Martineau Place

Martineau Place
Main Sponsor

Monday, 1 April 2013

The Mad March Hare

The Day of the Mad March Hare has arrived. Up at 6am the porridge hits the microwave topped off with a banana and honey. All set to go and Tom turns up at 7am. We loaded my cHARRYot on to the van with the intention of getting to Dave's for 7.20am. Allen, Andy & Marc are also meeting us there. Tom realised he had forgotten his wallet so we had to rush back to his to pick it up. He’ll do anything to skip a beer round that lad.

We got to Dave’s for 7.30 and the lads were itching to get going. Dave indulges in a quick pre ride refreshment.

A few miles before we get to the event I get a phone call off Simon. He explains that they are going to be a few minutes late. This is because his brother Matt hadn't strapped the bikes onto the car rack securely and they fell off on route. Haha. So we are not even there yet and things are going wrong.

We get to the car park, pay the fee and start to “saddle up”. The weather is chilly so we discuss what to wear, just like a load of women on a night out up the town. We then cycle up to the starting point. A few of the lads sign in and the rest partake in the obligatory portaloo toilet break. You can safely say we were all a bit nervous due to the lack on training because of the poor weather recently.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Hills, Spills and the Munchie Monster

We had arranged to meet for a 1pm set off. A couple of the lads have just got new bikes with clip in shoes which they was keen to try out. Remembering my first time with clip ins, I knew this was going to be fun.
Tom (@T_bone86) planned to arrive at mine early to sort out my gears and mud guards. Tom was knocking at my door at 12:30 sharp, and he set to work on my bike. Soon after Kevin (@benno112) and Brownie (@brunone1) turned up on their new bikes. Much to the amusement to Tom and myself, you could tell by their faces that they were nervous when it came to stopping.  We then noticed that Brownie was wearing shorts (nutter). It was freezing!!!

Whilst Tom was carrying out the finishing touches on my bike, my daughter Laila came out to see what was going on. Chatting to the lads she presents them with a drawing each. Everyone knows that when they come to my house, they will leave with one of Laila's drawings. "Trust me on this, she will make sure you leave with it as well, bless her".

Just about to set off, Kevin tells us that he had already been the gym this morning, so he wanted a nice easy 30 miler with no hills. Me being the caring brother agreed.  I suggested one of our previous routes we used to train for the Wembley ride.
we set off and stopped off at the Olton Tavern to pick up Andy (@primal2001).
Kevin and Brownie are still upright on there new bikes after the first few miles, so we are all good. The wind was giving us a bit of a pounding and some parts of the road are still wet so we kept at an easy pace. The miles started ticking over nicely and we started to warming up nicely.
The route that I had in my head started to look a little different. Yes! I didn't have a clue which direction gave us the easiest route. So in true form I blagged the lads into thinking I knew where I was going.
Where is Sat Nav Allen when you need him?
He was sat at home, full of cold medicating himself with as much Stella as he could get down his gullet. (Get well soon big man)
My wrong directions led us straight towards all the hills I was hoping to avoid. The look on Kevin's and Brownies face told a story instantly. I don't think they are my friend anymore.
We managed to get up that hill only to find another soon after.
The thing is with clip in shoes, you can't just take your foot off the pedal when you start to wobble. This proved very difficult for the lads as they had to drop into there lowest gear, and have no choice but to push on up the hill.
We had a rest at the top. Kevin & Brownie had a few choice words about my route which I best not repeat. Haha
We got to Chadwick end (about 15 miles in) and decided to take a break. The conversation quickly turned to the two events we are already booked on. The Mad march Hare (73miles) and Cyclist V Cancer (100 miles). Reflecting back on how we were getting on today these sort of distances are going to be hard for us to reach. Reality hits that we are going to have to put some serious miles in for us to even attempt this.

As we do in these situations, we joke about how unfit we are, but in the front of our minds we know we HAVE to put the effort in. I decided to do a quick interview with the lads to see how they was feeling.