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  • Ride Start DateOctober 5th, 2014
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Not long now!!!

11 days till I set off, it’s getting very close!! The good news is that I’m feeling fit and I have most of my equipment in place now. My bike is being serviced on Monday so it should be in tip top condition.

Having followed a heavy training schedule I’m now beginning to taper it down so that I leave rested and raring to go. The plan is to leave from Christ Church following the morning service which starts at 11am. This is a harvest festival family service and I’d love it if as many people as possible could get along to it and then see me off afterwards. I should be leaving between 12:30pm and 1 pm. It’s followed by a bring and share lunch where you’d be very welcome to stay and eat!!

That first day route may change slightly as I’ve now decided to take the ferry from Dover. I’m getting an earlyish ferry on the Monday morning so will be cycling to Dover for Sunday evening. This gives me the opportunity to really get going in to France on Monday!! Beyond that it’s a case of seeing how far I can go!! Through my training I know I can cycle 100 miles in a day and also that my recovery rates allow me to do that on consecutive days. This will be the aim each day but there is a good chance, with the time that I’ll have, that I’ll be able to push on further on the flatter days which will then allow for shorter distances on days such as crossing the Pyrenees!!

The important thing with cycling these sort of distances is to make sure I eat and drink enough. This will mean drinking several litres of water a day alongside at least 5000 calories of food as a minimum. Fortunately I rather enjoy eating so I’m looking forward to a good sampling of French and Spanish food during my trip!! 🙂

I’m really starting to get excited about the trip now!! I’d love it if you could pray for me while I’m going. Also I’ll have plenty of time with my thoughts so if you have any prayer requests do feel free to text me. (If you need my number then private message me on Facebook!) Also encouraging texts will be most appreciated!! 🙂 My mobile plan has coverage for European calls and texts so there’s no need to worry about your message costing me or you any more than normal!!

Finally don’t forget this trip is also raising money for Macmillan and Watoto so if you’d like to support that please sponsor me by using the button on the top left of the screen or message me and I can put you on my sponsor sheets!!

Thanks for all the support so far!!

Al 🙂

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26 days to go!!!

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Not long at all now but things are coming along nicely!! Training is all going well and you’ll see me out with the trailer attached (see photo) as I career round the lanes of Essex. In an effort to replicate the weight I’ve raided our bookshelves and added approx. 10kg of books!! I’ve also sorted out my riding position which is now pretty comfortable and I can ride for significant amounts of time without any position related aches.

In terms of the ride my aim is to ride at an average at around 12.5 mph which will allow me to cover 100 miles with 8hrs of riding time. Currently I’m riding at about 2 mph above that which is very encouraging as I’m finding it to be a comfortable speed. This affords some space for manoeuvre  particularly when there are hilly days of which there are a few!!

I’m looking at 2 and a half weeks of fairly full on training followed by a week or so of more minimal training in order to give my body time to rest and recuperate a bit before heading out on the 5th!

As you can see from the tab above I’ve now got a route in mind which should be pretty close to what actually happens, It works out at 1395 miles on the maps which is pretty close to my estimated distance. It also takes in a little detour to the Mediterranean coast just to the south of my final destination at Jon and Emma’s. I thought it’d be well worth a quick detour!!

Next job, aside from training, is to print out maps and route directions in a pocket sized and laminated form. I’m hoping that this will allow me to manage the route quickly on the go without getting lost. Sat nav on my phone isn’t really practical as the battery runs down very quickly and anything else that might do the job is super expensive!! I am aiming to track the rides each day with the map my ride app which is a little more battery friendly. With a little luck also anybody who is interested can register with map my ride, add me as a friend and see real time tracking of my position. This is subject to being able to sort out a data plan that isn’t too expensive though!!

Other practical things to sort are a small and lightweight tent and possibly something to cook with. I’m aiming to camp as much as possible to keep costs down but also I need to keep kit as light as I can! Hence the stuff I take with me will be fairly minimal and hopefully weigh less than the books I’m currently dragging round.

Once done then I’m all set and ready to go! I think nervous excitement would describe my feelings currently. I feel that my body is ready for it and up to the challenge but also recognise that its a very long way to cycle in a short time and doing 100 miles ish day in day out for 2-3 weeks is no small matter.

I’ll post here and on social media regularly through the whole trip and would be super grateful for your prayers and support as I head along the way. I’d also love to interact with you and answer/discuss any questions, thoughts, advice etc that you might have!!

Cheers.

Al

5 weeks to go!!

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It’s all getting pretty close now!! Most things are in place including ‘Buddy’ the bike and his Klingon as you can see from the photo! I also have many mile of training under my belt and am feeling as fit as I have for a long time. I got the all clear from the doctors in terms of my health. So it’s just down to one or two details to put in to place and it’ll be all systems go.

In terms of the route I’m aiming to head over the Pyrenees via the Col de Portalet (could be an interesting day!!) which follows on nicely from the the route I posted in an earlier blog. Still need to pin down the Spanish section from there now that I’ve made that decision but other than that we’re looking good!

The next couple of weeks are going to consist of plenty of training with a full trailer to get used to the weight etc. and gathering the last bits and pieces of equipment that I need which will be along the lines of spares for the bike, tools and a small, light tent along with bit and pieces of camping equipment as well as completing the route maps and printing them in small sections to enable me to follow them easily!

The excitement is building and I’m at the point where I just really want to get going. I’m sure the 5 weeks are going to fly by though!!

Thank you to all who have sponsored me so far it’s hugely appreciated, if you’d like to sponsor then please feel free to let me know or to donate online using the link on the left hand side of the page!!

Will update soon with Spanish route plan and other info!!

Cheers

Al