Tuesday, 10 May 2011

Some thoughts...

Since I started cycling more, I have gained far more of an interest in all things to do with cycling. It is all new to me, although I was introduced to it at a young age, as a couple of my cousins had a brief foray into the world of professional cycle racing when I was a youngster.

And I have marvelled at the incredible skill and bike handling skills of the top riders, and their ability to completely strafe their bodies day after day. And they seem incredibly tough too. Leaping up after what look after really horrible crashes to check if their bikes are still rideable, and just getting on with it.
OK, the occasional broken collar bone or arm happens, and lots of painful looking road rash, but really serious injuries are rare.

So it was really shocking and saddening to read of the untimely death of Wouter Weylandt on a fast descent during Stage 3 of the Giro d'Italia yesterday.

A timely reminder that as cyclists no matter how good we are, we are vulnerable and fragile.

In two days, I'll be heading to the Lakes to start my challenge. I'm excited about it, and nervous too. There are lots of questions that can't be answered - but as long as the bike and body hold up, it's going to be quite some adventure.
I'm lucky too. I have fantastic friends who have been incredibly generous in their support, some of whom will be joining me for a day, or part of a day. Others will head to points on the course just to be there and give me a cheery wave.

I am also hoping that a few cyclists will have heard about what I'm doing, and just turn up for a toddle around Lakeland.

I'm also hugely grateful for the support of Team Nutrition who are providing me with my hydration and recovery drinks. This will be pretty important!!
And the guys at Cyclewise who have offered me the shop as a stop off point for sorting drinks and the like for the last part of the ride, as well as to make sure that the bike is in working order.
And I'm particularly looking forward to being the guest of Oakdene B&B which is without doubt the plushest B&B accommodation in the world, and run by friends of mine who are also really excited about my challenge :o)

A quick "Thank You" to everyone who has donated to Macmillan so far. We're up to £600 which is now 53p per mile.
Fabulous :o)

I have regular calls from the Fundraising folk at Macmillan, and they are incredibly grateful for the sum we have raised so far.

Not long now!


  1. We can't wait to have you! And we're really looking forward to helping you and supporting you throughout your challenge. You're amazing! :-)

  2. I've just come accross this blog via a link o the Fred Whitton website. Sounds like one hell of a challenge!

    best of luck to you and I hope it all goes really well

    I'll leave you some sponsorship when I get paid!


  3. Sarah - can't wait :o) See you on Thursday!
    Thanks Steve. I'm looking forward to getting started now. It's going to be quite an adventure

  4. Hi there, great to hear about your challenge! I just completed the fred for the first time on Sunday, I take my hat to you for attempting 10! There is a group of us cyclists from Keswick who would love to come and ride with you over the weekend. Any ideas of a predicted time you will be stopping at Cyclewise on Whinlatter? We can put word out locally and on Facebook etc to hopefully raise some more cash for you!


  5. Hi Dan, That would be fantastic. Thanks! The more the merrier!!
    I'm aiming to get to Cyclewise between 10:30 and 11:00
    I have a GPS app on the phone that I'll give folk the link to tomorrow so I can be stalked (as long as there is a phone signal to upload it!!)

  6. Hi Leon,

    Take the first couple of Freds VERY conservatively paced. I did it for the second time on Sunday and wouldn't have fancied another tootle on Monday.

    Remember when it's grim and cold and windy and you're tired to the core of your bones, that to be physically able and restriction free to take on such a tour is a privelege and honour.

    Enjoy and may the cycle gods smile upon you!

  7. "..Remember when it's grim and cold and windy and you're tired to the core of your bones, that to be physically able and restriction free to take on such a tour is a privelege and honour.."

    Thanks Anon :o)
    This is SO true!

  8. Hi Leon, I completed my eigth Fred on Sunday...thats one a year you understand, and it is now wednesday evening and I still have nothing in my very sore legs, and that is on a diet of 300 miles a week all year. I wish you all the luck in the world. Are you starting from Coniston every day? and at what time etc, I may just pop along and join you one day. Neil

  9. Thanks Neil.
    Yes, I'm starting from Coniston each day from Hills Garage at 6am!
    I want to use the 4 Seasons timing cards so that I have 'official' times for each day. It would be great if you joined me for a day.

  10. Good Luck Leon, Having done the Fred last year I know what you'll be going through, I'm doing the JOGLE in 8 days with 4 others, not sure how the legs will feel doing the 100 miles day after day. All the best.
    Duncan, from Bolton

  11. Thanks Duncan - and the very best of luck with your 8 day JOGLE! Nice one!! :o)

  12. Complete respect Leon, what an awesome challenge.
    What time are you due through Keswick each day as I live down Borrowdale and I might cycle in to Keswick and then give you some shelter from the wind as you cycle down towards Honister!

  13. flip - get a hold of yourself, man ;o)

    Cheers Dave - I'm reckoning on reaching Keswick between 8:45 and 9:15 each day depending on how things are going, what the weather is up to and so on. Some company into Borrowdale would be fantastic :o)

  14. Go eL Bee! go! :)

    Inspirational m8 and enjoy all those moments