After getting into cycling little over a year ago I decided to embark in what will be one of the longest rides I’ve ever done, Leicester clock tower to Skegness clock tower totalling around 87 miles (plus a little bit extra for my commute from my house but I’ll count that as a warm up).
The ride is in aid of a local charity Loros Hospice who do some amazing work in Leicestershire and Rutland helping with terminally ill adults and making sure they’re cared for and have the support they need during terminal illness, most importantly ensuring they die with dignity – dying matters. You can find out more about Loros here.
Training has been going well and I’m on a streak of riding more and more than I ever have done before. I admit it got off to rocky beginnings at the start of the year, taking the majority of winter off the bike meant I lost any fitness I had worked up to and it was like starting from scratch again, lesson learnt and I’ll be sure to battle through winter this year even if we have another beast from the east.
So far this year I’ve totalled up over 550 miles on the bike which personally for me is an achievement, last year I did just over 700 miles so considering it’s not even halfway through the year I’ve got good chances of beating that (not that it’s a competition but it’s a little goal I’ve set myself).
January I was probably the most unfit I had ever been and the first day back on the bike was terribly hard and painful, and yes I may have even got off and walked up a hill I would’ve normally done. That embarrassment aside it became apparent that I was going to need to start putting the miles in again to get in tip-top form (well from unfit to fit). It was a wet, snowy and windy month and much of it becomes a blur looking back on it, I think the cold and rain does strange things to you on the bike, I’ve never felt so cold and wet on a bike before, take getting out of a warm shower in the cold and multiply that by 100 that’s what it felt like on those rides. Pro tip, invest in some proper winter kit for next winter.
February weather was not much better but I did start to find my feet again, I was getting back to gearing correctly and was making it up some of the local climbs fine and started to begin to stretch the distance I rode out.
March was a good month and the sun made an appearance a bit which is always a bonus when out on a bike. I decided to take on the March 200 miles RaceAtYourPace cycling challenge which I’m pleased to say I completed, this worked wonders in getting me on the bike more and I got out much more than I usually would which I enjoyed, I then learnt the important of consistency and it’s not all about distance or being a weekend warrior. I started doing more riding with hardly any breaks and also improved on my average speeds from the previous year which indicated I was getting a lot better at cycling, I’m no Chris Froome but it’s great to see some improvement.
April I decided to take the plunge and commute to work during a mini heat wave we had, I really enjoyed it and was surprised by how a fast 10 mile commute to work could really make you feel awake and ready to tackle the day. The commute home was always the worst since it was hotter and a bit more climbing (not much really at all though) but there was plenty of other riders to chat and ride along with, after all the cycling community is absolutely awesome!
May has only just begun but planning plenty of riding at the start of the month with high intensity and then winding it down a bit towards the end of the month since 2nd of June will be the big day. I say that this month I’ve got my fitness and form back and it’s just about keeping it in check now and even improving upon it, I’ll be doing the Tour De France next year at this rate, all joking aside this month (or even this year as a whole) is the best I’ve felt on a bike.
I’m now counting down the days for the big day, I’m slightly nervous of course but most of all really excited for it, most of all I’m looking forward to riding with others and that cone of chips and ice cream I’ve promised myself at the finish line. Hopefully we’ll have some nice dry weather so if you could all have a word with the weather gods that would be fantastic 😀
Stay tuned for updates on how the ride goes on the day. If you’d like to donate and help Loros you can do so by clicking the donate button below, 100% of proceeds go to Loros Hospice, payments managed securely through JustGiving.