I’m starting to count down the weeks to starting the Deloitte Ride Across Britain – it is now 15 weeks to go according to Training Peaks which I use to track my training and fitness.
The big news this week was the announcement by the ride organisers, Threshold Sports, of the final route with big changes announced for Scotland. This year we will be climbing up through the Cairngorms to the east of Scotland rather than Rannoch Moor to the west. It means that we will climb up through Glenshee rather than Glen Coe. From my point of view it will mean going very close to where I stayed with my parents when I saw my sister, Caroline, graduate from the University of St Andrews (a few years before William and Catherine I hasn’t to add!). We spent a couple of very nice days at Dalmunzie Hotel – this was before my father started suffering from dementia, so the ride could be a little bitter sweet bringing back some memories from quite a few years ago. No golf clubs this time though! The hotel is situated on a long “out and back” road so I’m not sure I’ll actually go and visit.
The route change has resulted in a longer ride – now at 980 miles according to some calculations and over 50,000 feet of climbing. The reaction on the Facebook forum for the ride has been mixed to say the least! Some regulars are not happy at the changes, particularly the extra climbing and one particularly steep bit (allegedly a 20% gradient). Others, like me, don’t mind one bit – I’m sure the scenery will be fantastic and hopefully the roads will be a bit quieter than the road through Rannoch Moor. Judging by some of the posts last year about the ride, some of the locals were not happy about being held up by lots of cyclists.
Training is still going well. The good weather over the last couple of weeks is certainly helping. My long ride last weekend was a trip round the the west of Bridgend, a distance of 119 km with climbing of 1,273 m. The aim was a flat ride if at all possible.
This weekend the aim was more climbing (at least two hills) and I covered 87 km with 1,355m of climbing. I ended up riding the hill up to Pentyrch (and got my best time) and two of the three climbs up to the top of Caerphilly Mountain. I gave the really tough climb from Caerphilly itself a miss – the Caerphilly 10k run was taking place and I wasn’t sure of the road closures.
That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it! I’m sure I will be visiting the tough climb over the summer as I need all the practise I can get to improve my climbing ability.
Fingers crossed for decent weather for the Bank Holiday weekend coming up. On Saturday I’ve got a visit to the gardens at RHS Wisley courtesy of my alma mater Reading University – I’m taking my mother as she hasn’t seen the gardens for over 20 years! It will be back home for sailing on Sunday afternoon and a long ride on the Monday.
If you would like to help me support Dementia UK, please visit my Virgin Money Giving page here