Today brought home how tough my training is going to be. Last year I had a choice when I went out to ride my bike, this year I have a training plan and specific rides to complete each day without fail. Today was the first day when I had to think about what I am doing, and why I am doing it, to make sure I completed my training schedule. Knowing that the goal is to raise £1,000,000, and that to raise that money I have to ride the 21 days of the Tour de France route was the motivation to ride.
This morning we woke to a hard frost, so my plan of the Club ride, at 9:30am, followed by another 2 hours went out of the window when the ride was cancelled due to the icy conditions. Going out on my own was not an option either as I cannot afford an injury, the danger of an accident was far too great on slippery roads. So a plan of a 4 to 5 hour ride was looking like it was going to be an indoor turbo session. A turbo session can be really rewarding and improve performance, but are best when the time is about an hour and to a specific routine, the thought of staring out of the window for 5 hours turning the pedals at a monotonous pace was not at all appetising.
At 11 o’clock the ice had cleared, and with a few others wanting a ride, 5 of us were out. On the road at 11:30am. Myself, Andy, Paul (a regular rider friend), young Dan (who at only 16 has real potential as a cyclist if he chooses that career), and Mike Hopkins who rode the Tour 21 last year. We rode the club route and had finished that in just under 3 hours. Enough for the day for the others, who all went home, but for me I still had another 2 hours to go. Mike had warned me about this, there is no choice if I want to be properly prepared, so rather than finishing I was still riding at 4:00pm. The first part of the ride with Andy, Paul Dan and Mike was cold but bearable as the sun came out, and the company of others helped pass the time on fairy damp miserable roads, but as my solo session went on the temperature dropped, and with no company or help it was only the knowledge that, along with fundraising, preparation is everything at the moment, that kept me going.
Veloviewer is a cycling app which tracks all my rides, runs and swims. It is a great tool to track what you are doing and how your current performance relates to previous rides. Reviewing my 2021 summary the mileage was certainly there, but this was all when I wanted to go out and ride, this year I suspect the Mileage will be higher boosted by those rides I have to do, rather than want to do.
Already I can see my mileage is above every year since 2015, with the exception of 2019. In 2019 by the 9th of January I had ridden 305 miles, so far this year my mileage is 288 Miles.
On the fundraising front, just like Veloviewer tracks my riding, JustGiving tracks my fundraising. Thanks to so many generous people, in December I was in JustGivings top 1% of all their fund raisers. Now at 19% of my total I have less than £100 to go to to reach £6,000 (20% of my total) – hopefully that will come in soon.
I am currently talking to a number of corporate entities and high profile individuals, who I am hoping will see the benefits of aligning themselves to Cure Leukaemia as one of their chosen charities. If there is anyone reading this who would like to know more about sponsorship please get in touch via my contacts page and I will gladly forward you the details. Companies could see their branding on the TOUR 21 kit throughout our training, the epic 21 stages of the Tour and in TV, digital and print media before, during and after the event. Our support vehicles will also show sponsors logos.
Andy has a special challenge coming up, more of that in the weeks to come, hopefully you will all support him as you have done my fundraising efforts – knowing what it is, I think I’II have the easier task !!!
As my training changes, and I track my performance on veloviewer, its great to know that although the days may be hard, the training will be different to anything I have done before, and there is no rest now until the end of July, each time I get on my bike I am supporting those with Blood Cancer, will directly help save lives and will hasten the eradication of blood cancer within 15 years.