Thursday, November 29, 2012

It's all your fault!

It is almost 5 years now since I retired.

Very shortly after that moment, whilst I was wondering what to do with the rest of my life I met someone who has since become a good friend to me.
And he introduced me to cycling.
Whilst I already could ride a bike it had been 40 years since I had done so, and then it was just pottering around the local streets.

If you have read some of my earlier posts you will know of my Mercian stable and perhaps more importantly,  know that I am about to attempt next August what will surely prove to be the biggest athletic challenge of my life, the Ride London100 in aid of the mental health charity,  Mind

How things change.

But when you are an old age pensioner, getting fit,  and retaining that fitness requires a huge effort, and sometimes at a personal cost.  What follows is a note that I sent to my friend after to-day’s cycle ride.

It’s all your fault!!

If you hadn't seduced me into cycling I would never have had to change an inner tube in sub zero temperatures on lanes like ice rinks in the frozen peaks of Derbyshire. . Never mind the fact that I've had to spend ages replacing brake blocks, though this time I did buy the whole piece instead of just the insert which perhaps saved my fingers and my sanity..And the lanes were covered in sheets of glass, apart from those which still remained underwater from the floods. Plus my hands were cold even with liners. As for my toes; well i am still waiting for them to thaw out before I dare look to see if I still retain a full complement. And then after 59k I got too hot from all the hill climbing and no sooner had i unzipped one of the many layers I was wearing than I became  too cold going down the other side. And there was still another 25km to do before I would get home. Now the bike is filthy, the chain needs a good clean and new oil and I am  very tired.

And  it’s all your fault!!!

At least when I did get home I could enjoy a piece of cake made from one of the recipes in the booklet * Cycling Food on the Go * which I have compiled and am giving away in return for a minimum donation of £2 to Mind

If you would like a copy, then please sponsor me by going to

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Cycling Food on the Go

My son and I  have been accepted to cycle in the Ride London 100 event on August 4th 2013.  This involves us cycling 100 miles on the route used in the Olympics.

100 miles is a long way!

It is much further than either of us have ever ridden before. And we need to do it at a pace that is 15% quicker than our normal efforts so as to be back in time to let the Elite Race begin.  However, we will give it our best shot and I will train on cake; he being a competitive swimmer and athlete will probably train on something else :-()

We are taking on this challenge to raise money for the Mental Health Charity Mind. It is estimated that one in four people suffer from a mental health condition of one form or another at some point in their lives.  Mind provide help and support for people with such conditions and seek to break down stigma which prevents many people from seeking help.
If you'd like to know more about what Mind does please look at this link.

As an extra incentive, we have put together  a short pamphlet entitled

" Cycling Food on the Go "  

which contains around 20 selected recipes suitable for all cyclists undertaking trips between 1 and 100 miles!

This booklet, which will be distributed in pdf form electronically is now on general release and you can obtain a copy by donating a minimum of £2 ,but we hope donations will be higher if  you are able,  and leaving your email address.

You can donate at

We'd really appreciate any sponsorship for this very worthwhile cause.  Thanks in advance!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Preparing for a Challenge

I have added a Count  Down Clock to my website so that I am continually prompted of how long I have left to get fit for the Ride London 100 that I am doing with my son in aid of the mental health charity Mind. It still seems a long way off but I know deep down that I need to start preparing now if I am to have any hope of meeting this challenge.  The Olympic Road race route, even with only a single ascent of Box Hill, is forbidding to an Old Age Pensioner who has only been cycling for 4 years.
The closest I usually get to professional races is to attend a start and finish, maybe joining with other cyclists to pick up a convenient point or two on the route. For the professionals riding the race, it is a high pressured event, during which they genuinely push themselves to the limit; victory, glory, careers depend upon performance. I will never know what it is to ride a major road race tour but as I ride the Olympic route I can dream.
Pushing my body to the limit? Well the pros are real athletes; my limits are much lower as was brought home to me in forceful fashion when I went on a  training ride with a Time Triallist ( see last blog entry ). As for a finishing time..well Dave Brailsford need not start looking for his phonebook. My major aim is to get back on the same day as I set out.

But this challenge is more, much more, than about me having a cycle ride in the lanes of Surrey. It is about raising awareness, and hopefully some money for Mind.  To this end we have created a fundraising site

Team Roberts

One of the things that I have discovered when cycling is that you need to continually keep refuelling and whilst the professionals have expert nutritional advice, most casual cyclists refuel on cake!  And so,  we have produced a pamphlet, in pdf form,  entitled * Cycling Food on the Go * which we aim to give away to all those people who donate a MINIMUM of £2 , to our fundraising site. In this way we hope to reach a wider audience.

The booklet is currently being finalized and the plan is to start promoting and distributing  it within the next two weeks. I will be launching it using the next post on this blog,

But you can book a copy in advance if you wish, just make a donation :-)