic form (and I certainly don’t need anything else) it’s free – highly recommended.

Downloaded a 18 week training plan – just what I need – slow start – 3/4 miles for the first couple of weeks building up to 70 miles plus in week 16. Perfect.

So I slide into the saddle and I’m away….

Over the next 17 weeks and during the ride itself, I will be blogging and updating my progress on Facebook.

I’ve set up my sponsorship page at http://www.doitforcharity.com/tonylockwood and have set myself the challenge to raise a minimum of £2000, so if you would like to contribute, however small, all donations will be gratefully accepted.