Thursday, 30 April 2009

Cycling the Isle of Wight.




A couple of months ago I promised that as soon as I managed to get a picture of all 'The Revolutionaries' together I would post the photograph on this blog. Well here it is!! The picture was taken yesterday at the start of the team's cycle ride around the Isle of Wight. We had chosen the day well as it appears that yesterday was a window of good weather between two days of bad weather. The other picture is of Gareth and myself re-enacting the crash that we had last year when we both sustained a bad dose of 'road rash' and I also ended up with two broken ribs. The shot was taken on the same corner where the accident happened although this year the weather was 100% better. The purpose of the trip was to get the team together for a full days ride in order to assess the overall fitness of the team and highlight any problems that there might be. The route that we rode was described by various people as 'challenging' and it certainly was that. As far as problems go, it showed those up within the first 20 miles.
Last year when we completed our LEJOG, John Donaghue was at a good level of fitness and surpassed all expectations for the trip (it must be remembered that John only has one kidney).
On yesterdays trip it became clear all to quickly that John was struggling. John was finding the terrain very difficult and at one point he dropped off the rear of the group and took a wrong turn. It took us over an hour to reconnect with him-not helped by the fact that John had turned his phone off. After the full team had regrouped John continued to struggle even walking up some of the hills. We were falling well behind time and it became clear that John was not going to complete the circuit of the Island. Eventually that fact became clear to John. We left him at Ventnor clutching his bike in one hand and a twenty pound note in the other-he was going to taxi back to the ferry at Yarmouth. The rest of the team completed the circuit although I split from Gareth and Jason after dropping them after leaving Ventnor and then stupidly missing a turning. Today John was on the phone to me explaining what his plans are to improve his fitness over the next five weeks prior to The Atlantic Coast Challenge Ride down through France and into Spain ,although I do fear that there is insufficient time left to make a significant difference. At least when we do the ACCR we will have Dave Vaughan driving the support/broom wagon so he should be able to sweep up John if he experiences similar problems to yesterday.

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