bikebritain News May 24, 2012

RIDE 24 - second time around

Lukey kicked things off this year with his piece on his training antics for bikebritain/RIDE24, see here; http://www.bikebritain.org/article.php?id=146  Here's my contribution. 

First things first; every pound raised counts. There is 4 weeks to go and we need to raise £1300, just like last year. Please help us to reach that target. Here is our fundraising page:- http://www.action.org.uk/sponsor/2012bikebritain

If last year made the bikebritain team novices, this year we will be (self-proclaimed) experts. But how does this new found status manifest itself? To begin with, there's a different race strategy to use this time around. After a ridiculous start from myself on the first leg (which was meant to last 75 minutes but actually lasted just 30), we found a 10 lap or 70 minute rhythm over the course of the event. We will optimise this for the race next month. Then there's training. Or even racing! None off us had raced before, let alone competed in an event like this. With just 4 weeks to go we'll be practicing higher intensity cycles rather than the usual, casual spins we all do over the South Downs....or through central London if you're Lukey!

You might recall we've had a change of personnel since last time around. Swazy decided to take a step back this year allowing Wozza to join us, which we are delighted about. Warwick, (to be more formal) has just bought an entry level Giant TCR so it will get put well and truly through its paces in a months time. Great choice of bike, great choice of event. The rest of us are back a second time; myself, Lukey and Malc all have unfinished business and I am confident with slightly different tactics and my new super sexy wheels we'll be able to make a Top 20 finish. No out-landish claims, but I think that is a realisitic aim.  

It had been my original intention to field 2 teams. Unfortunately due to one thing and another we were not able to initially fill the 4th position in team 2. However, when it came down to it, family commitments meant Team 2 was literally a team of 2! That said, I have at least 3 people who have said they'll be up for the challenge next year so fingers crossed bikebritain will be a two team experience in 2013. I did also test the water on how my wife would feel if I entered as a solo rider. We can summarise this briefly, as badly. Might need to put that one on the back burner although it did also tweak Swazy's interest. We'll see. 

It was about this time last year when I was introduced to the awesome power of Zipp wheels. I would be cycling round the race track, I would hear the "whoosh, whoosh, whoosh" of someone with aero wheels behind me, beside me, ahead of me and then that would be it. I wouldn't see them again. I'm hoping my acquisition of Zipp 404s will help me squeeze out a few more miles. Might suggest we switch the wheels round the team to enhance the advantage should we organise ourselves properly. We each rode 110 miles last year. If we managed just 5 more miles each we would make a Top 20 finish. Whilst we're on the subject of the bike, I managed to sustain some damage to the 'Spesh' whilst in Scotland conquering Bealach Na Ba. Unfortunately in my haste to start riding I failed to properly screw in my right hand pedal and it's subsequently cross-threaded the crank. Now my right hand pedal pronates as it revolves. Idiot! This could turn out to be expensive. So I must get this fixed (a) as soon as possible and (b) as I've already noticed knee and lower back pains from the irregular action. It will be LBS to the rescue here the I think.

It's fair to say I need to spend some time in the saddle - and soon. The month of May has been a write off for a couple of reasons, a combination of travelling extensively for work and then a week off from everything with the family has rendered me a bit rusty. However, I'm sure a series of consistent and reasonable length rides will sharpen me up. This week has already been 'better' with exercise being taken each day and I'm certain I'll be out a the weekend cracking in the miles, especially if the weather holds. 

Last year I reflected on how lucky I was to have a baby who was fit and healthy. I am delighted to say that another year on and Brendan continues to thrive and is everything a two and half year old should be; adventurous, belligerent, fearless and funny all in equal measure. Three months ago saw the birth of my second niece, Chloe, who we've subsequently discovered has trouble with her kidneys. Luckily it's not life threatening but there's been a fair degree of trauma for my Sisters family. It only illustrates what a miracle the birth is and how slim the margins are between being healthy and seriously poorly. 

I realise that there are many good causes asking for your financial support. I also know times are tough for many people; tougher maybe than they were this time last year. That said, (again), every pound raised counts. However, just one look at the front page of the AMR website will touch even the hardest of hearts. So please help us to raise money on behalf of AMR allowing them to fund research into diseases that afflict children. Like last year our target is £1300. And one last thing; you can be sure we will be giving it our best shot come the weekend of the 23rd/24th June.

To make a pledge, please go to http://www.http://www.action.org.uk/sponsor/2012bikebritain

Check out this video as well by AMR - http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=QpaiXuorK3s

And finally for the bikebritain video made last year - http://www.bikebritain.org/video.php?id=61

Different words from Lukey, race and fundraising reports all to follow. 

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