Cancer is happening right now, which is why I’m raising money right now for Cancer Research UK. There’s no time to lose!
Donate to my page today and help bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.
To Celebrate my 60th Birthday and mark this with acheivement, I will be undertaking the Lands End to John O'Groats cycle ride, in order to raise money for CRUK. This involves almost 1000 miles of riding over 9 days.
Getting to 60 is an achievement I suppose, recalling how I viewed that age in my youth, it was in the 'ancient' category, Grandads and pipe tobacco images come to mind. Well, I'm not ready for any of that! 60 is the new 40 after all and I'm probably excercising more than ever.
I'll keep you posted with training progress on this page, keep the encourgement coming!
I've started training, last weekend I did 205 Km and I am at 800 Km for January as of 23 Jan.
So I have set my goal, training has started, please donate what you can to spur me on!
DickD 23 Jan 2019
February was a washout as I had an operation, recuperation required me to stay off the bike. I'm back in the saddle and did my biggest ride of the year, yesterday. 132km.
As usual on my Saturday ride I stopped in at Drayton's garage in Barley, for a drink and snack. I always have a chat with Tom Drayton, who I think is the 3rd generation, he's in his 80's. Tom's sons run it now, helped out on Saturday by his grandson, who was there vacuuming cars.
They've owned the garage building for 100 years, I'm not sure how old the building is. Anyway, in one of the original beams, there's a spooky carving watching over. Thought you'd like to see it.
DickD 3 March
1 Week to go! I am nervous and excited, will have to have a trial pack this weekend. Hopefully all of the stuff I've bought from Wiggle and Amazon will fit in my bag! I have to prepare for any weather from Freezing rain to sunny and hot, so I have a lot of stuff.
My training I'd say was now as done is it can be. Stats: - 5,769 miles travelled, 236,824 ft climbed, this year, Vo2Max is 47, FTP is 280W (3.13 w/kilo), I got my weight down from 97 to 88kg.
I did The Tour of Wessex in May as part of my training plan, I covered about 340 Miles over 3 days, in an area of the country with some truly, brutal hills, some with over 25% gradient. I survived that test and since then, have been in Spain for some hot weather mountain climbing. The pic below is of a monument I came across in the mountains of Murcia. I’m not expecting the 40C temperatures in the Scottish Highlands though.
Thanks for all the donations, keep 'em coming!
DickD 29 August 2019
Day 3 Bath to Ludlow, tested wet weather gear to the full extent. It rained most of the day but it was still enjoyable. We went through some nice villages North from Bath, crossed the Severn Bridge, the followed the river up the Wye valley.
We're camped at Ludlow racecourse where we are chilling with hot showers, stretching, afternoon tea and a cheese stand treat.
Tomorrow we travel through the Midlands to Haydock racecourse. It will be mercifully flat, for a change.
You can follow my progress on Strava.
Check out Dick Drylie on Strava
It was good to chat to Kim from CRUK today at feed stop2. She let me shelter under her food stall.
DickD 9th Sept
Hi Again, I’ll start at the end: I’ve done it!
Here’s the journey:
The train trip was uneventful, but comfortable in first class, there were, as expected lots of fellow participants, the train was rammed full!
When we got to camp, first order of the day was getting my bag into the tent and finding my bike – all went smoothly, I managed to get a pic at the Land’s End sign to mark the beginning. Camp was awesome, there was a large marquee for food, separate showers and toilets and a bike park, with probably with $300-500K of bikes parked up. You can see how small the tents were, our duffle bags seemed to fill half the space, it was amazing how easy it was to lose stuff in such a cramped environment. I swear that camping in these conditions was like doing Pilates for 9 days in a row, getting dressed in cycling gear was a challenge every day, that involved various contortions.
Faffing: It took a while to get into the rhythm, when one gets back to camp each day there were definite things to do – get your tent allocation, start carbing up, wash/fix bike, shower, take all gadgets to charging, clean and fill bidons, put stuff in the drying room, send stuff to laundry, eat dinner, listen to next days’ briefing, have a quick chat, lay out stuff for the next day, go to sleep around 9! As one became more tired it was difficult to remember everything – the challenge was to minimise trips back and forth to the tent. Thankfully, Threshold sports thought of everything and made sure you had wristband reminders for bike number, tent number, laundry number.
Riding: Each morning there was reciprocal faffing – pick up laundry, put gadgets and bottles on the bike, check tyres, eat breakfast, get into cycle gear, pack the bag and take to the trucks, find riding partners, then get going. Depending on the conditions and the route, the start gate opened between 6 and 7 am, most days I was off around 6:45 after rising at 4:30 for a 5am breakfast. Now you know why I went to bed at 9!
I rode with friends I’d made before the ride in a training ride, I must say this was invaluable – the laughs, company and songs made the miles tick by more easily. If you’re thinking about doing it, make sure you hook up with some other folks, there is always a time when you’re down, or ‘bonking’ and need a bit of support.
Food: There was a copious amount. Fried breakfast, plus porridge, coffee, juice and croissants got me going. 2 pit stops had everything one could want, energy drinks/bars, pies, pasties, crisps, sweets, bananas etc etc. Then Dinner was 3 course – as much to eat as you want. I reckon I was eating about 5,000 calories a day.
At Haydock Dave Brailsford told us – eat small amounts, often, carbs are your friend, I took him up on that.
The route: Day 1 was really hard steep climbs up narrow lanes, with a horrible long gradual 5 mile climb at the end. I did well though, as I was feeling fresh. Next day we went to Bath via Devon and Somerset – there were more small lanes, constantly up and down, with mud and gravel. This was my least favourite part. I did get a PB on a climb called Cothelstone, though – the hardest of the day. Cheddar Gorge was rammed with tourist traffic, so that was a pain. Next day it was raining hard in the Wye valley into Wales (surprise?), you’ll see from some of the photos. That day, we ended in Ludlow racecourse. Through central England next day, we had a mixture of ‘A’ roads and more farm lanes, ending up at Haydock racecourse. One thing to note that night, was how much the accents had changed from West country to Scouse. The ride from there to Carlisle started in traffic rush hour going through Preston and lots of little conurbation towns in the rain, in the middle, we climbed Shap Fell, it wasn’t that hard, just long. From Carlisle we had a long slog for 2/3 of the way on bumpy roads with logging and other big trucks in the rain, that was quite hard work. After pit stop 2 though, we were on country lanes with a bit of a tailwind across Lanarkshire and into Edinburgh: it was fun to get some speed on in the group. I had a nice break from camp that night, my sister treated me to a nice meal in a local restaurant, I got out of ‘the bubble’ for a few hours at least. Edinburgh to Strathdon was a very hard day, with the Glenshee climb near the end, that was tough as it was very long and quite steep. The day started by crossing the Forth Estuary, through Fife, my home county, then into rolling Perthshire hills, culminating in Glenshee to Strathdon. From there we had another very big climb to another Ski area on day 8 – ‘The Lecht’ which involved an abominable 20% climb at the start, followed by a stupendous fast descent. The weather changed again there, cross winds were blowing us all over the place, so it was a hard slog to Bonar Bridge. All through this and the last stage we are in mountain country on fast flowing roads. Happily, my Wife came to visit me in camp as she was on her way to John O’ Groats to meet me, which was a great morale boost. The last day was even windier with a strong westerly to our left, forcing us to lean over continuously, after 50 miles we turned east for home, that afforded us a wonderful, 50 mile dash with the wind behind, to JOG.
Fitness: I did a lot of prep for this, as you saw above, this paid off in the end, I felt I was well within myself overall, even though I was cycling with some 23 year olds, so it felt good for an old man like me. In fact, my VO2 Max improved to 51 on the last couple of days. The only downside was saddle sores, that a doc fixed for me with rock tape. So, if you are thinking of doing this, do the homework! Some people were unable to keep up on some days and ended up in the broom wagon, thankfully I avoided it.
On reflection: It was a fantastic experience, I’ll have memories to treasure for years to come, and hopefully have made some good friends in the process. I’ve made a decent wedge for my charity, but, if you think it’s worth it, there’s time to contribute. Thanks to all my existing sponsors, I was highly motivated to finish this, given the kind donations you’ve made.
Roll on, Dick Drylie 18 Sept 2019