Training – May & June

June 9, 2017, 12:12 pm

7 May 2017

Set out on what was supposed to be a long ride up into the Northumberland countryside but got 3 miles into the ride to Birtley when it started to rain! I don’t do cycling in the rain, or I try not to, so I quickly turned around and headed down away from the clouds towards Seaburn. It became apparent that the weather was closing in and so the ride was curtailed at a meagre 45 miles and not much climbing. Very disappointing as I had built myself up for a long ride only to be defeated by the rain again.

13 May 2017

This was a tough day for me. Met Barry early in Newcastle with the intention of doing some serious mileage and climbing. Everything seemed to be going well but after heading up to Corbridge, Slaley and then Blanchland I was drained. We had intended doing the drag up from Edmundbuyers towards Crawleyside but the wind, coupled with my lack of energy resulted in us returning the easy route home via Shotley Bridge and Medomsley. It must have been disappointing for Barry but it was just one of those days. I just hope I don’t suffer on the actual tour with a day like today! Still managed 69 miles with 5,300 feet of climbing.

14 May 2017

Following the disappointment of the previous day I took the view that I needed to get out and do some riding, not necessarily a long or tough ride, but just to get a few more miles under my belt. As a result I did my usual nice easy ride to Seaburn and back of 31 miles, returning in time for a nice big Sunday Lunch! Not sure that was part of the plan but it was nice anyway!

21 May 2017

I met my biking buddy Barry in Newcastle at the usual 8.30am start time and we headed up on a relatively easy ride up into the beautiful Northumberland countryside. We ventured to parts I’d never been before and at one stage I was so disorientated that I thought we were heading in the wrong direction despite the fact that Barry said we were on our way home! I’m sure the sign said Jedburgh the way we were going and the other way was Newcastle. It’s a good job I had Barry with me. I really do enjoy the countryside up North of Newcastle. The roads are always quiet and you actually see more cyclists than cars. I have also spotted a few decent country pubs on my travels which may well be visited at some time in the future.

27 May 2017

Billy Nomates was out again as Barry had some pressing engagement – a little easy ride in Richmond apparently! I therefore stuck to the tried and trusted route up to Stamfordham, Corbridge, Slaley, Blanchland and on to Shotley Bridge via Edmundbuyers. When I arrived in Shotley Bridge I was feeling relatively good and instead of turning left and going towards Medomsley I decided to go right towards what I thought was Lanchester. Wrong! The road actually climbed up to Consett and it was a steep climb and to make matters worse it started to persistently rain once I eventually got to the top of the hill. As I had no waterproofs I took the decision to stop for shelter and take in some food and drink before heading down towards home.

Disaster struck on the way down towards home. I was following two other cyclists on the C2C route and they crossed over a road in Annfield Plain using the ramps, not the way I normally go, but I decided to follow them and when I got over the road one of the riders decided to do a u turn and head back towards me. I was in the process of mounting the pavement and had to turn more sharply than I had intended to. At this point my wheel caught a raised manhole cover and off I came. Not much damage to me I thought but when I looked at my hand there was blood and a bit of a gash. I picked myself up and headed home to get cleaned up. The result is a badly swollen little finger, not sure if it’s broken or just some muscle damage but it’s still painful 10 days later and struggling to grip without pain. Still, it could have been worse!

Total mileage was 75 with 5,300 feet of climbing.

3 June 2017

The big day. I intended to do 100 miles and I did. The weather was good and I caught the sun. All in all an excellent workout and I felt good. It was the usual route but I headed up towards Crawleyside rather than go to Shotley Bridge when I got to Edmundbuyers. At the top of the moors I pondered whether to go down to Stanhope and do some climbs but knew if I did that I wouldn’t do the 100 miles I targeted. I therefore took the CTC all the way down to Seaburn where I met my wife and youngest daughter and celebrated with a large 99 ice cream – just what was needed. By the time I got home I had done 103 miles and 6,168 feet of climbing.

It feels like it is coming together at the right time. The physiotherapy has loosened the thighs and my back is no longer giving me severe pain. I just hope it continues for another 4 weeks!

  • June 9, 2017, 12:12 pm
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On the 24th June 2017, the Tour de Force riders will start cycling from Dusseldorf. Whether cycling two or more days, this is a heroic undertaking. It will hurt!