Suffolk Coast Ride
This year has not been the best year for riding my bike, weather wise. I’m sure that many of you out there are out on the road in all weather conditions but sadly I am not one of those people. It’s not that I mind the rain, It’s just the fact that I have to clean down my bike afterwards which will take me a good hour. Maybe I’m too precious with my bike but the only time it gets wet is accidently. I can’t imagine that I’m the only one like this either.
At this time of year I am by now normally a good half a stone lighter and feeling pretty good about my 43 year old bones. However this year I have stayed the same weight that I am normally in Midwinter. Am I worried, no, just a little annoyed with myself.
This Sunday I am riding the Suffolk coast ride to raise money for the R.S.P.B. This is a sixty mile route through the mostly quiet lanes of the Suffolk countryside leading up to Southwold, before returning back through Dunwich and ending up back at Glemham Hall where we started from.
I have ridden this ride every year for the last 6 years and I really enjoy being on a ride with lots of other people. Each year as far as I know the route has stayed the same but the ride raises money for different charities. My intention is to do more of these rides each year as let’s face it there are loads to choose from. In reality however I do this one and this one alone.
Maybe I am just being lazy, but I really don’t think so because I’m out there on my bike when time allows. Finally last week we got some descent dry weather and warm sunshine so with only a couple of weeks to go I stepped up the mileage to get myself into some half descent shape. On Saturday I had to go and look at some work around 25 miles from home, perfect I thought, I can ride up there take a look and ride back. The job was located quite close to where I used to live so this was an ideal opportunity to reacquaint myself with some of the roads I was riding when I lived there. The Sun was out, there was no wind and most importantly I had the luxury of time to enjoy it.
When I got back home I was not enjoying it so much. For the first time this year the lactic acid had built up in my legs to give me that slightly uncomfortable feel but I could soon take care of that.
The next morning I was up bright and early to go for a ride with my next door neighbour, who has recently discovered the joy of road riding. After a couple of hours out on the road we had completed another forty miles. I was by now starting to feel that I could get myself into form for the big ride in a week or two. I knew that if the weather held up during the week I would be out on the road again after work.
During the rest of the week I managed another 65 miles for a total of 155 miles. On the last ride however I had a very close shave with a very large truck. I was riding up a hill, the truck pulled up behind me so I know he had seen me. He waited until I was at the crest of the hill and then decided it was safe to pass. However, it was not safe at all. His cab was just alongside me when a car came from the other direction. Instead of keeping his line he just pulled back in to the nearside. It felt as if I were going to die in slow motion. I was yelling at him but this made no difference at all. I had nowhere to go but into the hedge. Once I’d gathered myself up and realised I was not hurt I became very angry. I calmed down after a bit and considered myself to be a lucky man that day.
By the end of the week I was starting to get some form back. This feeling was short lived though as on Friday night my wife and I held an Olympic party to mark the start of the games. We all had to come as different countries. We went as America, I have to say the main reason for this was that I already had a batman outfit in my loft. The party went well but it was a late finish and I got to bed around 3.30am. The next day we were off to meet some friends for lunch. In the back of my mind was the thought that I was ruining all the good work I had put in earlier in the week. There was worse to come however as that night I was meeting a few guys for beers and yet another meal out.
I got home around 11.30pm but was determined to get out on the bike the next morning. I was up at a reasonable time and in the end I did another 35 miles. With a couple of shorter evening rides to do this week I think I will be ready for Sunday’s ride.
With any luck it will stay dry for everyone taking part and hopefully a good bit of money will be raised. I will be riding in the full Preowned Cycles colours this weekend on my faithful old Trek, so if you are also taking part please come and say hello as I would love to speak to you. I will probably be easy to spot at the back of the group, trying to finish the course. You may also come across my Wife as she will be at Southwold handing out cards to anyone who will take one so If she approaches you, please be kind to her.
I will let you know how it goes next week so stay tuned.