For anyone stumbling on this blog and wondering how I went on with LEL, I can happily report I completed it with time to spare and no major mishaps.
This is a link to an animated position graph. It shows me as a red dot. I started towards the back of the field at 09.45hr. About 1000 riders started and approx 800 completed in time.
And here is my medal :-)
Tuesday, 3 September 2013
Monday, 4 February 2013
The cold, snowy, icy weather was making the planned 200km audax look like a bad idea. However, after a big snowfall on the Friday, it melted, the rain came Saturday and night temps stayed around 6 degrees celcius so it all looked better. I decided to go for it but was concious the roads would be full detritus and there may be localized flooding so opted to ride the heavy, mudguarded, bullet proof tourer in preference to the road bike.
I cycled the 11 miles to the start and joined the 80 or so other cyclists for an 08.00hrs start. The weather was cold and showery with a fierce headwind on the outward leg. I found I was not achieving my expected average speed although was still within the audax time limits. I put this down to the heavy bike, the headwind and the undulating rather than 'flat' terrain i had expected. Flooding was quite severe as well - often several metres long and above hub height in places with no way round. This slowed things down a tad too.
On the return leg, darkness had descended as I made my way along some unlit country lanes towards Wilmslow. The bike and lights were working well but I had been on the go for 11 hrs or so and covered 120 odd miles. My right knee was playing up and the GPS display had stopped lighting up due to a low battery. The knee has been a teeny bit painful for a few months and i wondered if it was down to age related changes made worse by the distance cycled - not good news if this was the case. I was still able to cycle on it but was having to take it much easier so my speed dropped further and i started to get cold. The GPS was revitalised with a plug in battery pack for another hr or so before this gave up the ghost.
I was now just 6 or 7 miles from the finish but cold, in pain and not sure which way to go along the unlit and generally unsigned lanes. I decided to quit and cycled a couple of miles to Alderley Edge to find a pub and arrange a lift. I still could have finished the audax in time and would have done my first 200k of 2013 but I had achieved what i'd set out to do. I had covered the distance without too much problem and done my imperial century for January. I'd confirmed my heavy bike is not the one to use for audaxing and decided the Edge 705 GPS, even with an external battery pack, is not adequate for 10+ hr rides.
So my wife collected me from a pub a few whiskys later. The next day I hobbled into work (A&E) and got an XR of the leg. No bony changes found - PHEW! The pain also changed in nature and became more of a band like pain down the outer thigh so probably muscular in origin. Painkillers helped and within 3 days I was walking almost normally. I didn't ride the bike for 5 days though!
Monday, 14 January 2013
Things have not got off to a good start but, hey ho, early days yet.
My aim to cycle al least 100 miles a week (measured as an average over a month) has been dealt a blow. I set off to do a 50-60 mile ride last week on my road bike and promptly broke the ratchet in my SRAM rear gear lever within a mile of home. I spent most of the day getting a replacement sorted out. Scratch that day. Tomorrow I was due to lead a 110 mile ride for my cycle club but I've postponed that due to the current inclement weather. Bang goes more miles and also my first shot at this months imperial century ride. I'm doing a shorter ride tomorrow and have a 200k audax booked at the end of the month so hopefully I can still make my targets.
Current distance for 2013: 125 miles.
Friday, 11 January 2013
After a long dormant period I've decided to come back to my blog, dust off the cobwebs and settle down to entertain/bore you a little more. "Why does he want to do that?" I hear you mutter. Well, I feel I've got something actually worth blogging about that some people might find interesting. You see, come this summer I'm going to attempt something I have no certainty of completing and which will no doubt stretch me physically further than I have been stretched before. I have only gone and got a place on the London-Edinburgh-London (LEL) audax - a 1400km ride which has to be completed in just shy of 5 days. For those imperially minded folks that's about 180 miles per day.
I will be blogging about my training plans, setbacks and milestones on the way, a new dedicated audax bike, etc., etc. My initial plans are to up my average weekly mileage from about 60 miles to around 100 miles, make sure I ride at least 1 x 100+ mile ride per month and complete an audax SR series prior to LEL. My first 100+ mile ride is scheduled for next week (if the weather plays ball) when I am leading a ride from Manchester to Blackpool and back but going a hilly way rather than following the flatter charity route.
Will write again soon.
|The LEL 2013 Route|
Thursday, 12 July 2012
So, I was cycling home after the last of three very busy, long days at work (and I mean longs days of 13.5 hrs!) looking forward to seeing my wife and having a wee dram. The weather was dry and warm, the traffic was very light and it was still daylight despite the time of 21.00hrs. I was wearing a bright red cycling jersey and had my lights on. What could go wrong?
I was on the main road in secondary and about to pass a side road to my left. A driver approached the give way to turn onto the main road and slowed almost to a stop a couple of metres from the junction. I attempted to make eye contact but he was looking the other way at the time. Still, I was pretty sure he'd seen me. We had direct line of sight and I was pretty visible. Less than a couple of seconds later I was passing in front of the junction at which point the vehicle suddenly accelerated over the give way lines towards me.
I saw it happening and so accelerated and turned towards the centre line in an attempt to get out of the vehicle path. Not quite enough though and I was clipped on the back wheel/rear triangle. I had been doing about 15 mph before the junction and was likely doing about 18 mph by this point. I lost control completely as the back of the bike snaked from side to side before flipping me onto the road.
I hit the tarmac quite hard on my left side and rolled several times before coming to a rest. I didn't feel much in the way of pain and started to look up to get a vehicle reg. The elderly driver had pulled over and was coming across to me. "Unbelievable!" I shouted in a Victor Meldrew type way. "How could you not see me?" I then realised my arms, chest and neck were actually hurting quite a bit and so decided to lay still and ask for an ambulance. I knew I could move everything but also that the mechanism of injury was substantial and I might have neck injuries which could be made worse if I tried to get up. I didn't want to risk some permanent injury which might leave me in a wheelchair.
By now people were coming out houses and some cars had stopped. I was tended to by first aiders while we waited for the emergency services and then got fitted into a neck collar my head secured with blocks and was placed onto a spinal board for the transfer back to A&E. I say back to A&E because that is my place of work. I am a Charge Nurse there.
I was assessed by the colleagues I had left an hour so before and fortunately my neck injuries were deemed to be muscular only. My worst pain was now in my chest and right arm but I had no fractures and was discharged with analgesia and advice. I rang the wife and she set out to collect me and in the meantime I spoke to the Police. Details were given and I learnt the driver was being charged with driving without due care and attention. I also found out where my bike was as it had been taken in by some one who lived close to the scene.
I decided not to think too much about the damage to the bike and contact them tomorrow to arrange collection. I was glad to be alive but disappointed my long planned cycle trip along the Way of the Roses with my brother in law and his sons, due to start two days later, was now in serious doubt. I slept badly.