December 100 – Simply ‘The Best’

As the year draws to an end I was able to take advantage of some good weather, with some friends I rode from Bromsgrove to Stratford, then round to Tewkesbury before heading back to Bromsgrove. The good weather helped along with a flat route. After an 8am start the ride took just under 7 hours, (including a hour break for lunch). I’ve managed a 100 mile ride in each month this year except for January, which I missed due to the lockdown, as no cafes were open it would not have been a good idea to try and ride that distance without a lunch stop. My training will ramp up as we move in to the New Year, for now though I’m just doing a few short rides a week, so this long ride was a welcome change to my normal routine. Today the weather was not so good, so it was Zwift, but I have been told that next year it is no excuse, good weather or bad – it will be out on the road !!

I was lucky enough to go to two live theatre shows this week. On Friday it was ‘Barbara Nice’s Christmas Cracker’ Birmingham. A festive themed comedy show, with a couple of local acts as support, as usual Barbara ran a fun raffle – Guess what… I won !! Up on stage I managed to get a plug in for my ride and fundraising, after the show a gentlemen called Tim came over very interested in my challenge and very supportive. It was nice talking to Tim, sharing the shared passions for the show and cycling, and after taking my contact details told me he would be back in touch soon – He happened to work for Schwalbe Tyres – Its strange how randomly life works sometimes.

On Saturday it was a trip to London. Andy and I spent the afternoon in Covent Garden, having something to eat and drink at a favourite pub of ours – ‘Mr Foggs Tavern’ in Shaftesbury Avenue. A themed Pub/Gin bar with all manner of things hanging from the ceiling, the staff all dressed in vintage style waistcoats, it feels as if Phileas Fogg may walk in for a drink before for his journey Around the World in 80 days – which incidentally although about an English gentlemen is a French book and when first published was called Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours.

In the evening we went to a West End Musical at the Aldwych Theatre – A gift from friends for my 60th Birthday earlier this year. ‘TINA, a musical about the life of Tina Turner’ was superb, you may even say Simply ‘The Best’. Following the story of Anna Mae Bullock through childhood, marriage and to career resurgence, it tackled many difficult subjects from domestic violence, sexism and racism and gave a great insight to how the career of Tina Turner developed. For me one of the most important things was, that when she made her comeback in her mid 40’s, everyone thought she was too old, but she showed if you are determined enough, if you have a set of values and stick to them no matter what, then age is not a barrier. This is one of my reasons for taking on The Tour De France route at 60 – to show age is not important, its your determination that counts. – Thank you Loz and Al for a my gift, the seats were great, the show was great, just a pity you couldn’t join us.

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