Suffolk 100 Mile Ride.
Where do I start with this one, well here’s how my thought process went. I had an idea that it would be great to raise some money for charity by doing a bike ride round Suffolk. This brainwave came to me in the height of summer when it was warm and dry (a rare day this year). Anyway after thinking about it for a bit, I decided to put my plan into action.
I spoke to my business partner and Stepson James and he too thought this would indeed be a good way to spend a day out on the road and do some good by raising some money for charity. Next I managed to rope in my next door neighbour. He also thought this was a good idea.
Ok so now we had our “A team” assembled, it was time to decide which charity to ride for, where to ride and when.
I thought I would raise the money for Cancer Research UK, a fine charity that does brilliant work, and also a charity that is close to my heart, having lost my Mum to cancer a few years ago. Everyone was in agreement so that was settled. Next decision was a bit more taxing, where to ride. The obvious choice for us was in an area we all knew. So I started planning a route around the Suffolk countryside.
Having done the majority of my riding round there it wasn’t long before I had a pretty good route figured out. I wanted to avoid the main roads where ever possible which wasn’t as difficult as I thought it was going to be.
We settled on 100 miles as a good distance as none of us had done that before and thought it would be manageable for us at a reasonable pace, bearing in mind the time of year with fading light in the afternoon etc.
We set a date for the ride in October. This I think may have been a bit of a mistake, but we shall see when the day arrives what kind of weather we get. I really hope it’s not going to be cold, windy or raining but we may get all three, for an extra challenge, who can tell.
I must admit that lately, with work and family commitments, I haven’t been out on the bike nearly as much as I would like, in fact I had only covered 25 miles in the last 6 weeks and we all know what happens when we stop riding on a regular basis don’t we.
I hadn’t realised either how close the middle of October was, so I panicked last Friday when it dawned on me that I had just two weeks to get back in some sort of shape.
Saturday was looking good though as the weather was fine and I had a few spare hours. You know when you have one of those rides where, you can’t find your kit, you feel cold, your back is already aching before you even start out and when you do get going you keep thinking to yourself, I don’t know why I put myself through this torture, well that was Saturdays ride.
Or it was to start with, however once I stopped moaning to myself, I settled down into quite a nice rhythm, I actually began to enjoy it for what it was. Ok, my heart rate was a bit up and down and after a while the climbs I was finding were starting to hurt my legs, but on the whole things went pretty good. The last hill of the day, near to where I live is always a bit of a pain for me but I usually attack it on the big chain ring without any bother. On Saturday by this point my legs had gone and I had to drop onto the granny ring and crawl up it. Shows you what a difference a few weeks out of the saddle can make.
I got back having covered 36 miles, not a bad start I thought. For the rest of the day my legs hurt a bit, but by Sunday everything felt fine. I know the first ride after a break is usually a bit of a killer but I now feel that if I do a few evening rides and another longish one next weekend then I should in theory be back in shape and ready for our challenge.
I have thought already about making this an annual event, but I do think it should be tackled in the summer and not on narrow, wet, leaf covered lanes in the autumn. Maybe next time if there is a next time other people may want to join us.
By the way if you do feel like you want to donate to our fundraising cause, you can find a donation page at http://www.justgiving.com/Preownedcycles Our aim is to raise £1000 for Cancer Research UK. At the moment we are quite away off it, but we are getting there slowly.
I will keep you informed on my training progress such as it is over the next week or so and will do a full blog after the event.