Countdown to Alpe d'Huez - 8 weeks to go

Week Ending - May 11th 2008 ........................................................................... Miles to date:- 4404

Monday Morning Stats:- Weight 11 stone 2 pounds ................................................. Resting Heart Rate 48

It looked like Monday was going to be a good, it was warm and dry and Chris Denman our Club Chairman had made a donation. I noticed I had gained some weight and put it down to snacking at the weekend while marshalling and the lack of miles last week.

I set out to do a 60 mile plus ride in the Chilterns but the polite expression is I was feeling very lethargic and every mile was a struggle. (My cycling friends have a more more explicit term for this condition).

In the end I managed just 58 miles and I did cut out a few of the hills I had planned to ascend. The only bright parts were that I stopped and helped a guy with his puncture, (I do not understand why tyre manufacturers make it so difficult to get your tyre back on the rim) and while climbing the rise out of Dunsmore I was overtaken by a Wallaby. Yes it was a shock to me too but a passing motorist assured me I had not been hallucinating.

A sunny and warm Tuesday and for the first time this year it was apt to don a short sleeved top and shorts. A good turnout at the circuit, 12 riders in total and a brisk pace was set throughout. Lance was aggressive at one point, no doubt still celebrating his fast 25 mile time on Sunday. I felt much better than yesterday and managed to hold my own throughout the 51 miles. Bob looked the business in his pink Plowman Craven cap!

Jim informed me there was an article about my challenge in The Hillingdon Times, I will have to get a copy and see whats been said.

Tuesday evening and I am feeling really good, just received a £100 donation from Norman Curtis, Norman is a few years older than me and when I first started cycling he gave me the benefit of his experience. He sure helped me so much in those days. Thank you Norman, your generosity is appreciated and will make a difference to the Royal Marsden Hospital.

A hot Wednesday morning but my start was delayed by a mechanical problem. As I am riding the 100k Bucks Off Road Classic on Sunday I decided on an easy 45 mile ride to Twyford and back via Cookham and Windsor.

Thursday was a busy day, the morning was spent doing some essential gardening and recovering my summer bike from hibernation, a visit to the St George Development in the afternoon for some press photos and 37 miles training at the circuit in the evening.

A very mixed day today, a warm and wet start at the circuit with just Alan and Mike Clarke for company although Tad turned up later and Lance was doing fast laps on his Time Trial machine. Once again I punctured, I have lost count of the number I have suffered the past 6 months.

But tragically I learned that Ian Pool who was a member of my cycling club the Uxbridge Wheelers in the 1950's and 60's has died from cancer. Although I knew Ian was suffering from cancer it was a big shock that the end came so soon. Ian was one of the younger club members being 3 years younger than me but always had plenty to say and did a lot of work for the club being instrumental in running the club's annual road race. He sure will be missed by all his family and friends and I know that all who knew him will be thinking of his wife Daphne, his son and daughter and two grand children. Rest in Peace Ian, you were a good guy.

The news about Ian did cast a big shadow on my day and took the gloss off me breaking through the £1,000 barrier, in fact I have now raised £1,220. My initial thoughts were to try and raise £1,090, which equates to £10 for every mile I have to ride in La Marmotte. I am now targetting raising £1,730 which will be £10 raised for every kilometer, after that who knows what the target will be. I received donations today from Frances and John and Roger and Sheila from Betty's gym, plus Matt and Gill from my cycling club and I also made a contribution in memory of Ian Pool.

Most of Saturday was spent helping mark out the course for my cycling club's Bucks Classic which is a 100k off road event through the Chilterns. Sunday I rode the event while Betty and Jean Ralph manned the second feeding station. I was pleased with my first ride on my mountain bike for over 6 months and I got around the course which was very challenging in a reasonable time without over exerting myself. What surprised me most was not getting a puncture! Another good day for donations, £120 contributed, thankyou my neighbour Paul Hyland and family, club member Dave Eckersley, Club Chairman (again) Chris Denman and Lydia Gould a lady I met during the ride today. I wish I could go as quick as her although following her is a distraction with "EAT ME" written on the back of her shorts. What some people will wear for sponsorship!

I found time at the feed station to pose for a picture with our good friend Jean. Jean's husband was the late John Ralph, a British International Track rider in the 1950's and 60's.

Weekly Totals:- Miles:- 303.2 Time:- 20 hrs 32 mins 09 secs

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