Countdown to Alpe d'Huez - 6 weeks to go

Week Ending - May 25th 2008 ........................................................................... Miles to date:- 4878

Monday Morning Stats:- Weight 11 stone 0 pounds ................................................. Resting Heart Rate 48

A good start to the week, I felt good and I had received some more donations from my neighbours, thankyou Helene and Bob Jessop, Mr and Mrs Murray and Mrs Malik. I decided on a longish ride in the Chilterns to get myself ready for my 100 mile ride in the Yorkshire Dales this Saturday. I chose a hilly route and found I was climbing quite strongly and managed all the hills without too much difficulty, only on one did my pulse rate shoot up. The only downside to the 78 mile ride was the weather, although sunny it was also very cold and I wish I had worn my gloves. Arrived home for a late lunch and was pleased to receive two more donations, more thanks, this time to Shirley and Tony from Betty's gym and neighbour Ted Mason. Ted has lived in his house since it was built in 1957, he was telling me today that it cost £2,500 then, worth 100 plus times that now.

Not much change in the weather on Tuesday, still cold and sunny with the wind slightly stronger. A steady 52 mile ride at the circuit, 8 of us were getting the miles in. Did a few quickish laps with Bob but he had to leave early for a lunch appointment, then played racers with Alan and Jim sprinting up the hill and in the back straight. Jim won the Green Jersey for his sprints and I the King of the Mountains one!

A great end to the day, just sent out two more letters to local businesses, so far sent out almost 100 letters but only had one response and that was negative but I am hoping for better results from these two! But the good news was a donation from Bernard Haugh which has raised my total sponsorship past the £1,500 barrier, thank you Bernard.

Slightly warmer on Wednesday and an easy 52 mile ride around the lanes of Berkshire with a couple of laps of Windsor Great Park. Arrived home and was pleased to receive a donation from John and Sybil Denman. They are the parents of our club chairman Chris and are always on hand to help out in the running and organisation of our club's events, their efforts are sure appreciated by all.

I also received an email from Philip Bouscarle who is also riding the La Marmotte, Philip is raising sponsorship for a local hospice, it sure would be interesting to know how much the British riders in La Marmotte will raise for charity. Philip lives fairly close to me and trains on the same roads in the Chilterns so we are going to try and meet up one day and share our experiences.

I will not be riding my bike the next two days, resting in preparation for my 100 mile ride in the Richmond CC 5 Dales 100 mile event. The course is very hilly and I am hoping my good form will hold and the weather will be favourable too.

The weather was not kind on Saturday, cold, dull, damp with a gale force North Easterly blowing. In fact we met on the journey a group of walkers who had cut short their day because of the wind but the cyclists struggled on! I was not feeling in top form and struggled right from the first hill out of Richmond. Only one hill was similar to the French Cols, the 7 mile ascent of Tan Hill to the highest Pub in England and I managed that climb well which pleased me. I found the two long 1 in 3 climbs late in the day, one after 60 miles, the other after 70 miles impossible as they were into the wind so I walked along with a lot of other riders. My cycling time was just over 7 hours for the 100 miles and I finished in the top 100 out of over 300 entries. Was the second quickest in the over 60 age group, just pipped by 2 minutes by a 62 year old but I was the fastest over 65 year old so at the end of the day I was quite pleased with my performance.

The wind was still blowing hard in York on Sunday so I decided to have a rest day and leave my bike untouched. The day finished on a good note, a donation from Jim, my training partner at the circuit. Thanks Jim.

Weekly Totals:- Miles:- 282 Time:- 18 hrs 3 mins 47 secs

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