Countdown to Alpe d'Huez - 1 week to go

Week Ending - June 29th 2008 ........................................................................... Miles to date:- 5915

Just 3 days to go before we leave for France. A warm Monday morning so I tackled my hilly Great Missenden Circuit for the final time before La Marmotte and managed to record my quickest time of the year so far. 51 miles ridden towards my target of 6,000 miles before La Marmotte. Spent the afternoon checking my bike over, put on a new chain and got together all the tools I hope I do not need whilst in France.

Monday night is clubnight and I received the good wishes of all my clubmates and spent a lot of time discussing the event with Chris and James who are also competing and no doubt I will see them on the course. They have later starting times than me and with their youth no doubt they will soon be passing me by. I was very pleased to receive a substantial donation from clubmate Colin Smith which has made my target of £3,480 seem very reachable. Cheers Colin.

A warm and sunny Tuesday and there were 10 riders at the circuit, a strong pace was maintained and we all made our legs ache on the hill. A good 47 mile work out. I was very pleased to receive a donation from Ian Campbell, Ian has just retired and is new to cycling and is spending a lot of time at the circuit so he can improve his fitness. We can all see the improvements he has made and no doubt he will soon be upgrading his bike and joining in our sessions. Ian's contribution has now raised my total to over £2,800. The day ended well with another donation, this time from Russ our club's newest member.

Wednesday, my last ride before France, went around an extended Cookham circuit covering 101 km (sounds a lot farther than 63.4 miles). Hard going into the wind but an easy ride homewards. Postman delivered another donation which I was very pleased to receive from Danuta Tinn, a fellow cyclist I met on the Cookham circuit earlier this year. Danuta has had a very good season so far time trialling and has donated some of her prize money to my challenge. One of the events Danuta won was the Cis Webster Memorial 25, I remember Cis from club runs when I was 16 years old, she was a fantastic cyclist, one of the best in the country and so friendly and helpful too. It was a sad day when she died at a young age from breast cancer. In the middle of packing to get ready for the journey and a donation received from our friends Sue and Ken. Many thanks to you both. This donation was quickly followed by another from two more friends, Peter and Gill so we are doing well before we leave and I have now raised over £2,900, not far to go to reach my target. Many thanks Peter and Gill.

A good drive to France and we arrived safely in the early evening.

Friday morning I met Alan as planned and after a 6 mile warm up we tackled Alpe d'Huez it was much harder than I expected but we made it to the top. The ride down was much more fun.

Saturday morning we drove the 30 miles to the top of the Col de Galibier, the weather was just about perfect at the top, sunny and not too cold. I practised the descent I will be doing in the La Marmotte and then cycled the 6 miles back to the top. It was again quite hard especially the last mile which was the steepest and the 8,660 feet altitude also made breathing difficult. Cycling is now completed for this week.

Just checked my email and very pleased to receive a donation from Catherine Bell.

Weekly Totals:- Miles:- 198 Time:- hrs mins secs

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