Training rides, charities and a manic life.

A bit of an update from the silence.

Overloaded cyclist
Recent months have been a little manic, and sadly this blog has slid more than a little.   I'm still riding, training, planning, working, living, loving, doing stuff and being active, just every second now seems to be in demand.   And LEL is less than 30 days away.

In recent months, I've done a number of massive rides and ticked off loads of Bucket List ride ideas I've been wanting to do.

  • Cat and Fiddle.   Done.   In the middle of the night.
  • Mow Cop while join the VeloViewer heat maps between the NW and Midlands by an epic ride?  Cycled across Midlands, Cheshire, Chester, under the Mersey, across to Manchester and into the Peaks all after a day's work!
  • Bag a 600km ride?  Yep, done that while climbing the Snake, Strines and get a PR of >6,000m climbing!

There are a few still on the list, but that's a good chunk ticked now.  Saying screw it to "safe" routes, taking the Apidura and exploring more has had a big difference.   The UK isn't a scary place (except Spalding and the Fenlands when the UKIP boards are out).


As LEL is fast approaching, I'm getting there.  All the "big training" is done (I think).  As last year I did Ed-Lon for charity, I raised around £6,000 through private and work related activities.   To all who donated, it was a massive undertaking and thank you.

So this year, I haven't raised money.   Why??

LEL is double EL.  Eds-Lon hurt a lot, this will be even more painful.  In 2016 I had the strong conviction that I could do 450 miles straight once I'd put my mind to it.  900 miles is something different.   Although I'm physically and mentally stronger than last year, it doesn't feel like twice the risk, more like x50 the risk of not finishing.   I'm a scientist, I like to have some certainty or statistical analysis to say that it is within reach or a stretch goal.  EL was, LEL doesn't yet compute, therefore I don't want to take donations for something where there is a real risk of failing.

Charitied out.   Last year I asked a lot from a lot of people and I'm extremely grateful for everything everyone did to support me.  12 months later asking for it all over again doesn't sit well with me.   I toyed with "Double the distance, double the money!" idea, but I don't want to be the office chugger and congest everyone's feeds with my pleads.   Everyone gets charity fatigue, especially if you work in larger organisations so my thought was that last year was my turn, doing it again would rub people up the wrong way regardless of how big my challenge is.

I'm not sure if this is just a peer thing or society in general, but I've been aware of a lot of my Facebook pages and peers doing charitable events.   I've seen a lot of charity requests on 5 - 10km runs, swims, bake sales and everything else.  I don't want to piss on their parades, belittle or say this is wrong because these charities badly need money and I commend people for doing charitable things.  For some people and their circumstances doing the events, a 5km run is far more of an achievement than what I do - although I'm sceptical of those repeated charity runners who never progress, stretch or go further but still expect the same amount of support.

Support/don't support me.

Like I typed, I'm not going to be rattling the donation can.  Now 95% of my training is done, I'll ride LEL to the best of my ability and aiming for (1) to finish, (2) a good time & (3) fastest time???   I've had a lot of interest from my small group of friends and networks who have wanted to support me in some way, so I'll suggest:

  1. The Neuroscience Support Group @ the QMC.   If you want to support the charity of my choice, please do.
  2. Sweat pledge.  Get off your arse and get moving.  Run, swim, jog, dance, or my personal bias, CYCLE!
  3. On LEL, I will be rider II5.   Start time of 3pm.  Find me here and dot watch.


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