So what about the (and beyond?) then….

So having been rather quiet for a few days or so, whilst I reflect on life the universe and everything, I have been plotting adventures new. I shall tell you about those shortly.

Meantime I have been corresponding by email with a person whose son has been climbing Kili. He was doing the Pofu route (which I hadn’t heard of before, at least by name). This is the route that takes a longer route around and up the mountain, and then has you camping in the actual crater before summiting. That all sounds fairly hardcore, even to me.

So anyway, the person with whom I have been corresponding (I shan’t name them as I do not have their say so as of yet to do so) has obviously been nervously (big understatement there) waiting for updates from the son, and has happily been receiving them on a regular basis. It has made me think how I would feel if my daughter was doing it (it won’t be happening for my son I cannot imagine but you never know:)), and I totally understand what the emotions must be like.

Anyway I am absolutely delighted to tell you that he summited successfully yesterday. That is fantastic news, I am delighted for them both, proud parent and son alike. Apparently the only hiccups were a broken camera (thank goodness for mobile phone cameras then), and a bad case of sunburn from the summit itself.

I am hugely looking forward to hearing more of the adventures that he had, and if he is happy for me to do so then I will post them here in due course.

Meantime also I have been trying to figure out what to do next. And so I have:)

Well it couldn’t last too long could it? I mean the follow up?

For those people who know me well, then you will know that I occasionally suffer from a bout of impetuosity. In fact I am one of the most impulsive people I know:)

So for the last week or so I have been pondering the merits of renewing my gym membership as against buying a bike. The gym I have been to only a couple of times since I have been back, and as one of my other traits is getting bored (although I don’t have time for that these days), then it doesn’t have the appeal as much anymore. Whilst planning for the mountain I was very driven, surprising myself sometimes in fact, but now I need something to plan for. Something to drive me, motivate me, challenge me.

So I hit upon the idea of cycling to work. Now also for those of you who know me, and before you start guffawing away with howls of derisive laughter, I should tell you that I used to love riding bikes. OK so it was a long long time ago, but I used to do it a lot. Me and Col used to cycle through the pedestrian tunnel over to North Shields sometimes – it was probably about four miles or so! That was however when we were about 14.

So my office is about 7 miles away from my house, and I figured that on the days when it is not raining (so I could be actually very safe here) I could probably get there in about 40 minutes or so, hopefully. There are also about three different routes I could take, and so I started to decide which one to take. One of them involves a bit of off road, but is by far the most direct. The other two are quite different – the shorter one involves a fair few ups and downs, and might be a bit painful in places for a cycling novice like me. The other one probably adds a few miles on, but is almost entirely flat. The first bit is down fairly narrow lanes though and so if there are cars coming then it could be a bit hairy.

I narrow a number of choices down to a few bikes online without really knowing what I am looking for, but a Cannondale Bad Boy really takes my fancy, and is a snip at about £630. I then go to my local cycle shop and my head is spinning again. I could have  Trek for this money, and a Specialised for that money, or a Bianchi (wasn’t she in Eastenders?) something-or-other. Even if I had chosen a bike I could have chosen between about 30 different tyre types alone. I leave the shop none the wiser.

And so I buy myself a cycling magazine. Sorry if this is a long story by the way:)

So I still just cannot decide which bike to buy. There are (to follow:)) so many decisions to take about 53-39 chainsets, and doubles and triples, and Tiagra versus 105 and things that it will make your head spin. And that is after you decide between a hybrid, a sloping frame, aluminium or carbon and the like.

Anyway, I see an advert in the magazine as I am thumbing through, and it is for “the Great British Bike Ride”. I look at the website and it tells me that the ride is in September this year, and is 320 miles between Lands End and Twickenham in London, over 4 days. It is the first time it has been held in the UK, and it is for three different charities, all of whom I like a lot. So I think – why not, and go and immediately sign up!

I am so excited about this it is fantastic. I have a new adventure to plan!

Here are the details of the ride:

http://www.greatbritishbikeride.com/

Looks like no hybrid then, but a road bike, and a serious one. More decisions to come then, and a rigorous new fitness regime. 320 miles – gulp!!

2 thoughts on “So what about the (and beyond?) then….

  1. Hello again. I don’t know a lot about the mechanical bits of bikes but I did participate in a similiar charity ride in Canada – 610kms in 6 days for 4 years running. Get ready to spend some money! The bike is important – a road bike is more comfortable but do tel lthe sales clerk what you’re doing (he/she’ll want to know your price range- there’s a certain point where you head from ‘okay” to “very good” very quickly – get the “granny gear” for the hills.

    Also on your shopping list: some shoes that clip into the pedals (practise that before heading out into traffic!) and most importantly some decent padded lycra shorts. (and don’t make the newbie mistake of wearing udnerwear under them or you’ll be in terrible chafing hell after 5kms) I almost had a heart attack when I paid the amount I did for my first pair but after 100kms, they’ll be worth every penny). For fun stuff, get a computer that tells you how fast you’re pedalling (cadence) and how far you’ve gone- they’re not expensive and can be a big motivator. Then there’s padded gloves, socks, a small pump, a big pump, etc etc. lol.

    • Hi Sky,

      Many thanks for your advice. I need lots of it, and am trying to learn as fast as I can. I can already see that I will spend as much if not more than the bike itself on ‘stuff’, and it is all very daunting right now. I am trying to buy wisely, and hence am procrastinating a lot at the moment! And as for socks, well I have plenty of pairs of those:D

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s