The Great Bike Ride

Friday, July 30, 2010

Day Six: Waterloo to Manchester

100kms, 2,340ft. Rained heavily today. A few tactical skills helped avoid the lightening and the potential chaos from tumbling riders!! Quite a slog riding to Manchester.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Day Five: Charles City to Waterloo

132kms, 2,635ft. With only 20km to go for the day, I took much pleasure in taking a pit stop at the local pub with Doug, fellow rider and good friend. Can't remember the last time I was served beverages in red plastic cups...

Day Four: Clear Lake to Charles City

83kms, 1,180ft. Camped at Clear Lake last night (yes, I camped). Great little town. Interestingly, the towns compete to have RAGRAI's 10,000 riders come through - just like the Olympics!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Day Three: Algona to Clear Lake

Glad for the shorter day today - 110kms, 1,068ft climb. It's hard to ride past the best pork chops you've ever tasted! "Mr Pork Chop" is a RAGBRAI legend, who has been serving inch-and-a-half thick Iowa chops to the riders for 25 years.

Day Two: Storm Lake to Algona

135kms, flat and lo-ong. My feet started to hurt but at least it was a welcome distraction from the other aching part of my body...!

Day One: Sioux City to Storm Lake

115km, 3,500ft climb, 4.5hrs. An amazing ride! Soy beans and corn as far as the eye can see... Lovely rolling hills and interesting towns. The numerous food stops along the way helped keep the energy levels up. So far, so good.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Wish me luck!

Well, this is it - I fly out tomorrow to Iowa to embark on my 700km ride! My first stop will be to visit the folks at Great Western Bank, which I am very much looking forward to. Then the event kicks off on Sunday - Day One demands 68.5 miles at quite an elevated gradient! A harsh introduction to the 7 day expedition....

Thank you to all of you who have kindly sponsored me - I have raised just over $60k with your generous contributions and pledges! I am still hoping to close the gap to my $70k target.

Look forward to giving you a full account of our adventures upon my return.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The countdown begins!

Only a week to go now and watching the Tour de France has me quite motivated for my cycling adventure! Although I must say, seeing Armstrong's two crashes, torn shorts and blood soaked hands has made me wonder what I've gotten myself into! My mantra has become "it's a ride, not a race!" Which is what RAGBRAI say on their website...

I've done another couple of big rides since I last wrote. On Saturday the Luna Park riders and I ventured to Patterson River. If you cast your mind back, Saturday was a day of huge winds and it was my turn up front so I got in some serious resistance training. Ready for anything the cyclones of Iowa can throw at me now!

I'm also feeling much better - the pneumonia is loosening it's grip and I'm back up to 95% normality. I've really noticed the difference - even though Saturday was a tough ride I recovered much more quickly than I had a couple of weeks back. This will be my penultimate blog before I depart on July 22nd! Wish me luck for my final days of training...

Monday, July 5, 2010

Not too long to go....

First, for the good news. In this short space of time, I'm already half way to reaching my $70,000 target for FFI. Thanks to all of you who have navigated the web site and made a contribution.

Now, for the bad news. With only 3 weeks to go, somehow I've managed to contract a mild dose of pneumonia - not exactly what I need as I try to build up my endurance and my lung capacity. Nevertheless, I have persevered with the training, just less regularly than I would like. Since I last wrote I've managed to get in a few rides to and from Frankston with the Luna Park Riders (care of Simon Moore and other NAB colleagues), during which time I've developed a new dislike of head winds! Despite the pneumonia, each time I am recovering a little better and a little quicker than the previous ride. Doesn't make the first day in Iowa (63 miles) any less daunting.

There has also been a development in my co-riders. Tim, my son, was training even less than me and so has officially been substituted by his mother, who has been cycling more than both of us! This fact alone should help reignite my competitive spirit.