70Seventy Blog No#3

70 Seventy Challenge Blog # 03

10 July – Leicester

Prostate Cancer makes me stop and think

It’s been just over a year since my last blog post. Hope you haven’t been holding your breath for this one. Things have been happening – but not the things I had planned – which was to have the 70 Seventy Challenge all done and dusted by now. However, I have been diagnosed with prostate cancer and decided to take some time out to give my health my undivided attention for a while and to research treatments – and my word it has taken some time – there is a lot of information out there – conventional and alternative treatments, therapies proven and unproven all described in countless books and articles …

Anyway I now know what I am doing on the health front – hormone therapy now followed by radiation treatment in three months’ time, with a little matter of the Pyrenees in between. So the 70seventy challenge is up and running again. Here are the new dates:

Cycle the Pyrenees – Pau to Barcelona over the Col du Tourmalet:
18-23 September 2018
National Three Peaks [Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon]:
25-27 May 2019
Marathon – Leicester Racecourse:
Saturday 22 June 2019

It has been disappointing for me that we have only managed to recruit 3 other riders for the challenge – I had optimistically hoped for 30! But there is still time to join us – and if it is the four of us we will see what we can raise between us taking on the challenge. Which is just 10 weeks away.

So I am back on my bike; and I have invested in an 11/34 sprocket. I don’t know about you, but I had no idea what such a thing was let alone what the numbers meant – in case you are of an enquiring mind the 34 is the number of bumps on the sprocket that sit in the links of the chain – and apparently the higher the number the easier it is to go up hills. “I’ll have the big one please” I said. I can tell you that I need all the help technology can provide.

Last weekend I went for a training ride round the Bradgate Park area with Rob Abel and Garry Duggan two others who are doing the Pyrenees. I realise now that I will either be left far behind or I will need to train like mad for the next few weeks.

Next stop Halfords to have a roof rack fitted to take my bike on holiday to Cornwall – training can then continue while away in the South West. Now Cornwall is not the Pyrenees but for those that don’t know it the hills there are not to be sneered at. I know because in 2012 I did my only other long cycle ride, from Land’s End to Leicester, after being persuaded to join five others riding 350 miles to raise funds for Bamboozle families. And the hills in Devon and Cornwall were no joke – they came thick and fast – one after another. At the time, playwright Alan Bennett was Bamboozle’s patron and he had generously sponsored our effort asking to be kept informed how we got on.

The repetitive nature of steep climbs up the hills of Devon and Cornwall reminded me of my favourite quote from Bennett’s brilliantly funny play The History Boys: at a mock interview for the entrance exam for Oxford, Rudge was asked how he would define history. Having been reassured that he could speak frankly he said: “How do I define history? It’s just one f***in’ thing after another.”

Pausing for breath at the top of a singularly steep hill out of the village of St Neot – I texted Alan to report on our progress. “How do I define Cornwall Alan? It’s just one f***in’ hill after another.” Very witty don’t you think?

But back to the present – I have a long way to go to be fit enough to take on the climbs in the Pyrenees and to be able to keep my fellow riders in sight. I will keep you posted how training goes.

And in case you want to donate to the cause of providing more opportunities for the disabled kids we work with here’s the link to my Virgin Money Giving page: Click here


Published Date: 16th July 2018
Category: Uncategorised