Lands End to John O Groats Bike Ride Part 2.

Its now October and a new "flying machine" super carbon fibre bike has been purchased! Its supposed to make riding easier but guess what it doesn't, the ride is smoother but the training is still brutal and I don't think I will ever like riding up hills! However the weather is reasonably dry and until the clocks go back I'm managing to get out on a night after work and a longish ride on a Saturday.

As soon as the dark nights arrive that's me done! I certainly do not feel comfortable or safe trying to ride long night rides on our brilliant roads. Its only when you take to two wheels do you realise the state of our roads with more and more potholes appearing on a daily basis.

You also to appreciate how many bad / ignorant drivers there are on the road! This includes the idiot (language modified here) who thought it would be ok to pull out of a side street straight across the cycle lane I was riding in and then started to give me abuse as though it was my fault! To be fair there are also a large number of cyclist who are plain stupid and think its ok to dress all in black in the dark with no lights on their bike.

Riding a bike has certainly made me more aware on the roads maybe it should be a compulsory part of a driving test, but there again if you taught people to respect each other and just a few basic manners that would be an improvement.

Cycling has become my new obsession, its all I ever think and talk about and I know I'm driving people mad but the size of the challenge I have signed up to is daunting. I can honestly say that's its the first thing I think about when I wake up and the last thing I think about before I go to sleep and that's if I can sleep as there has been many restless nights thinking about the this ride.

The realisation of how hard this will be for me has well and truly sunk in but I am determined. The training comes first and I plan my week and weekends around it, on the plus size I have now lost 25lbs and officially I have gone from Obese to overweight on the BMI scale, i think Dr Christian would be proud!

I have now progressed to cleats (clip in pedals) instead of the normal pedals as I have been advised that its the only way of getting up those hills as your supposed to be more efficient! Well they should also come with a health warning, the first time I used them I forgot I had to "unclip" and pulled up at a round about but couldn't get my foot out and fell flat on my face!
Fortunately my embarrassment hurt more than the actual fall, and as everyone keeps telling me everybody does it the first time you use them but this doesn't give to comfort when your lying on the floor with the bike in on top of you!

In order to keep up with the number of rides I have purchased an indoor turbo trainer which basically you attach the bike to to enable you to get some miles done inside. Yes its boring but at least I can continue my training no matter what the weather. The addition of a tv in our utility room makes the training more bearable even if it sometimes its as hot as the the South of France due to the constant use of our tumble dryer which appears to be on 24hours a day, no wonder my electric bill is so high!

On the rare occasion I take to the roads I have decided to take on a few of the local hills but there is one beast of a hill that I am yet to conqueror locally known as shalely brow but to me its known as EVEREST!

I have tried and failed a couple of times, there is a sign that's says its a 14% climb and I couldn't help thinking that i should be able to get up this and have really been dejected thinking if I cant get up this how am I going to get up those hills in Devon. However I have recently been sent an article written by a local cyclists who described it as a vertical wall of tarmac and that the 14% is the average but at the top it rises to massive 28.5% incline. I have to admit that this did make me feel less of a failure.

On my last attempt I got further than I did before and generally gave it everything I had forcing every last bit of effort I had in the lowest gear I have. The sweat was pumping the legs were aching and my garmin heart rate monitor was bleeping away telling me my heart rate was too high it actually reached 194bpm but again I had to turn round. Bradley Wiggins I am not but I will be back I am determined it wont beat me, in the mean time Im thinking of trying to get in touch with Lance Armstrong for advice he found hills no problem at all!

Its now January and this training is beginning to pay off as I have said I have lost 25lbs so far and have started training twice a day four days a week with a long training session at the weekend. Getting up before work and doing 30mins on a bike is not easy for me as I have never been a morning person but I am beginning to feel the benefit. I know I have a long way to go and still a lot of weight to shift but I have made a good start.

I would like to point out that all money raised will be divided equally between the Charities we support and all costs for this event are being paid by me and a couple Company sponsors, this means that 100% of all donations will go to the charities as always.

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