Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Everything Seems To Be At The Halfway Stage

My continued preparation for the Wakefield Hospice's Wakefield to Roubaix Challenge has started off exceptionally well this week.

Today I managed a ride covering just over 40 miles and that took me over the halfway point in my personal quest to ride at least 2016 miles in 2016. I was hoping to be at this point sometime in July, but my back injury stopped that one in the tracks! If I put in the miles over the next 2 weeks I should hopefully be back on schedule to coincide reaching this goal with the end of my challenge when I cross the finish line in Roubaix. One thing is for sure; it is going to be a tight run - about as close to a Jason Kenny sprint finish that I am ever going to come too!

On the donations front I have also received a boost too, another personal donation via my Virgin Giving page - which takes that goal past the 50% mark too. Thank you to everyone who has contributed so far. I have also been pledged a large donation from the father-in-law's employer, in recognition of the feat to come. And, for the 2nd year running, my dad is offering to help with obtaining contributions and pledges. I don't think I could ask for any better support.

So, all in all, everything seems to be coming together quite nicely. Now if only there was a way to pop this slipped disc back to where it should go. Yes I know that it's a bit of an oxymoron that I can cycle 40 miles pain free, but as soon as I get off the bike I can't walk properly!


Thursday, 11 August 2016

I Will Bike 900 Miles

Ride #32 of 2016 in 2016 and I've just clocked up 900 training miles for this year - that leaves another 1116 to go! Obviously my next target will be 1008 miles AKA The Half Way Point.

As for the back - it feels epic when I'm on the bike and there is that briefest of moments of a pain-free existence just after the ride. Then about 20 minutes the numbness starts...

But still, onwards and forwards.

You can check out this evening's ride here, if you wish.


Saturday, 6 August 2016

My Rehabilitation - AKA 2016 in 2016 Ride #30

So, after nearly 4 weeks of recovering from a back injury, I finally got out on my bike for a short training ride. I've still not fully recovered (it is either a trapped nerve or an inflamed disc) but the only discomfort I found was actually getting on the bike - it was easier to climb on from behind rather than trying to swing a leg over. I'm sorry I can't word that part any better with euphemisms getting in the way!

The ride was nothing too arduous; a quick circuit around a 4 mile route (the furthest point being just over 2 miles from home) and I took along a friend as a chaperone. I ended up doing 3 circuits of the route, followed by a quick jaunt on to the next village with a final climb on the return leg of an hill with quite a steep gradient with a sweeping near 90 degree bend. I had a plan to tackle this part: I was to take the middle of the road and swing round - that was until 7 cars appeared behind and decided to overtake at that point!

The only mishap on the ride was when my seat and seat-post moved slightly after I hit a pothole. It was enough movement to make the handling of the bike feel strange.

After the ride I noticed that the only back pain I was suffering was at the mirror opposite of where my current injury is. My non-medically trained brain thinks that this my back simply readjusting for over-compensation for the injury. Or I could just be on the verge of pulling another muscle!

Anyway, you can check out the ride here. If this is the first time you have read a post then you won't know that I'm doing all of this in the name charity - a 3 day cycle event from Wakefield to Roubaix, covering about 270 miles. If you would like to sponsor me in this quest, then you can do so here.

Oh, and special thanks has to go to Phil for being the chaperone for the ride. I'm just grateful that CPR wasn't required!

Friday, 5 August 2016

Less Than 50 Days to Go

So I have less than 50 days to go until the start of the epic Wakefield to Roubaix Cycling Challenge for the Wakefield Hospice. In case you haven't seen my earlier post about this, I have to cycle just under 300 miles in 3 days and all for a great cause!

As with all events like this they won't amount to anything without the generosity of others. I have been tasked with raising a minimum of £350 in donations for this great cause. Could I please ask you all to consider supporting me further by pledging an amount, any amount, on my fundraising page?

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Andy-Wills (you may have to cut and paste this in to a search bar if the link doesn't open).


What a Bloody Disaster!

Not a single bike ride since the 10th July! That's nearly a month out of the saddle. Why? It is because I initially pulled a muscle in my lower back. An historic annoyance that usually clears itself within a 7-10 day window.

On Sunday 24th July I was feeling quite good and even contemplated going out on the bike for a short 15-20 miles. Then I went and did something stupid when I saw something falling to the floor - I instinctively lunged to prevent it from happening. And no, despite being the tight Yorkshireman that I am, it wasn't a 20 pence piece!

Needless to say the offending muscle felt like it had snapped like an elastic band and from there on in a host of complications set in. Initially I just had difficulty in walking, then 24 hours later there was a random spasming down my left leg to point of such pain that I couldn't stand. This wasn't good and after 2 days of trying to ignore it I had to throw the towel in and go to the doctors. The prognosis; either mild sciatica, a trapped nerve (behind the inflamed muscle) or a slipped disc. Either of this were not good news and could take weeks to rectify themselves. A course of codeine, ibuprofen and heat balm has been recommended. I was also referred to a physiotherapist who gave me some stretching exercises to conduct.

Two weeks later and I think I am ready to try a quick run out on the bike. I have a feeling that I may not feel any discomfort and because of the riding position I may find it beneficial. Or I could just be talking bollocks and I could set myself back. I've decided that tomorrow, if I feel goop enough by the afternoon then I will try out my theory. Nothing too arduous - a 4-5 mile route around the town and if I feel up to it then I will complete a couple more circuits.

What's the worse that could happen?

Sunday, 10 July 2016

2016 in 2016 Ride #29

2016 miles during 2016 is starting to come along nicely. I've ratcheted up the weekly miles somewhat and kept the bike rides as close together as I possibly can, with longer rest periods between next bursts of rides.

So far I have completed 840 miles towards my target. That's 41% of the way there, which isn't too bad. Next goal is obvious: get to the halfway mark and quickly?

If I can keep this training pace up I should be looking to do my first 100 milers within the next couple of weeks.

https://www.strava.com/activities/636707292

Monday, 13 June 2016

Never a Bike Around When You Really Want One

So here I am, sunning myself up in Crete, without a care in the world. Alright, I have one! I want to ride my bike.

Seeing as the training miles are now coming on thick and fast I did think about hiring one so I could keep up the momentum. On the second day here I went to the local village to enquire if bikes were indeed hire-able. I found one Hire Car shop that did do a sideline in mountain bikes. Quite cheap too 1 Euro per hour of 10 Euros for the day. I looked one of the over and decided to decline the offer. A right rickshaw death-trap if ever I saw one. Worn brake blocks, rust all over and they appeared to have never seen a drop of oil and grease since they first rolled off of the shipping container. I felt so sorry for them that I wanted to adopt them all and take them home with me!

So I did what every other idiot does when they are on holiday; I resorted to running. 5 runs in 10 days - totalling about 30 miles! I haven't run properly, like this, for nearly 20 years. Found myself a nice little 6 mile route - quite hilly and very hot, even at 6am! I had to somehow stave off that weight gain from the all inclusive! This proved to me that cycling was more fun.

https://www.strava.com/activities/610183487


Monday, 23 May 2016

Who Da Man? Who Da Certifiably Crazy Madman?

The weather has turned slightly nicer (well OK, by that I mean there's more daylight in the evenings!) and I've been out and about in the saddle more in the last 2 weeks that I have in the first 4 months of this year! I've clocked over 200 miles in 7 days. I really do need to get my finger out if I want to complete my goal of 2016 miles in 2016. Up to this point I had only done about 150.

A couple of things have spurred me on; the first one being a funeral! They're always good for reflection and for those moments of clarity where you have that epiphany! The second was a letter from my local Hospice asking if I wanted to partake in this year's Challenge.

A piddly little jaunt around the Dales of Yorkshire for this year thought I? Sign me up! But what’s this? No Dark Peak Challenge this year? It would appear not. It looks like the Wakefield Hospice is going the whole nine yards this time with the "once in a lifetime event" of cycling from Wakefield to Roubaix, in 3 days! So that's about 280 miles in total, including cobbles and a velodrome, in 72 hours! 

I’ll think I’ll pass as this maybe isn’t for me! After all I’ve got less than a year’s worth of cycling under my belt! And the furthest I’ve ridden so far is just over 60 miles. It would take a certifiably-crazy-madman to agree to do this. After some thought and a lengthy discussion with the family,  where I raised my objections quite vocally, it would appear to them that I am that certifiably-crazy-madman!

Tonight I just signed up to the toughest challenge I think I’ve ever faced to date!



Saturday, 27 February 2016

Inching there ever so slowly...

Ride number 6 of 2016 in 2016.

It is becoming a fact that I don't like cycling in the winter months. Not because of the weather or the cold, I think it is because of the darkness. It's just another excuse for idiot drivers to not see you and that makes me feel unsafe.

https://www.strava.com/activities/503346207


Sunday, 24 January 2016

3 Down. Just How Many Are Left?

For the 3rd ride of the 2016 miles in 2016 quest, I was fairly happy with this effort. Despite the wind I managed a decent average speed.

I nearly sacked it off tonight too; it's late, it'll be dark soon and some other excuses came to mind. I simply employed Rule 5 and, to a degree, Rule 9 (can dark country lanes, populated with Sunday drivers, be considered close to bad weather?).


Friday, 1 January 2016

New Year, New Challenge

As 2015 draws to a close I now need to focus on what I want to do in 2016 and I have a crazy idea. For personal reasons I am glad to see the back of 2015, but one plus out of last year was that I started cycling.

After the Sportive in September the Trsuty Steed hasn't seen the short light of a cold winters day, but now she has been cleaned, oiled and the dreaded mudguards added.

My crazy personal challenge is for me to achieve 2016 training miles in 2016. Sounds simple when I put it like that. 

Happy New Cycling Year everyone!