Countdown to Alpe d'Huez - 3 weeks to go

Week Ending - June 15th 2008 ........................................................................... Miles to date:- 5575

A hot and sunny Monday morning so I decided to ride the 51 miles of my hilly circuit to Great Missenden. Kept up a good pace throughout and was pleased with my efforts. Another donation from one of Betty's colleagues at the gym, thankyou Liliane. Liliane is also a cyclist and has recently recovered from a broken ankle sustained when attempting to ride through a ford.

A warm Tuesday morning certainly brought the best out of all the riders at the circuit, it was our fastest session this year by far. Charlie Bell, the newest member of my cycling club was the star, he certainly gave Jim and me a very hard time when we were leading the group with him. To curb his youthful exuberance we encouraged him to try and lap us, it sure worked for at the end of the session it was a little easier for us at least. Another 51 miles in my legs plus donations from some of the local British Cycling officials. Thankyou Stuart, Colin, Trevor and Bob. I also received a donation from one of my local councillors, David Routledge thanks once again to Betty's influence.

Wednesday was another one of Rocco's Audax rides, this time 122 km through the Chilterns to Waddesdon and back. Luckily the route through the Chilterns was not too arduous although the outward journey was hard due to the strong headwind. I kept with the lead group which included Jim and Brian Moon regulars at our circuit rides and two 50 year old's Simon and Philip. We managed a good pace for the final few miles covering the last 20 in just over the hour, by the time I had ridden home I had clocked up another 82 miles. More action on the donation front too, this time from Kathy Stephens who works for the Trust where Betty is a Trustee. Thankyou Kathy, your contribution has raised my total to over £1,900.

Made a fundamental mistake on Thursday morning of not checking up on the weather forecast as I only intended going for a 20 mile ride to loosen my legs after yesterday's efforts. It was miserable, got caught in a torrential downpour while at Burnham Beeches and had a wet and cold ride back home.
But the day improved, St George's arranged a going away reception for me at their Park West Development and the event was well supported by many of our friends. The Mayor and Mayoress of Hillingdon both attended to wish me well for my challenge and we all enjoyed each other's company plus ample supplies of food and drink. St George did me proud.

More donations too, Ian Dobie, the MD of St George made a personal donation plus another from Alan Blann who was my cycling colleague in the 50's and 60's and also our best man and Charlie has obviously forgiven me for making him work hard at the circuit this Tuesday as he has also donated. A big thank you to you all. I have now broken the £2,000 mark and was told that as the event is in France I should be gaining sponsorship by the kilometre and so have raised my target to £3,480, thats £20 per kilometre.

I was also very pleased with the posters that St George produced for me. They are to be displayed at the Hillingdon Circuit to tempt the many riders who compete there to contibute towards my challenge.

Pictures from left to right. Row 1:- Ian Dobie MD St George, Me and Mayor of Hillingdon; Mayor and Me; Colleagues from the 50's Alan Blann, Me, Cynthia and Dave Green, Jean Ralph, Mrs Frewin and Betty.
Row 2:- Hillingdon Circuit colleagues and their better halves Liz and Rocco, Joan and Alan, Jim and Cica, Me and Betty; Three of my grand children Jessica, Libby and Ben; Betty's colleagues from the gym Jean, Parveen, Me, Betty, Dave, Shirley and Roger. (Double click of the pictures to see a larger image).

Friday was an early start at the circuit as I was giving a presentation to the local Rotary Club weekly lunch. The six of us who ventured out managed a good pace throughout and I covered 435 miles by the time I arrived home. The presentation at the Rotary Club went well and then it was packing up the car for a weekend in Wales, I hope to climb some longish hills.

A great day for donations too, now over £2,200. Very pleased to receive a donation from an ex BT colleague and fellow Royal Marsden patient Malcolm Lane and I really do hope his treatment goes well. Christine Tiernan from St George also contributed as did Jill Rhodes from the Rotary Club and Iris Bright from Betty's gym. Thank you all for your support.

Betty suggested a weekend in Wales so I could practice on some long hills so we booked in to a very pleasant B&B Cefn Colwyn, near Llanidloes Mid Wales. On Saturday I ventured out along the Aberystwyth Road, climbing Eisteddfa Gurig then descending, turning round and cycling back the way I came. Sunday a similar ride but this time up the Elan Valley, down the other side then back to my starting point. In total 85 miles which took my weekly total to its best so far, 339 miles. Gained some more donations too, this time from Joan Williams, the proprietor of the B&B and Jean Davidson, a guest who was visiting the area from her home in Northumberland.

To cap off a very good week, on the way home we stopped off to visit Norman Curtis, Norman was the person who guided me through my early cycling career and gave me endless support for which I always will be grateful. It was good to see him looking so well and to see his sense of humour has survived the years too. Nowadays Norman keeps himself active playing bowls and I am sure he still is as competitive as he was in his cycling days.

Weekly Totals:- Miles:- 339.8 Time:- 21 hrs 06 mins 59 secs

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