Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Back On Two Wheels

This is another one of those blog posts which is me attempting to catch up with events 'pre-Gathering'.

Having built the single speed I decided I wanted another mountain bike to hack about around the local trails and get some fitness back.  Running around after a 'nearly two year old' can be tiring work, and Tash had warned me I would need todo something about my fitness!

And so I started pricing up frames, forks and cranksets on ebay and came to the conclusion I could get much better value for money by buying new.  And so my research began.  I must have spent about two months checking out the spec of bikes, working out which things I had to have and which areas I was happy to compomise on.  I found Genesis Bikes, a British company who's bikes had fantastic reviews.  The frame was highly regarded, and it came with a nice spec Rock Shox fork.  Test ride done, my mind was made up.

I took delivery about a month ago, along with a new bash hat and a pair of gloves, and have been trying desperately hard to rack up the miles.  Not just to get fit, but because there is a bigger agenda on the cards now.  A while back Tash got a British Heart Foundation leaflet through the door, and amonst its pages were details on a cycle fundraising activity that they do - 'clock to rock'.  This is a bicycle ride from Big Ben down to Gibraltar.  As you can imagine, this pressed a button with me; not only cos it involved Gibraltar but also because it would be a real test of personal endurance.

There was no way I was going to sign up to the £6k commitment, but it got me thinking about doing it on my own.  After speaking with Tasha's Dad recently he's bang up for it as well, and so it appears that next May we will attempt to cycle the length of Spain down to Gibraltar!

Tash is great at planning these kind of adventures, she has previous after our tour round Ireland on our motorbikes, and knowing what we were planning she set about finding hostels down the length of Spain that we could reach without having to cycle on major roads.  I'll get a copy of the map uploaded soon, but its looking like about 850 miles over 10 days!

I really cannot wait for this, and I'm getting in all the training that I can.  I'm cycling about 20 miles a ride, about twice a week, quite comfortably at the moment.

Obviously I won't be attempting such a long road ride on a mountain bike, and after Tash stuck a post on Freecycle I acquired a Raleigh Phoenix road bike that about 15 years old.  It needs a good service and overhaul but thats something I'm really looking forward to doing.  It even came with the original purchase documents!  Once the weather really turns, and I can't ride the local trails, I'll turn to cycling the roads during the cold winter months on the Raleigh.  That part I'm not looking forward to so much!

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