The first ride

The first ride

Monday, 5 July 2010

Life in the old legs yet!

I've been for a couple of short rides this week, and tried to include some decent hills to get the legs working. Whitstable is surrounded by some decent climbs so there's no shortage of challenges. The new bike has held up well, and it certainly makes a difference having the right gear ratio. As you come into Whitstable from the Thanet Way you get a great view of the town and the seascape beyond....going downhill is never a problem, (other than excess speed v's gravel!), but Borstal Hill, as it is called (?) has yet to be conquered going up!

The Cuban Challenge

We leave for Cuba in November, and while I expect the terrain to be reasonably challenging, I think the hardest thing to cope with will be the humidity. We begin our ride on day 2 at the famous Bay of Pigs, and head through the Zapata (Viva!) National Park for Cienfuegos, a short 45km away. Next day we have a tougher ride through the Escambray mountains, 89km to Trinidad, where we have a gentle tour in the area of 48km the next day.

Day 5 of the trip we have an 86km ride to Santa Clara, the first 10km up hill! The last stretch is 80km back towards Cienfuegos, where we will spend the evening comparing sores, setting fire to our bikes and getting familiar with the local brew!

Day 7 is a day off to take in the sights of Havana, one of the oldest cities in the Americas, amazing architecture and the famous 50's American cars. Perhaps a cigar and Salsa (if the legs are still working!)

Thursday, 1 July 2010

In the beginning.......

So here's the thing.....I work as a paramedic on the Kent Air Ambulance, funded entirely by charitable donations at a cost of 1.7 million a year. As crew we are often asked to attend fund raising events or welcome visitors to the base who have raised money for us, and to be honest it's a privilege to be able to do so. I am very proud of the work we do, and we have a great bunch of support staff and volunteers, as well as people from all walks of life doing various crazy things to raise money for us. So in the past when I've come to make myself a cup of tea and I'm asked if I'd like to swim the's come as no big surprise! (I decided to have the tea and decline the kind offer!)

This is the 20th anniversary year of the Kent Air Ambulance, and there are lots of events being organised as a result... for more info.

As part of this work I was asked if I would like to take part in a cycle ride.....350km of cycle Cuba! A team of 6 staff, (known as Team KAAT), and a total of 35 riders in all will take part. The Team KAAT fundraising target is 20k....quite a challenge for 6 people....but we're doing well and are almost half way to our target. I've always wanted to go to Cuba and, whilst at 43 my Tour De France days may be long behind me, I reckoned I'm still pretty fit. That was a few months ago. And time is ticking by. If I'm honest, I haven't done much training......but that's all changing....from today.

I got a new set of wheels and some padding where it matters and went for my first proper ride. About 15 miles on the beautiful Crab & Winkle way that runs between Whitstable and Canterbury. Some beautiful scenery on the way as you can see. Then once back, I headed to Boots for the all important weigh in! (I'm 6' 2" so the height is wrong.....shame I can't say the same about the weight!)
So here it is....the start of my journey........I'd appreciate you coming along for the ride....

Oh and if you'd like to help us: Thanks