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Now retired but busy still living..

Tuesday 26 August 2008

JOHN- A radio star !

Yesterday morning our very own John Donoghue appeared on the Julian Clegg radio breakfast show at Radio Solent. John was quite the star. He told Julian all about his career in the film industry and some of the major films that he had worked on and then went on to explain the effect his daughter getting the disease Lupus had on him. He told how it had made him re-evaluate his life and how he had given his daughter one of his own kidneys in order to save her life. Julian then asked him about his fund raising efforts for the Dorset Kidney Fund and all about our LEJOG. Julian gave out our fund raising internet page address : www.justgiving.com/revproteamride and they discussed the route we would be taking and the number of days that we expected to be in the saddle and pedalspinning.
When we do the ride, Julian Clegg will be keeping in touch with us on his breakfast show. This will probably mean a live broadcast first thing in the morning by telephone every other day throughout the ride.

I have been lucky in my life. No one that I have been close to has suffered an illness as major as John's daughter and I think that for the majority of us that is the case. However for those of us who are unlucky enough to suffer with something like renal failure, an organisation such as The Dorset Kidney Fund is literally a life saver.
If you have yet to support us with a donation please don't put it off any longer. Just click on the link shown above and make your donation now! It is quick-secure and the fund also gets the money immediately with the added bonus of gift aid if you are a UK taxpayer.

John Donoghue is the one person in the LEJOG team who is not a regular cyclist. John took up cycling about ten months ago, buying his bike and all the equipment needed just to do this ride. On top of this John has only got one kidney and I am sure that he won't mind me saying ,that due to all the functions that he attends he is carrying a little too much weight. But none of this has been viewed by him as too much of an obstacle. John is determined to complete this ride because it is raising money for something that he believes in- something that has had a great effect on his family. The rest of the team will be there to help him achieve it, please show your support as well.

Saturday 23 August 2008

Why Does a Day at Work equal Good Weather ?

I don't know why it should be, but whenever I have a day off the weather is sure to take a turn for the worse. Heavy rain, Sleet, Hail and Gale force winds all seem to be the type of weather I have had to put up with on my rest days. Conversely the opposite also seems to be true. Take today- I was working. I started duty at 0540hrs after having left home at about 0510hrs cycling in to work before it had become light. As the day dawned it became obvious that it was going to be a great day on the weather front. Just the sort of day for a fifty mile cycle ride on the racing bike. Two of my work colleagues, eager to rub in the fact that I was at work and they had the day off, decided to have a cycle ride from Totton just outside of Southampton to Poole. They made certain that I was able to see them set off and even phoned me up when they had got as far as Bournemouth just to rub my nose in it even more!! The photograph above shows these two heartless individuals just before they set off from Bournemouth to finish the last short section to Poole. On the left is Gareth Morns who is one of the LEJOG team riders with his SCOTT CR1. On the right is Jason Boynton-Lee with his FELT F55. Now next weekend I have a few days off. Check the weather out - it is almost certain to Rain, sleet snow etc etc.............

Thursday 21 August 2008

LEJOG-Latest News

This week John Donoghue one of our LEJOG team members has been invited to chat about our charity ride on the Julian Clegg show. This is a breakfast show on Radio Solent. With luck you should be able to listen to John on Monday 25th August at 0715hrs. We hope that with this kind of media help we will be able to give a boost to our fund raising efforts. At the time of writing this posting we are just shy of the half way mark for our fund raising target. Thanks to everyone who has made a donation so far and helped us to get to this point. If you would like to make a donation and are uncertain how to go about it- just go to www.justgiving.com/revproteamride where you will be able to make a secure donation on line.
Three team members that we have not said too much about are the BIKES.
John Donoghue will be riding a SCOTT SUB 20. John bought this bike in order to do this ride and on top of the £600 spent on it's purchase he has also spent even more on some minor modifications which include: Full SKS Thermoplastic mudguards - Brooks B17 saddle - upgraded pedals etc etc. At the last tally John must have spent over £1000 on the Bike and additional equipment and kit.
Gareth Morns and myself are riding Fully Customised DAHON ESPRESSOS. (see picture above)
The only thing on these bikes that is the same as the ones that you can buy in the shops is the Fullsize Folding Frame and the Gear Train. Almost every other part of these bikes has been customised-Fully upgraded brakes - Special extra strong but light weight wheels fitted with Continental Sport Contact slick tyres - upgraded pedals - special hand grips and bar ends - Full SKS Thermoplastic mudguards on my machine and Sports Guards on Gareths. Both Gareth and I are also sporting 'Brooks Team Professional' saddles on our bikes. The latest news on the breaking in of these saddles is that we are almost there. The saddles have now adopted the odd looking shape of our individual posteriors and although still hard are very comfortable. John has used about a third of a tin of Brooks Proofide in his attempt to make his B17 comfortable and his saddle is now all but broken in.
Less than three weeks to go now before the off !!

Wednesday 13 August 2008

LEJOG- The Route.

A number of people have been asking what route the team intend taking when we attempt our LEJOG in September.
The general route is marked out in the picture but the details are as follows:

Day 1-Land's End to Okehampton
Day 2-Okehampton to Bristol
Day 3-Bristol to Shrewsbury
Day 4-Shrewsbury to Preston
Day 5-Preston to Carlisle
Day 6-Carlisle to Irvine
Day 7-Irvine to Fort William
Day 8-Fort William to Dornoch
Day 9-Dornoch to John O'Groats

I have listed the main towns that we will finish close to each day. Depending on weather-possible breakdowns (that's on the bikes, not the riders hopefully) fitness etc we might finish each day either slightly short or maybe even just beyond each of the places shown.
We will be travelling down to Land's End on Tuesday 9th September and if we arrive early enough we might well start by doing the first 40miles that afternoon. That would take us to St Agnes and by doing this we will be able to break ourselves into the routine more gently. It would mean that the first stage, which is accepted as being one of the toughest days, would be a bit easier to complete.
In my last blog posting I told you about a chest infection that I had picked up. Since then the situation got worse. I arrived at work one day and found that I was having great difficulty in breathing. I went straight to the Doctor and was told that it would be better NOT to ride the bike in to work-take some time off-and I was prescribed some Antibiotics to help with the infection. The result was that I was off work for 4 days and so far I have not ridden a bike for almost 2 weeks. The infection is now clearing up and it is my intention to start riding again this coming weekend. This break in riding is the longest that I have not been on a bike this year. With that sort of lay-off I reckon that I will need to put the stabilisers back on !!!

For those of you who have given us your support and made a donation ,thankyou very much both for the donation and your belief in our ability to complete the distance-we are certainly going to give it everything we've got as we have done during training. For those of you yet to show your financial support, may I remind you of our Charity webpage where you will find details of the charity we are doing this for and where you can make your donation online.
Go to :-www.justgiving.com/revproteamride

Monday 4 August 2008

LEJOG-Training grinds to a halt !!

It had to happen. Just five weeks to go before we head NORTH out of Land's End and my training and fitness level is about to head SOUTH.
Ever since I had to cut my Dorset Boundary Ride short due to the death of my Father I have noticed a worsening cough. Well today I have had it confirmed that I have a severe chest infection and for the next two weeks at least the wise advice is that I put a hold on the training. Cycling to work is OK but the twenty mile dash is off the agenda. This could not come at a worse time as the plan was that I would be increasing the distance throughout August.This would then bring me up to the level of fitness I need to tackle the 100 miles a day I will be doing on the LEJOG itself. There does not seem to be anything that I can do about this. If I ignore the advice I could make the infection worse and risk not being able to even start the ride. So it seems that for the next couple of weeks my training will consist of pottering to work on my bike and watching old videos of the Tour De France !! As far as I can tell ,the other guys doing the ride are all still training well and on their planned schedules.
The picture above shows the three different saddles that I have had on the bike in my quest for a comfortable ride. The one on the left is the saddle supplied with the bike. It became obvious to me within the first few days of taking delivery of the bike that the saddle and I had to part company. It was the most uncomfortable object that I have ever sat on! The saddle on the right was the next one that I tried and for most trips up to about 50 miles it was fine. Over that distance it did not seem to offer the support that I needed. Now, the saddle in the middle is my Brooks Team Professional. The Brooks might look hard (and it is) but the more I use it the more comfortable it becomes. The great thing about a leather saddle is that IT shapes around your rear end so it becomes personal to you. The huge copper rivets of the Team Pro and the hard leather might put a lot of people off trying it, but believe me it IS comfortable.
A few years ago I did (with some others) the 24 hour Three Peaks Challenge to raise money for a local childrens charity. The hardest thing about that event was not the broken finger I got when I slipped over half way up Scafell Pike or the freezing conditions we found on the summit of both Snowden and Scafell. No, the hardest thing was trying to part people from their hard earned cash and get them to give it to others less fortunate. It was so difficult that I vowed that I would never do another charity event again!! Well here I am again and yes it is every bit as difficult as I remembered it to be. This time we have made it easier for people to show their support with a SECURE charity web page that they can go to and make a donation. Some people have been really generous with very large donations and I would like to say thanks to everyone who has made a donation so far, for their support. Every pound counts, so even if you are not able to make a large donation a couple of pounds will be appreciated just as much. It is all about GIVING! We are giving our time and effort to complete the ride and all we ask is that you give a donation no matter how large or small to support us and the Dorset Kidney Fund. Please go to www.justgiving.com/revproteamride and support us and help to make the fundraising the easiest and not the most difficult part of the whole event.

Six weeks off.

 The visit to see the Consultant went quite well really ...   My ' numbers' have started to creep up again so I am going to be given...