The Ups and Downs

The Ups

  • Another training ride completed
  • 50km cycled
  • 894m of elevation climbed
  • Beautiful sunshine for spells
  • Fabulous stop at The Prison in Northleach for coffee and bacon baps
  • Beautiful countryside
  • Lovely villages
  • A new route
  • Little traffic
  • Lovely company
  • Home just as the rain and hail started
  • 904 calories burned
  • Off to Lanzarote next week to cycle in the sunshine

The Downs

  • A slow cycle for me today
  • The scale of the challenge ahead is enormous and feels so daunting
  • I’m still worried there are not enough hours in the day to complete the challenge at my speed

As always, the ups far exceed the downs so on balance a very successful morning ride!

One of Us is Going the Wrong Way!

Excuses, excuses……….

Excuses, excuses, or seriously adverse weather conditions?

Some of our very regular cycle routes underwater this week….including Ashleworth where we used to live.

The road to The Boat inn, Ashleworth

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The Boat Inn, Ashleworth

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Sunnier Times at The Boat Inn

The Yew Tree Inn, Chaceley


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Heartfelt sympathy for all those people whose homes and businesses have been affected by the floods.

Wild, Wet, Windy and Wintery

With a dislike for indoor training, despite the threat of rain and a moderate breeze, the great outdoors won my vote.

The weather forecast wasn’t great but it painted a more optimistic picture than was the reality!

Heavy rain, strong winds, debris on the roads, flooded roads, fields, cars……

Emergency tree felling to avert an accident….

And to top it all our planned stop at the fabulous Miserden Garden Centre Cafe (home to some amazing cakes) was shut.

Thankfully, The Carpenter’s Arms at Miserden had a warm welcome with it’s roaring log fires.

Despite the weather and the sense that we weren’t breaking any records today, I was thrilled to get a few Strava ‘Personal Bests’ which almost made it all worthwhile!

A Good Idea?

In my last post, a little ‘tongue in cheek’ I began to wonder why I ever thought this challenge was a good idea.

Having recovered from today’s training (more about that later), there are many reasons why this challenge is a good idea:

  • I’m supporting a fantastic charity The Cure Parkinson’s Trust which funds research which has the potential to slow, stop or reverse Parkinson’s
  • I have Parkinson’s
  • The quest to find a cure, provides hope to over 10 million people worldwide, living with Parkinson’s
  • Hope is a precious gift
  • Exercise has been shown to slow down the progression of Parkinson’s
  • Five years after a diagnosis of Parkinson’s, it is great to feel that such a huge challenge is within my reach
  • Along with the other people with Parkinson’s doing this challenge, we can perhaps inspire others to exercise (although not necessarily to such an extreme!)
  • Exercise is good for the mind, body and soul
  • I want to be a positive role model for my children
  • I have developed a LOVE of cycling
  • I am lucky to have wonderful friends to cycle with
  • Life is short, we should do what’s important to us while we can
  • I like to have a challenge
  • It’s fun!

Of Course it’s a Good Idea!

Mountains to Climb……

After each training session, I check my Strava data – distance cycled, elevation climbed, maximum speed, overall time spent out, time spent moving, etc, etc. Yes, I know, I’m turning into a geek!

This time, I also reviewed my stats since January 1st this year. As of 10th February, I had ventured out 17 times, cycled 809km, climbed 9333m and this has taken me 46.5 hours to complete. Some of these rides have felt extremely long and extremely hilly BUT for The Raid Alpine, over six consecutive days I’ve to cycle the same distance with twice as many hills. No rest days, no excuses and no recollection of why I ever thought this was a good idea!

And then there was one

Before the weekend storms draw in, John A, Roland, Caroline, John W. and I set out on a cycle together today. ‘Together’ being a term applied in the loosest possible way!

John W and I slogged our way to the top of Sudeley Hill, with gradients of up to 18% over 2.5km, then realised the others were nowhere in sight.

John A, worried by our disappearance, had gone all the way back down Sudeley Hill, looking for us, only to have to climb it all over again. I was touched by his concern and of course his desire to ensure that his Strava stats put him towards the top of this week’s leaderboard!

Work commitments determined everyone’s departure time, Roland first, while the rest of us enjoyed coffee and cake in Broadway. John A next, managing to increase his Strava stats further by finding himself almost in Evesham at one point!

Caroline peeled off at Stanway and John W did the same at Winchcombe. I took a slow pace up and over Cleeve Hill, due to the strong winds and arrived home mid afternoon.

Our Strava stats show us setting off together but taking different routes, at different speeds to arrive home at different times!

‘Together’ was definitely a term applied in the loosest possible way today!

Road Closed

If you’ve followed The Cyclopaths before, you will know that we view the ‘Road Closed’ sign as a challenge, rather than a warning……

Naturally, news that our favourite, Cleeve Hill has been closed to traffic for three weeks, made us immediately think – how wonderful it would be cycle the hill without a steady stream of fast cars passing us. I have enormous sympathy for all those drivers affected by the closure but on a purely selfish level, this was a cycling opportunity not to be missed…….

Road closure and not a car on Cleeve Hill. Passable by bicycle, so novel was the experience, we tackled the hill from both sides during our 65km ride.