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.

Advertisements

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.

 

Can social good come from social media?

I’ve set myself a challenge and it will start to provide an answer to this question. I have around 2500 direct contacts across Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter and supposedly access to over 10 million in the wider network – this made me think – what if I could encourage each and every one of these to donate just £1 within the next 60 days.

What do you think – is it possible? Fancy helping me?

If so, please send this onto your contacts and let’s get this really essential service trending across the Social Media world – many thanks for your help. Please help me to help the Air Ambulance by donating £1 (more if you like) at http://www.doitforcharity.com/tonylockwood

What other ways would you suggest that we can get the NWAA and the London to Paris bike ride trending? I’d welcome your thoughts.

North West Air Ambulance

How can such an essential service be dependent upon Charity?

North West Air Ambulance

When I first started to work with the NW Air Ambulance, I like many others was amazed to learn that the whole service operates without any public funding and is completely dependent upon charitable donations.

Many people assume that the Air Ambulance service is part of and funded by the NHS – it isn’t!

How can that possibly be?

How can such an essential service that saves lives each and every day not be covered by the public purse?

Anyhow, unfortunately no matter how much moaning I do, I don’t think I’m going to change things – just yet! So, if I feel so passionate about the service, I need to get on with helping them to raise the £4.5m that they need to keep the two helicopters operational.

I’ve therefore just signed up for a personal challenge – to ride a bike from London to Paris over 4 days in August 2013. For some, this may not seem like a challenge, but given that I’m a social cyclist – social meaning a couple of times a year with the kids, let me assure you that this is a challenge for me!

I will be blogging throughout my training and during the event and want to encourage other people to take up similar challenges. The aim of all of this is to raise money and I will be seeing how social good can come from social media – I have around 2500 direct contacts across Linkedin, Facebook and Twitter and supposedly access to over 10 million in the wider network – this made me think – what if I could encourage each and every one of these to donate just £1 within the next 60 days.

What do you think – is it possible? Fancy helping me? If so, please send this onto your contacts and let’s get this really essential service trending across the Social Media world – many thanks for your help.

 

Please help me to help the Air Ambulance by donating £1 (more if you like) at http://www.doitforcharity.com/tonylockwood