Social Distancing the Scenic Way

Views from Walks or Cycles Around Gloucestershire in 2020 I'm grateful that even during months of lockdown, we have always been able to exercise outdoors. I'm grateful we live in such a beautiful area where social distancing can require no effort at all. I'm grateful that, whatever the weather, we ventured outside and took the… Continue reading Social Distancing the Scenic Way

New Day, New Start…….

After giving myself a severe talking to, having received many lovely messages of encouragement and support following my 'CBA' blog and with a ray of sunshine sneaking through the clouds, I finally donned my cycling gear for the first time this year and got on my bike. Now, I'd like to give glowing reports but… Continue reading New Day, New Start…….

Challenge? What Challenge?

Determined not to allow our hilly cycling to be thwarted by the cancellation of both our Alps challenge in June and our modified Alps challenge in August, we set off to conquer some UK based roads and hills instead. This week was... Not quite the Alpine challenge in terms of people. From the original group… Continue reading Challenge? What Challenge?

Local Legends

Cyclists love a bit of Strava and now there's a little bit more to love with the introduction of 'Local Legends'. 'Local Legends' are individuals who have cycled a stretch of road (segment) more times than any other Strava user in the previous 90 days. 'Local Legends' are awarded a golden crown for each segment… Continue reading Local Legends

A Heart Warming Story

I met Jonny in Kyoto last year at the World Parkinson's Congress. He too has Young Onset Parkinson's and he cycles, so naturally, we've followed each other on Facebook and Twitter ever since! He recently tweeted this story and it brought a smile to my face and warmed my heart. I felt compelled to share… Continue reading A Heart Warming Story

The Final Nail in the Coffin

'The Final Nail in the Coffin' "An event that causes the failure of something that had already started to fail" It was perhaps inevitable but after a full 12 months and 7,500km of training, 90,000m of hill climbing and being as ready as we've ever been, we've had to cancel our challenge in the Alps again.… Continue reading The Final Nail in the Coffin

A Few Hills Too Many

A hilly ride yesterday with the Sunday morning group. Lovely company, glorious sunshine and a beautiful route but hilly and I found it really hard. No personal bests today and the rest of Sunday was a write off for me as it's taken me 24 hours to recover! Doesn't bode well for The Alps....! I… Continue reading A Few Hills Too Many

A Little More Training….

It doesn't feel right to consider my last few rides as training. They have been in beautiful sunshine, with great company, fabulous cake stops and some of the most stunning countryside. I can't think of anything I'd rather be doing. Getting faster and fitter is the added bonus! 1. To The Blue Zucchini in Tetbury… Continue reading A Little More Training….

And Counting……

24 Days A few days rest after The Raid Local and already we need a new challenge. A 'Covid Compliant' Alpine Adventure .......in 24 day's time. 777km Cycling 777km from Lake Geneva to Nice. 13,000 13,000 metres of climbing Six Cols Col du TelegraphieCol du GalibierCol de L'IseranCol d'IzoardCol du Cormet de RoselendCol de la… Continue reading And Counting……

A Sunday Cycle

Great to be out with the Sunday Cycling group again. A lovely route out to The Old Prison at Northleach. The company was great, the rain held off until the last ten minutes and the bacon sandwiches at The Old Prison were fabulous. After two weeks away from my bike, the hills felt hard, so… Continue reading A Sunday Cycle

The Peculiarities of Pedalling with Parkinson’s

When I learned that exercise is the only thing that has been shown to slow the progression of Parkinson's, I started cycling, overcoming the numerous obstacles that Parkinson's puts in my way. Amongst many other symptoms, Parkinson's affects my balance and coordination, causes dizziness, muscle cramps, dystonia, rigidity, stiffness, pain, slow movement, tremor, fatigue, poor… Continue reading The Peculiarities of Pedalling with Parkinson’s

With a Little Help From My Friends

Cycling with friends is so much more fun than cycling alone and There are many wonderful people I cycle with regularly. This post is a shout out and huge ‘thank you’ to the other lovely people who have joined me for the occasional cycle ride over the last couple of years. To Alison, Michael and… Continue reading With a Little Help From My Friends

Some Normality

For all sorts of reasons, we haven't cycled together since Lanzarote: Work commitmentsFamily commitmentsThe weatherThe CoronavirusEwan living 450 miles apart from the rest of us! So, it was lovely to cycle today with John A, John A, Roland and Caroline. A socially distant cycle - note the lack of team photos, no sharing of snacks,… Continue reading Some Normality

Lighthearted Learning from Lanzarote

1. Uphill is Hard, Downhill Terrifying! 2. The Heavier We Are, The Harder It Is 3. Regular Rest Stops are Essential 4. The Cycle Tracking App Relates To Your Menstrual Cycle Not Your Bicycle! 5. Rehydration is Vital 6. Team Kit = Team Work 7. Style is a Personal Thing 8. You Can Never Carry… Continue reading Lighthearted Learning from Lanzarote

Quote of the Week

I thought 'Bloody Hell - I'm going to have to wait for Alison again.......and there she was, right behind me!' Anonymous Either, I'm getting quicker or everyone else is getting slower.......sometimes I'm even at the front! Great to have the support of these fabulous guys.

Longest Day

With everyone feeling at least a little better, we set off with some optimism for our last day's cycling. Optimism proved an essential component for our longest day in the saddle...... The Challenges of the Day With different bikes, I struggled to clip into my cleats and should have guessed I would struggle to clip… Continue reading Longest Day

No Plan!

(Just Realised I Hadn't Posted Sunday's Adventures!) Our plan today was to have no plan today. To keep things flexible, have a range of options and see how we felt as the day progressed. Ewan has the same stomach upset that John had, so couldn't cycle this morning. Miraculously, he joined us mid afternoon, feeling… Continue reading No Plan!

Too Windy

20km into the windiest cycle imaginable, I completely lost my bottle! Having been swept across the road more than once I couldn't do today's route. John, putting aside his competitive streak, had the patience of a saint and stayed with me. Finding a roadside cafe, we stopped for a drink, some respite from the wind… Continue reading Too Windy

Team Training

For the first time today, twelve of the Raid Alpine team are getting together for some training in Lanzarote, many of us meeting for the first time. After an easy journey, we arrive at the resort reception and only half an hour later, with our hire bikes fitted, we were ready to cycle together. With… Continue reading Team Training

Guest Blog

TRAINING & TEAM-BUILDING by Ewan MacLean The Cyclopaths have all been training in our own way: individually, in pairs and in a variety of groups. We are only one small part of a much bigger 'Raid Alpine' group who have all been doing the same across many different UK geographic locations. Between us, we have… Continue reading Guest Blog

Wading Through Treacle

Keen to have one more training ride before heading off to the sun for our 5 day training camp, I set off for a hilly few miles. Cycling with Roland who thankfully was happy to take an easy pace, we set off up Harp, Ham and Castle Hills. It could never be considered an easy… Continue reading Wading Through Treacle

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,… Continue reading Mountains to Climb……

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… Continue reading Road Closed

In a Nutshell

Even I recognise that there is a limit to how many details I can post about cycle training without sending everyone to sleep. So, in a nutshell, in between stormy winds, torrential rain, snow and ice, we have managed to find pockets of calm, dry(ish), warm(ish) weather in which to venture out on our bikes.… Continue reading In a Nutshell

The Original Cyclopaths

I have cycled 1,000s of miles together with these wonderful people. Thank you to the original and very fabulous Vietnam to Cambodia Cyclopaths 2017. Caroline, Chris, Claire, Jim, John, Julia, Marianne, Matt, Mick, Paul, Paula, Roland, Ruth, Sheena & Steve

Mountains to Climb

Bad weather and curiosity got the better of me last weekend and so I subjected myself to an indoor training session on the turbo trainer. Let's be clear, I have absolutely no desire to train on a bike indoors. There is no company, no scenery, no breeze, the dog wants to join in and every… Continue reading Mountains to Climb

Guest Blog

What cycling has taught me about Parkinson's Disease By Paul Jones Thanks very much to Alison, PD fundraiser and networker extraordinaire for letting me guest on her blog. Cycling has always meant freedom to me. As a child growing up in 1970s Hemel Hempstead, cycling set me free to explore the world beyond home and… Continue reading Guest Blog

From the Heart

Yesterday, I received a message from Ewan who is training hard for the Raid Alpine challenge. Despite being hundreds of miles from the other Cyclopaths and therefore having to do much of his training alone and with the added challenge of the harsh winter weather on the east coast of Scotland, his enthusiasm and enjoyment… Continue reading From the Heart

We’ve got Wind!

According to the Met Office, the following descriptions of wind apply. The Met Office does't mention cycling in these winds, so for the cyclists amongst you, here are a few extra pieces of information. Light Air (1-5km/hr) Not a problem for cyclists. We generate more air by talking on the flat and deep breathing when… Continue reading We’ve got Wind!

Against the Wind

The plan: Early startLots of kilometres (90)Lots of hills (1,000m+)A brief coffee stopFast(ish)!Back by 2pm The Weather Forecast: 7-10 degrees ('Toastie")!A 'fresh breeze' The Reality: Early startLots of kilometres (76) - many of them slow due to head on windLots of hills - 1,166m of them with segments of up to 20%For 'fresh breeze' -… Continue reading Against the Wind

Feeling Competitive!

The Raid Alpine Club Leaderboard has brought out my competitive side! Changing daily, in response to the distances cycled, elevation gained and speed of those of us training for The Raid Alpine challenge in June. I wanted to share a snapshot of The Cyclopaths holding 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th place, just in case it… Continue reading Feeling Competitive!

A Fabulous Day

Cycling 86km with great company, lots of laughs, some wonderful sunshine (I'll not dwell on the gale force winds and cold temperatures of the way home), stunning views and I'm fitter and (a little) faster than ever before. https://videopress.com/v/D5TXZmeD?loop=true&preloadContent=metadata

Saturday’s ‘Sunday’ Cycle

We did our usual Sunday morning cycle on Saturday as the weather forecast was much more favourable! The Cyclists Jackie, Caroline, Al, Nigel, Roland & John Highlights Good company and the essential cake and coffee stop Beautiful countryside Amazing Wildlife We spent a few minutes watching Fallow Deer running across fields and at one point,… Continue reading Saturday’s ‘Sunday’ Cycle

Too Icy (For Some but Not All of Us)

Freezing over night but the sun shone brightly this morning, so I wrapped up warm in my cycling gear with high hopes. A few steps out onto the road and it was clearly still very icy. Despite my desire to cycle, my desire not to injure myself was stronger. Today's Results Miles Cycled - Nil… Continue reading Too Icy (For Some but Not All of Us)

Pedalling with Parkinson’s

Parkinson's is a progressive, degenerative disease for which there is currently no cure. Symptoms will get worse over time and the rate of progression will vary significantly from person to person. Amongst many other symptoms, Parkinson's affects balance and coordination, it causes dizziness, muscle cramps, dystonia, rigidity, stiffness, pain, slow movement, tremor, problems with sleep,… Continue reading Pedalling with Parkinson’s

Weather Forecasting

Deciding which weather forecast to use when planning the timing of and routes for our cycle rides is an art form in itself. Cycling for three beautifully sunny hours during a 24 hour period where ice, freezing temperature, gusty winds and rain dominated the weather forecast is nothing short of a miracle! And yet, today… Continue reading Weather Forecasting

Calm After The Storm

Yesterday threw gale force winds, relentless driving rain and cold temperatures our way all day and all night. I couldn't imagine being able to get out and cycle today. However, in true British weather style, the winds had passed, the rain had stopped and with true British stoicism, Roland and I ventured out for a… Continue reading Calm After The Storm

Over the Hill

Cleeve hill boasts to be the highest point in Gloucestershire, indeed the highest of the Cotswold Hills. I was disappointed to learn after making the claim on several occasions, that from the highest point by road, there are a few hundred additional metres to climb to reach the actual highest point! Not manageable by road… Continue reading Over the Hill

Sleepless Night!

Pleased with yesterday's cycle, I started to think about how long it might take to to cycle the first day of The Raid Alpine challenge........ Source: Marmot Tours My Latest Stats Distance: 55km Ascent: 1,100m Moving Time: 3 hours 30 mins moving @ average speed 15.4kmh Duration: 4 hours 30 mins Day 1 The Raid… Continue reading Sleepless Night!

First Ride of 2020

With no offers of company for today's cycle, I set off alone and tackle Cleeve Hill for my first ride of 2020. It is unusual for me to cycle so far alone, there is usually someone willing to cycle. It's a very different experience, cycling alone but I enjoyed the challenge. No personal bests today… Continue reading First Ride of 2020

2019 Statistics

The last ride of 2019 made me reflect on the cycling I have done during the year, before turning my attention to the challenges that lie ahead in 2020. My Strava Statistics for 2019 The Strava statistics tell only the numbers, so here's a little personal reflection on the experiences. I cycled nearly 4,000km, predominantly… Continue reading 2019 Statistics