It is now time to take it up a notch.
I am one year into my cycling – I have progressed from total newbie to someone who is considerably fitter but feel like I have plateaued, I am much wiser as to how to spot danger on the road and far better equipped in terms of bike, components and clothing. And when I get my insurance cheque through and build the next bike I feel I will have a bike (all parts lined up and waiting for payment) that will meet my needs no matter how great given my current and future cycling needs.
The question then is how do I progress. To be realistic, it is fine doing my 22 miles a day on my commute but I will never really reach the potential that I would like to reach, also at 46 it is not going to get any easier, so really it is a case of now or never. Additional to this, weekends are just too busy (or I am too tired) to make the effort to go for a long ride and I really want to be able to do longer rides and be at a level of fitness where I enjoy them rather than them being a struggle and ultimately a miserable affair.
It therefore occurred to me that I was going to have to bite the bullet and sign up for a charity ride. I have been warned off the London – Brighton ride by people telling me it is just too full and the levels of cyclists too great – to me it just felt like it was not the right one to start with. I still may do it one day – just to say I did it, but it didn’t feel like the one I wanted to break my duck on.
So I have decided to ride on the Night Rider (http://www.nightrider.org.uk/) it is done with Capital Radio in supporting help a London Child. I will be riding for the Diabetes UK Charity (more on this later). The ride is 100KM (63 miles) around London at night time, taking in most of the main London landmarks – it seems like a fun idea, it certainly is different, and with a total of 3,000 cyclists starting at two different points (north and south London) so it should not be too crowded. The route is on the map below.
1. Crystal Palace – start / finish point
2. National Maritime Museum
3. Tower Bridge – break stop
4. St Paul’s Cathedral
5. City of London
6. Canary Wharf
7. Mile End Stadium – break stop
8. Emirates Stadium
9. Alexandra Palace – start / finish point
10. Hampstead Heath
11. Camden Lock
12. ZSL London Zoo
13. Regent's Park
14. Covent Garden
15. London Eye
16. IWM London – break stop
17. The Oval
18. Houses of Parliament
19. Hyde Park
20. Royal Albert Hall
21. Battersea Power Station
I am doing the ride with two (I hope three) other friends – all of a similar age and all of them have done long rides before (so no pressure on me then)!
In later posts I will go through the training schedule I have decided upon and also give a link for anyone who may want to sponsor me (pretty please). Also I want to go through why I am riding for Diabetes UK (I am Type 1 Diabetic (I inject 4 times a day) and have been for nearly 30 years) and the lessons I learnt in stepping up and training for an endurance event whilst being diabetic).
So please come back for later posts and updates.