New clothes…

This week I have mostly been buying clothes! On Friday another piece of my triathlon and open water swimming equipment arrived, a Sola wetsuit! It’s a good fit and bloody warm! I managed to resist putting it on and going for a cold bath to see if it works! The first open water swimming session should be on the 11th May, at Dorney Lake (or Heron lake, not quite sure yet!) followed by a Windsor bike ride with the Viceroys. Hopefully I can still remember how to swim quickly and along with my cycling they can make up for me not being a great runner. Walking funny has meant I had to invest in a £90 pair of trainers for that part, but worth it if I’m not in agony afterwards!

Sola Fusion 3mm wetsuit

Tomorrow was supposed to be the day that Hospital Tavern were promoted by beating Hoxton Foxes, having lost the title to FC Highstone, but the opposition can’t get a team. It means on Tuesday we will either be awarded the points by the league or have to play again. I hope it is the first because otherwise it will eat into my training schedule, which I would prefer not to happen. However the jubilation of being promoted by actual beating Hoxton and the celebrations afterwards would be great!!

Bank holiday weekend has not been enjoyable, having a terrible hangover all day (really considering less drinking…) today (Saturday) and planning on working on Monday to meet a deadline for SportsAid.

Speaking of which, I better try and get the DNS and domain sorted for that!

Tour de Kent

I completed my first real training ride this weekend, cycling from Raynes Park, London, SW20 to Deal, Kent, CT14.

Bugger was it hard.

Well, I say hard, up until Hythe (next to Folkestone) I was absolutely great and loving it! It was a hell of a lot more of a challenge than I thought it would be, and further, with 107 miles being the final distance. The main problems being the number of very steep hills, by the time I was riding along the coast with its hill after every town I was ready to give up! I was still easily making 20-30mph on the flat and even faster downhill, but I couldn’t face the hills. It really didn’t help that my new gears (badly adjusted by myself I must add) were slipping like mad!

But the final achievement and the struggling up hills wasn’t what the ride was about. It was training for my 3 capitals in 3 days cycle challenge for MAG (sponsors still welcome at www.challengebee.org) and it was just a test of my capabilities, but in the end it was far more enjoyable than I thought it would be. Cycling through tiny villages with truly quaint village shops and little coffeeshops where the same people must meet for cup of tea every Saturday morning was absolutely brilliant!

Earlier today I was thinking that the London marathon must be great to run, but as much as I like London, Deptford and Charlton are exactly my idea of scenic. Yes, The Mall but The beauty of the countryside (including the hills) was a refreshing change. The tree lined single track roads, the waving at fellow cyclists and the sun shining felt great. Mind you, When I got to Folkestone there was one fella I didn’t take kindly to, with him suggesting I “try harder”. Yeah mate, you too after about 80 miles.

But even though I did have to stop for a few more rests than I planned from Hythe onwards, I did manage to make it all the way to Deal. Although this is probably thanks to Chris Woollard (despite letting me down on actually completing the charity ride with me!) and Adrian H at Evans in Wandsworth for helping me (even if it cost a small fortune) ready to make the trip, and if I am honest make the trip easier. And I do have a new wheel for the June trip!

If I can do 107 miles through the hilly South East of England though, I think I can do flat Holland, although the way my legs felt back on the bike today, I better do a little bit more training, and when I get more time to myself, just ride for the hell of it.

Anyway, I suppose I better give you the unimpressive stats!

Cycling Time: 7:48:10
Trip distance: 107.3 miles
Average speed: 13.7 mph
Maximum speed: 34.5 mph

Slash, sponsorship and .net

Slash!

It has been a fun few weeks! Last week I went to see Velvet Revolver, the super group made up of members from Stone Temple Pilots, Guns ‘n’ Roses and Wasted Youth, and afterwards in the private bar met Slash and Scott Weiland. Both seemed bloody nice chaps, although Weiland appeared to be the only person in the UK allowed to smoke indoors at the gig. Now that’s power.

I was extremely disappointed that while writing this I found that Velvet Revolver have parted company with Scott Weiland, Slash citing his “increasingly erratic behaviour” as the reason! Well I never!

Slash was a bloody nice chap too. And my f**king God was he good on guitar! Unbelievable in fact.

The Friday after the gig was my first sponsorship deadline, which I just about reached, with the rest on its way. Great news – I am definitely cycling to Amsterdam and Brussels in June then!! Hoorah! Speaking of which I did my first training ride on Saturday – only 20 miles, but it’s a start. This weekend I will do 40 miles and then the following weekend I will try all the way to Deal to see mother and Grandad!

The final update is possibly the best bit – for me anyway. Up there with meeting Slash! I was in .net magazine! Now it was only readers sites, but the site Griff designed for www.challengebee.org, that I built over a couple of nights a few months ago is one of the sites featured on page 18. Nice screen shot, blurb that I wrote and picture of me and the Griff. I am proud! Next up is writing a decent article for the mag, which I am sure I could do!! I’ll scan and upload to this post asap! Probably tomorrow!

3 Capitals Challenge – The fundraising begins

www.challengebee.org screenshot

I have had my confirmation through, so now I really better start training and fund raising. To help I have put the site www.challengebee.org together, designed by my mate Griff. Hopefully that’ll give some easy methods for people to get money to me. The PayPal option has been quite popular.

I’ll be doing all sorts to try and raise money, from raffles and auctions to gigs and parties, so keep checking for my upcoming events. They will be fun. I hope!

SO there it is, the easy ways to donate are set up and now I can get down to the hard part of making people part with their money and preparing myself for 300 miles on my bike.

Chas ‘n’ Dave were awesome, by the way…