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 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.


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