Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Cycling to dumpsville

No, not that dumpsville. The Dumpsville that is the London Olympic Site.

Now that I am going to Paris on my little bike, the only thing I can pretty much think about now is how painful this 300 miles over 4 days is going to be..

Sunday two weeks ago, I officially started training for my London to Paris cycle ride by joining the London Cycling Touring Club on a Sunday 2 star ride from London Victoria to the Olympic site, via the east end, and then back through Greenwich. A 7 hour bike ride, which should have taken about 40km.. Whilst it was good to get some experience of what 7 hours on a bike would be like, unfortunately it was just a bit, well, slow. 8 miles and hour is not fast, especially when the ride was supposed to be the second hardest they do (the hardest being training for segments of the Tour de France). Whilst the leader was really very nice, he did turn it into a bit of a tour guide operation. It started with describing different interesting buildings in London (where the first cycle shop in London was, stories about St Pauls) but as the day progressed the stories became more and more random and, well, less interesting. We cycled deliberately on a detour soley to go past a gastro pub near the Magics house (personal note: The Magic - we have to go to The Gun. It looks amazing!) so he could show his wife where he met a friend once, he then showed us his old school, 3 of the houses he used to live in, the very spot where he watched Prince Phillip open the Cutty Sark to the public, and finally to the place where he got chucked into the mud by some school friends in the 50s.

On the plus side, I got to meet some nice people, and I now know to expect from a 7-8 hour cycle. A very sore arse.

Last Sunday C and I went on another cycle ride with the London CTC. Half an hour out of London, and despite it being pretty much Tory voting countryside, it was lovely out there. And today, for the first time (I'm ashamed to say) I went to the gym to start training on a bike (point - by first time, I don't mean first time ever just the first time for training for this insane ride).. Apparently, according to the literature that I got from my charity, one hour in the gym is equivalent to 2 hours in the saddle. Unfortunately, I really hate gyms. And when I say hate, I really do mean hate. There is no roads, no wind in my hair, no sun, no rain. Nada. Just oonce-oonce-oonce music blaring, and ultra fit people being uber aggressive with dumbells and what-not. Yeesh.

And finally, I've also started my fund raising, which entails me making cakes, bringing them into work and shamlessly asking for donations in return. I've so far made a Victoria Sponge, dark chocolate florentins (whose recipe I've nicked from Clotilde at chocolate and zucchini), apple tartes, and today, a coffee and walnut layered cake. All have been pretty lovely (buttercream icing is very popular), so I now have to get my still-sore-from-Sundays-cycle arse into gear and make more food.

Speaking of sponsorship (hint hint) if you would like to sponsor me, drop me a line at tryingtopanda at yahoo dot co dot uk and I'll send you my sponsorship page... Nudge nudge, wink wink, know wha' I mean, say no more.

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