Wednesday, 22 February 2012


Here's a nice little update for us, the route is now 152km long. Apparently this is initially due to the fact that we will be making our start proper from within Albertville (taking the plaudits from the assembled masses as we do), whereas the professionals ride neutralised out of the town, and then drop the hammer big style once out on the open road.

Additionally, there is going to be an extra 5km added at the bottom of the descent of the Madeleine, because they will be digging up the sewers in La Chambre and we can't cross under the motorway as a consequence.

The detour can be found on Google Maps here. The good news (if an extra 12 kilometres can be considered good news) is that the extra distance is in the valley bottoms, and will therefore be mercifully flat (in comparison).

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Fundraising Events

Due to my ridiculously busy diary over the last couple of weeks I am still yet to meet up with Griz from Cyclist Fighting Cancer (CFC) to discuss our plans but I don't think this should stop us putting some thoughts on the board around potential fund raising events. I have listed a few suggestions, but as always I welcome your input on these plus any other events you might have in mind.

1.) Pub Quiz - March                                                                                                                      
Lets be honest this is something fairly easy we can organise as I know a good quiz master and I'm pretty sure we could use our sports & social club facilities (FISSC) to host this event for a minimal fee, or possibly even free. I was thinking something along the lines of teams of 4-6 with a £5 entry fee each or if that's too much, say £10 per team? We will have prizes for the top 3 teams, not forgetting the wooden spoon! We generally get a lot of interest for these at work so I am confident we can have a sell out with the rest of you getting involved and opening it up to the wider audience.                

2.) Charity Bike Ride - May                                                                                                             
We tried this a couple of years ago in aid of our corporate charity (Make-a-Wish) and it was a great success. We made sure the event was a "light" bike ride so it suited all abilities and basically encouraged anyone who had a bike to bring it along and cycle circa 20 miles. We started from Mickleton in groups of 10 with a designated bike lead, that's where you all come in to play and take responsibility for your group! Groups finished at the Butchers Arms in Mickleton and they put on some food afterwards (for free I think) as they probably made enough on the beer that was drank! My opinion is why change a winning formula, we don't have to pick the same location but does everyone like the concept and rough outline? I am sure with the amount of miles we have cycled around the local area, we can find an appropriate route that is reasonably challenging and rewarding, but just to set the standard we won't be going up Ilmington or Edge Hill!

3.) Leg Wax - June
I know this is the one you have all been waiting for (!) so I suggest we put this off until we get close to the Etape event so those legs will be looking pristine at the start line! My suggestion would be to ask for donations for taking part in this crazy event, but as an added bonus we can charge people say £5 to pull a strip off. I am sure we can persuade a local beautician company to donate the materials, and their time in aid of the local charity. I don't think we should even contemplate doing this ourselves.....we don't trust each other that much do we!!!

I see all of these events taking part midweek so please let me know any weeks we need to stay clear of and I will do my best to please the majority.

Don't forget any other suggestions you may have i.e. do we want to do something during the Stratford Bike Festival which is the same weekend as the Wheel Heroes ride, 26th/27th May? Would have to be the Saturday as assume most of us are riding the event but it could give us access to a lot of footfall?

Food for thought..............

Brian "CFC Fundraiser" Camembert

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Urgh pour homme

As we're starting to share our feelings on training I thought I'd chip in with my tuppance.

After losing fitness and gaining weight, considerably, on the "New York Plan" I've come back freshly determined to make the tarmac my beeatch which due to weather has then become making the exercise bike my beeatch and scaring the nice ladies to venture near that area. I'm currently up to 180 watts over the hour but the bpms on the high side and it tends to tail off dramatically so an enormous amount to do yet. On the plus side I've nearly crashed an exercise bike so there’s something for the memoirs.

Having had the first 100k under my belt I've got all giddy and signed up for several more including the over the malverns and the white rose classic. I have to admit seeing the pictures after signing up I may have had a sense of trepidation if I'd known what I was getting into but lets face it if I can't do that then I there’s no point in boarding the TDM Chick Plough bound for France.

Looking forward to getting the Tour De Mecredi convoy up and running this year. Ironically after all the training I will still be at the back. Rubbish!!!

Ah well in the immortal words of Micheal Ironside in Starship Troopers "Everybody fights, Nobody quits!"

Friday, 3 February 2012

Training Update (or a lack of it)

As the far flung member of the group up in Leeds, I thought I’d give everyone an update as to how things have been progressing over the past few weeks, especially as I’ve been fairly quite since leaving Stratford back in September.

It’s safe to say that I haven’t made as much progress with the training as I would have liked (the same can be said for my dissertation!). Although I managed to get to the gym everyday over Christmas, exams last month meant that I did very little training during January. Because of the weather, most of what I have done has either been on the turbo trainer or exercise bike at the gym. My standard session at the moment is weights (squats, deadlifts and calf raises), followed by an hour bike.

Unfortunately my student loan doesn’t cover the cost of a power meter, but according to the exercise bike at my gym, I’m putting out about 210-230 watts for an hour, which is a lot less than I was doing in the summer. A slightly ‘excessive’ first term back at uni means that I haven’t been this unfit for several years!

However, despite a questionable diet (as recently as Wednesday I got through three pizzas in an afternoon!), the weight is finally starting to shift. As one of my friends kindly pointed out, I weighed “10% of a ton” before Christmas, but I’m now down to 95kg. I’m going to aim for ~83kg by July. I could probably go even lower, but I think anything below 80kg will have a detrimental effect in terms of endurance.

I really need to get out on some longish rides before I can start thinking about which races to do, but the Etape du Dales is likely to be right in the middle of my summer exams, so I may have to give that one a miss. I’ll definitely be up for the White Rose Classic though (if I’m not doing anything with the family for father’s day), and by that point there’s likely to be a couple of spare rooms in my house in Leeds, so people are welcome to stay.

I am yet to have been out on decent bike ride this year, but on Sunday I’m planning on venturing to the edge of the dales -

View Larger Map

I thought I’d put the ride up on here to give me a bit more motivation to do it. It’s only 40 miles but it’s -5 at the moment which is far too cold for a long ride!

Roll on summer I say!

Sam “Polka Dot” Worsley