Archive for March, 2010

March-ing on…

March 28, 2010

…so it’s only two months to go now, and progress is being made both on and off the bike.

Another steady month of cycling with more or less the same mileage recorded. I think it’s important for me to get used to staying consistent, it’s days of steady cycling that’s going to get me through the challenge rather than lots of effort over shorter distances.

I do need to step up the mileage I’m covering on a day and, with that in mind,  I’ve got a plan in place for the Easter Weekend (hopefully a full report to follow next week!) and I’ve also booked myself into the Essex Lambs’ Spring Lambs Sportive – a 93 mile loop around Essex – to try and get some quicker miles under my belt.

I’ve plotted out an initial route that I’m going to look at in more detail over the coming weeks, but it looks like a challenging but achievable one. There’s certainly going to be long days, but I’m also going to be taking in some nice sights over the twelve days which, as I’ve mentioned before, I think is important rather than simply going head-down and as fast as possible!

Rather than rely on paper maps alone I’ve bought myself a portable GPS. The Garmin etrex Vista HCx is designed for walkers primarily, but does fit onto the handlebars and offers an opportunity to pre-load your route and alert you as to when you’ve gone wrong. I’m getting to grips with it at the moment. As with all new ‘toys’, there’s a learning curve to get over and features to try and decipher but…once I’ve got through all of that I think it’s going to prove invaluable.

Finally…I know you’re itching to see the numbers for March? Okay. Eyes down, look in…

Mileage for Week (w/e 21st March) – 81 miles
Mileage for Week (w/e 28th March) – 18 miles

Mileage for March – 406 miles

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A grand start…

March 17, 2010

…and a good way to end the week, my first ever fifty-miler on Sunday taking my total miles for the year to date over the 1,000 mile mark.

The route I picked for my fifty-miler was an out and back to Greenwich, taking in the London Marathon route on the way back.

What struck me the most was although the roads were populated with weekend drivers and there were quite a few people out and about on Mothers’ Day jaunts, the journey of a cyclist is very much one of an individual…just you, your bike and the road ahead.

I guess you can make of it what you want, but given that the roads I’m going to be travelling on are likely to be ‘B’ classified or lower you could quite feasibly spend the whole of LEJOG in solitude – if you chose to camp rather than spend the nights in hostels or hotels you need not speak to anyone for your whole journey!

In other news every booking is in place and has been confirmed to get me and my bike to the start and bring us back home at the end of the journey. A sleeper service reservation to get down to Penzance on May 14th, a ferry ticket to Orkneys for a pootle after arriving in John O’Groats, a ferry ticket back to Aberdeen from the Islands and then a final seven hour train journey back down to London…phew!

All that’s left now is to plan the route and book some accommodation. Oh, and do more miles in preparation. Yep, the easy bits have been left ’til last!

It has dawned on me that the start date is a little bit closer than perhaps I’m comfortable with (yep, it really is less than sixty days away), but equally I’m starting to get a little bit excited about the challenge ahead.

Right, an update on stats for the last six or so weeks…

Mileage for Week (w/e 7th February) – 144 miles
Mileage for Week (w/e 14th February) – 57 miles
Mileage for Week (w/e 21st February) – 82 miles
Mileage for Week (w/e 28th February) – 93 miles

Mileage for February – 351 miles

Mileage for Week (w/e 7th March) – 108 miles
Mileage for Week (w/e 14th March) – 148 miles

Longest Daily Mileage to date – 51 miles