Last autumn I started doing quite a lot of cycling, and have been really enjoying it. Its helped a lot with fitness and played a big part in me losing almost 2 stones in weight since last Easter!
I needed something to keep me going over the dark winter months - last year I cycled a bit in the autumn and stopped as soon as dark nights and cold came!
I have always fancied doing some sort of challenge and a conversation with my business partner Lee ( a semi pro BMX racer and 2009 British Champion !!) led to a discussion about riding the Coast2Coast Route from Workington to Tynemouth..... across the Lake District mountains and the Pennines......
A bit of research reveals that there is a well established cycle route of 145 miles or so...... which most people attempting complete in 4 - 5 days or so. So...... seemed like a good idea..... however....... Lee has a young family and his BMX racing takes him away regularly on weekends so he doesnt have the flexibility really to be away for a week riding across mountains - especially after a 10 day trip this year to race mountain bikes in South Africa!
The route..... showing options at each end!
So..... a plan was hatched to do the ride in 2 days! There was no alcohol involved.... just enthusiasm! The 2 day challenge involves riding 75 miles a day with some very big climbs, one coming at the end of day 1! So this certainly ain't going to be an easy thing to achieve by any stretch of the imagination!
I decided if we were going to do such a challenge then we really should make it a charity ride and see if we can raise some serious money for a good cause. A few mentions and a few people want to join in..... crazy fools! So at the moment we will be joined by my son Miles and his friend Chas, racers Chris Geyton and Scott Chapman and top Tuner and keen road cyclist Chalky White.
So I have now begun a fairly serious training and riding regime. I have done 200 miles - predominantly off road miles - in October and the aim is to steadily increase this until the ride date in May / June 2012 ( exact dates not confirmed yet ). As we will have 75 off road miles to ride each day we are likely to be in the saddle for 7 hours a day if we averaged 7.5mph. Sounds easy speed to average but the very steep uphill sections are quite long so we will have large sections where we slow right down!
Heres a couple of videos to show the kind of thing we'll be doing!
I am probably now fitter ( and thinner!) than I have been for some time! But to really do this challenge I'll need to be building up to regular 6 hour rides by May, and of course start to try riding UP some serious long hills!
Why couldn't I just 'Gofor a bike ride!' lol