Exercise, the only thing that has been shown to delay disease progression in Parkinson's, should, in theory, be easy to commit to doing on a daily basis. Yet at times it can still be difficult to find the motivation to exercise, particularly on a cold, wet, windy winter's day. In the autumn of 2019, signing… Continue reading Reflections of The Raid Alpine
Reflections - The Raid Alpine 2022 by Rory Chappell I was part of the support crew for a group of five cyclists as they took on The Raid Alpine. 770km long. Over 18,000m of climb. Geneva to Nice. I had never even heard of such a challenge, nor would I have thought it would be… Continue reading Rory’s Reflections
Time to say 'Thank You' to everyone who supported me to do the Raid Alpine challenge. A HUGE 'thank you' to John Anderson, John Wilkinson, Roland Valori and Claire Lehman for embracing this colossal challenge, all the training involved and for making it a wonderful adventure. To Callum Anderson and Rory Chapell, our fantastic support… Continue reading Thank You!
Setting off in already blistering sunshine, our last day proved one of the hottest. Perhaps a little blasé about having 'only' 834m of climb to do, by the time I was 15km into the ride, already on the wrong road, still leaning heavily on my right hand side in a very lop sided fashion with… Continue reading Raid Alpine – Day 10
Distance 83km. Elevation 1700m. Our penultimate day saw us leave according to our speed. That was Claire and I setting off first for a ride that would take us 8 and 9 hours respectively. The others who are much quicker were rewarded by a slightly more leisurely breakfast and had still caught up with us… Continue reading Raid Alpine – Day 9
We expected today to be our toughest challenge for many reasons. Longest rideBiggest climbSearing heatExisting saddle sores, blisters, aches and painsFatigue from the previous seven days hard cycling To add another challenge to the day, was for our support team, Callum and Rory when an erratic / maniac driver tried to overtake the van they… Continue reading Raid Alpine – Day 8
Guillestre to Jausier. Distance 42km. Elevation 1154m. Our shortest day and we made the most of it. An early start saw the men powering up the hill by lunchtime whilst the girls took the same early start but a more leisurely approach. I'd like to say we did so from choice but my legs were… Continue reading Raid Alpine – Day 7
Col du Lautaret to Guillestre. Distance 81km. Elevation 1392m. What a fantastic day! Today we 'bagged' Col d'Izoard. 19.1km uphill during which we climbed 1173m. At a peak gradient of 11% and an overall average of 6%, it was tough. No nice pictures at the top as it simply resembled a building site. A huge… Continue reading The Raid Alpine – Day 6
Distance Elevation Gain By Rory Chappell (Support Team) ‘Switchbacks are overshadowed by persistence.’ An early start for the cyclists to get a handle on the day ahead: the biggest climb so far. After breakfast, they hit the tarmac and pedalled along to the town of Saint-Michel-de-Maurienne. They waited for a top up of water from… Continue reading Raid Alpine – Day 5
Bourg St ~Maurice to Lansleberg-Mont-Cenis Distance 83km, Elevation Gained 2,238m 'Over the Col and Far Away' By Rory Chappell (Support Team) The day started early high above Bourg Saint Maurice with a fantastic breakfast at our overnight stop, Montagn’Arcs. Joined by the fresh talent from Bolton, Neil and Jane, the cyclists set off up to… Continue reading Raid Alpine – Day 4
Day 4 - 'Only' I desperately wanted to get to the top of Col d'Iseran, our 'only' Col of the day. 'Only' 2,200m of climb over 'only' 47km, with temperatures peaking at 'only' 28 degrees, with absolutely no shade. At every km on each Col, there is a marker depicting the distance to the top… Continue reading The Raid Alpine
Day 3 - missing from our original blog series as exhaustion crept in and time ran out. For completeness, I've compiled this from a few scribbled notes to support my hazy memory, as Col after Col, the days seemed to morph into one. Today was to be our toughest so far. 75km, hilly from the… Continue reading Raid Alpine – Day 3
Cluses to Notre-Dame-de-Bellecombe. Distance 63km, Elevation Gained 2,200m. '20%' By Rory Chappell (Support Team) Waking up this morning to grey skies after a night of storms isn’t what you imagine when you come away to Southern France for a cycling challenge. That said, it is perfect climbing weather. Today was the first chance some got… Continue reading Raid Alpine – Day 2
First Time for Everything First Day Thonon les Bains to Cluses Distance: 81km Climb: 1913m First Team Gathering Lake Geneva First Climb Col de Moises First Celebratory Beer First Day Summary Hot, hot, hot, humid,, hilly, hellishly hard, hurting everywhere, happy it's over ....until tomorrow. Personal Perspective - Alison One of our 'lighter' days today,… Continue reading Raid Alpine – Day 1
Here's hoping our initial efforts at organisation are not indicative of how well organised (or not) we are going to be throughout the trip. John W, already proving his organisational skills, arrived at the agreed time, at the agreed location with all the kit that he'd agreed to bring and most importantly with the Campervan.… Continue reading False Start
It was Helen Matthews, the Deputy CEO of Cure Parkinson's who introduced Claire and I in 2017. We have kept in contact since and met a few times. Helen, knowing that we both had Young Onset Parkinson's and both worked for the NHS, thought we may have a few things to talk about. We found… Continue reading The Raid Alpine
Having recovered from the Raid Local challenge, spent some time with my family, caught up with some of the things I had neglected whilst training and taken some time to reflect, it's time to put pen to paper and, of course, it's time to get back in the saddle again. But first, once again, a… Continue reading ABC
Doing the Raid Local challenge would never have been possible without the support of so many people, so I'd like to say 'thank you' to everyone who trained with me, encouraged me, supported me for months while I prepared for the challenge, supported me on the day, donated to The Cure Parkinson's Trust and to… Continue reading A Team Effort
The challenge, in reality, was not nearly as easy as I had dreamt it might be! (See Previous Blog) In reality, it took me a lot longer, it was a lot harder, my average power output was a lot lower and I didn't see Rowan Atkinson at all! My stats came in four parts: Until… Continue reading Not So Easy!
Having lived cycling, talked cycling, blogged cycling, thought about nothing but cycling for the past few months, I have now started dreaming cycling. If I believed my dreams, I would be cycling ahead of the rest of the team, they would be shouting 'Slow down! We can't keep up! When did you get so good… Continue reading Easy!
My fourth 'first' for this week was to cycle Sudeley Hill today without stopping. As part of a hilly ride today, after Harp and Ham hills, I finally did it! At 2.5km long, with an average gradient of 8.4%, a maximum gradient of 18% and a total climb of 215m, it was a tough one.… Continue reading Fourth ‘First’
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
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!
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
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
A clear day when we left Cheltenham, by the time, we had cycled up Leckhampton Hill and out towards Winstone, the fog was setting in. It was lovely to meet up with John and Chris, two friends who we had cycled LEJOG with. LEJOG With Chris and John Under time pressure to get back, Roland… Continue reading Jolly Nice
In the medical world, amongst other things, NAD, means 'Nothing Abnormal Detected'. 'NAD' sums today up Beautifully: It was cold, wintery, foggy and wet out. NAD for January. Despite the weather, we cycled. NAD for The Cyclopaths. We cycled Ham Hill again. NAD, having cycled it three times this week already. We cycled 40km. NAD,… Continue reading NAD
A late start for a fast, flat 40km. Too icy to head out this morning and certainly cold but beautiful sunset. Just a warm up for a longer, hillier ride tomorrow, with some Cyclopath friends.
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
As is becoming a regular for a Sunday morning, I cycle up Leckhampton Hill to meet the Sunday morning cyclists at Cowley. It's lovely for Al, Caroline, Jackie, Ric and Nigel to welcome us into their well established Sunday morning group where Al plans a different but invariably hilly route each week, with the essential… Continue reading Sunday Morning
No longer able to use Christmas as an excuse to put off training for The Raid Alpine challenge, I head out for my last ride of 2019 and a gentle re-introduction to my training following the festive period. It was cold but dry and great to have some new cycling companions (James and Jess) as… Continue reading Last Ride of 2019