In summary, the training so far for the Destination Florida charity cycle has been phenomenal! So far the donations page stands at £283.37 which is fantastic, but it is now time to give it that extra push. I never thought I would get “the bug” for cycling, as historically it is not something that I have enjoyed. I managed to get out with Dan for the first time in preparation for the event, and we planned a 40-mile route.
I awoke, bright and early on Sunday morning (with a slight hangover from the Royal Wedding party that I attended on Saturday), to find the most perfect cycling conditions imaginable. Empty roads (the Sunday drivers hadn’t yet awoken), gleaming sunshine, the slightest of breezes… what could possibly go wrong???
I switched Strava on from Dan’s in Worsley, and then headed out onto the East Lancs road. We took it steady as it was the first substantial distance that we had both done and we didn’t want to burn out too early. We battled the rugged conditions of the cycle paths and the Sunday morning cycle traffic all the way to the end of the East Lancs, before turning and heading into Warrington. We passed McDonald’s, where we stopped and sat out in the sun for a coffee (I resisted the temptation for a Big Mac). It was a very pleasant break, although I don’t think the locals appreciated two men sat in lycra outside their local fast food haunt. It attracted some funny looks.
Onto Partington and Carrington, flying along thinking about the last sprint home, when catastrophe struck. On the bend between Partington and Carrington, I struck a pothole. This pot hole resembled more of a crater in the road surface, extending from the kerb to the centre of the road, on the crest of a blind hill, and it split my inner tube right down the middle. Whilst we were attempting to repair this, to no avail, we were watching other cyclists, who knew the roads a little better, come over the blind crest of the hill onto the wrong side of the road to avoid the terrible surface. Even cars were having to slow to a crawl to navigate the conditions. That road surface will cause a serious injury or even a loss of life, so it’s about time that the council did something about it! They have been notified but unfortunately, up to this point 3 days later they have failed to acknowledge the conversation.
So, a catastrophic puncture calls for one thing. A call to the absolute legend that is my Grandad! Within minutes, he had dropped everything that he was doing and came to rescue me and my bike, before I would have picked it up, smashed it to pieces and threw it over the fence that I was stood next to! Hopefully, this doesn’t happen somewhere between Dieppe and Paris as I think he may be a little more reluctant to drive and meet us! Lesson learnt for me though, buy some spare inner tubes, rookie mistake!
What’s next for me then? I am continuing with the personalised S&C programme & meal plan given to me by Chris Hobbs during the week. My recovery is centred around stretching and foam rolling, and I will most definitely be booking in for some torture with Sam at the Urmston clinic. During the week I attended a course titled “Understanding Pain and Myofascial restriction”, led by GB boxing Physio, Ian Gatt. It was a fantastic course and I was lucky enough to receive treatment on my Quads with Hawk Grip instruments. They were well worth it, and my Quads have felt brilliant since, so I will do a separate blog piece on the benefits of myofascial release at a later date!