Cider Saturday

The day started really well. I’ve a new play mate who I’ve just been introduced to – another new cyclist which is always good. JB (my new training partner) has committed to do a charity ride with a difference – 200 miles in a day. He signed up when he didn’t even own a bike……and we’ve had 2 rides out already! He’s naturally competitive so JB will be great to push me along and I’ll do the same for him.

Most men love data and competing with themselves. This mornings ride was much faster than our first ride – but that’s no surprise.  It’s JB’s first road bike and he literally had to start from scratch – like how to change gear! We did 28 miles in 1 hour 47 minutes – and average of 15.47 mph. Our previous ride on this course albeit clockwise was 1 hour 55 minutes and a good enough pace to make you thirsty.

Cider Saturday is steeped in history. Its origins can be traced back approximately 10 years when the bar at Worcester Warriors ran out of lager during the last game of the season. “We’ll have to drink cider” said RJ and it was as simple as that and Cider Saturday was born. Ever since then, the last home game of the season has been christened Cider Saturday and it’s obligatory to drink cider. Certain more sensible individuals claim to partake in Cider Saturday but can be seen drinking “the black stuff” or lager…..sensible may be but against tradition.

Cider Saturday lived up to all expectations – I just wish the same could be said for the Warriors. Yet again they came up short in front of the 6 ways faithful. It doesn’t look good for the play offs – let’s hope that Bristol have peaked too early and we don’t throw away the opportunity like we did on Saturday. 

I was glad to see my bed at the end of Cider Saturday and it was up early for a rugby festival at Telford on Sunday. The guys at Telford did an excellent job with a great mornings rugby for all. There must have been at least 300 kids their from age 7 to 12 all appeared to have a great time. 

Alas, cycling missed out again. I’ve done no more that 105 miles this week. I need to step the distance up to 105 every two days. On the ride I need to be doing 90 miles a day so I’ve a lot to do when I finish work……feels like I’m climbing a mountain. 

The Yellow Boat Reminder

I was concerned how the legs would be on Monday following the 50 miles on Sunday – but that was the least of my worries. My day started with a 2 hour drive to Altrincham where our staff were to find out the outcome of the “Strategic Review”.

Many people were put “at risk” with a lot surprised at how many roles are potentially affected. I’m prevented from writing too much about this but it’s a brutal reminder of the reality of corporate life.

No cycling on Monday as a consequence. I got back to find a massively upset Sebastian. He was in tears – hysterical in fact, the tears were rolling down his face and his verbal abuse was delivered at machine gun pace. For Seb, his Dad being late back meant that he may not get a yellow boat at the canoe club. For him this was everything. Nothing else mattered. There were about 8 other boats available at the club – all the same of course but they were all white and Seb can’t paddle those (there is literally no difference aside of the colour), but to a 10 year old nothing else in the world matters. I managed to cook him spaghetti, find his kit and get changed myself within 5 minutes. I was multi tasking like a mother would when getting kids ready for school

I dropped Seb off at the canoe club at 6.05. The coach helped Seb get a yellow boat with one of the others kids kindly vacating theirs.

On to the water they go and before to long they are off paddling up stream. The river becomes silent again as the young paddlers disturb the serenity of the River Severn further upstream. They absolutely love it; The guys at Worcester Canoe Club do a fantastic job with the kids. There are too many volunteers to mention personally and I’ll run the risk of forgetting one of them if I mention names – but we are grateful to them all.

The river is a great place to think. It’s calming and helps you reflect. What a contrasting day. Delivering life changing messages to work friends and colleagues and letting down my son who couldn’t get his yellow canoe ……. which for him was of equal magnitude.

Note to self – put the boys first.

Bring Back Michael Fish!

Yesterday was glorious across Worcestershire. Wall to wall blue sky’s. 18 degrees. T shirt weather – some hardy souls even had shorts and flip flips!

I watched the weather last night and it was forecast to be cold over night, but would then rise to 14 degrees through the course of the morning. Another day like today I thought.

I got ready in my shorts but had the sense to put on long fingered gloves and a gilet. It was a wee bit cool as I left the house. It will warm up soon I thought.

How wrong was I. It was bloody freezing!  When I cycle I find that it’s my feet that feel it the most. Without overshoes on that’s exactly how it was today – for 3.5 hours. Feet like blocks of ice or to be accurate, toes like ice cubes! (Garmin recorded an average temperature of 7.5 degrees which explains a lot).

It was windy too and it just felt as though every direction I rode in, I was riding into the wind.

So it was a brutal reminder today that preparation is key. Know the conditions and dress accordingly!

For the stato’s:

Distance              50.49 miles

Average speed   14.79mph (disappointing)

Time:                   3 hours 24 minutes

My First Real Training Ride

Its easy to get distracted. There is always another excuse. Yesterday we had Louis playing cricket all day and Seb sailing. Yesterday’s excuse for me was military fitness.

For my part I’ve not been on the bike as much as I would have liked since Christmas. In January it was icy, cold and dark (note the excuse) so I needed something else to shed my excess pounds. I’d weighed myself on New Years Day – not very sensible I know. Anyway I was the heaviest that I’d knowingly been at 15st 8lb, which is over 100kgs if you are that way inclined.

I needed a drastic solution that didn’t involve:

  • Eating less
  • Drinking less

Around the same time in my inbox popped my daily email from Groupon. I’ve come to really love my daily dose from them and invariably scroll through their daily offering as I have my first cuppa of the day whilst waking up. A rather well timed advert caught my eye one day “Xtreme Boot Camp”. That’s it I thought – I’ll give it ago. After all my weight had become extreme and my work shirts extremely tight.

It’s been fantastic and I’ve really enjoyed my regular beasting from Her Majesty’s Forces people. I was looking forward to my Saturday doseage but something was wrong and they didn’t turn up. They must be human after all. Perhaps they’d had a night on the piss, a second bottle of wine or a crap curry at 2 am?

Unfortunately it was nothing like one of my excuses and nothing more than a simple double booking. So I did nothing yesterday and have to make up for it today with at least 50 miles.

So it’s round Breedon Hill for me.