The start of the Deloitte Ride Across Britain became very real this morning when I received my rider number in the post. I am rider number 23 ! I can’t think of anything witty linked to the number 23 except it was my age when I started work as a trainee solicitor…far too long ago.
I also decided to get most of my kit together by going through the official Threshold Sports kit list. Here is most of the kit
– there are a few items missing, like flip flops, waterproof trousers, a warm jacket for use in the camp, sleeping bag, blow up pillow and sleeping mat (for the one night when I have to camp in the middle of Scotland). It looks like I have everything and there will be no need to visit bike shops or outdoors shops for last minute additions.
It all seems a big bundle of stuff and you may wonder why I need everything? Well, I am riding 980 miles in nine days and we have two laundry runs after three and six days. However, the laundry is limited to six items of clothing which means three jerseys and three bib shorts. For the benefit of the non-cyclists reading this blog, bib shorts are cycling shorts with sort of built in braces which are much more comfortable to wear than shorts with a waist-band. I also have to be ready for whatever weather we encounter when cycling the length of Great Britain – it did rain on eight of the nine days in 2017!
If you can’t identify what is what in the photo above here are the the items broken down into different collections (I think I must have been doing far too much online shopping to come up with that phrase).
First we have the cycling jerseys, three short sleeved (hopefully sunny weather) and one long sleeved.
It was easy to pick two tops – the Dementia UK top and the Deloitte Ride Across Britain top. The third top was more difficult – in the end I chose the Dragon Ride top as a nod to where I live and work in Wales – it is also a great design! The long sleeved jersey was chosen because it is a bright colour and very light weight!
We also have a selection of wet weather gear including the cycling jackets, one for rain, a wind top and a gillet for early morning starts when I don’t think (or hope there will be any rain). All the jackets are from Rapha and I’ve had them for a while so I know that they work – expensive but worth it.
I also have over-socks and over-shoes to try and keep the cycling shoes dry when it rains. In reality, the over-socks and over-shoes merely delay the inevitable of wet feet as the water just runs down the legs and into the shoes – I don’t fancy resorting to duck tape round the top of the socks (and I’m not shaving my legs!). Other items of clothing for keeping warm include base layers (short sleeved and long sleeved), mainly made with Merino wool which keeps me warm even when it gets wet, and arm and leg warmers from Castelli which are meant to shed light rain showers.
The final photos include my cycling helmet (compulsory), various gloves, cycling glasses, hats and a neck warmer.
There is also a collect of what I call “Bits and Pieces” including some lights, a spare tyre, a few tools, equipment charger, Garmin cycling computer to record the ride, sun cream, midge repellent and the all important Chamois cream to ensure a reduction in friction between the bits shorts and my backside! I’ve also included a portable ultrasound machine which could be useful if I have a strained muscle during the ride.
We now have a Bank Holiday weekend coming up and it will be my last really long rides (of about five hours) before the start of the Deloitte Ride Across Britain. The forecast is for dry weather on Saturday and Monday – Sunday looks like a complete wash out with rain and strong winds (I will not be taking any risks going out cycling on Sunday).
There is still time to sponsor me to help support the work of Dementia UK so that families can access advice and support to care for loved ones with dementia, like my father. Have a read of my post Why am I supporting Dementia UK in the Deloitte Ride Across Britain ? John Evans (1934 – 2010) to see why I am putting myself through the ride to raise money for Dementia UK. You can reach my Virgin Money Giving page here