I think if I had realised that training for a sponsored ride, even one with as high a profile as the BC Conquer Cancer ride in Canada, could have been quite as much fun I would have done it long since.
Although I had registered in October 2013 bike riding through the winter months particularly January and February was very much indoors in a Gym namely One 2 One with sessions of Spinning. It was not until March I actually got on a bike and even then on the advice of my Hire Shop Manager, Mat Poley, who had experience of preparing for road races, I restricted the mileage to about 20 miles most days. So it was not until the Easter Sunday late in April that I made the decision to embark on longer rides.
Fortunately I am an early riser and will very often be on the move at the first sign of light. The theory was that on my first ride I would venture along very quiet narrow lanes to St Breock, go across Rosenannon Downs – Retallick – Winnards Perch – Padstow and then back to base.
Imagine my surprise when confronted by endless cars streaming down from St Breock. On entering Rosenannon, to lots of car activity by the Chapel, I recognised one of my customers who welcomed me as “a lonely traveller” and when offering me tea and biscuits proceeded to explain that the Church had a Dawn Easter Sunday service which was very well attended. So much for a quiet safe ride.
This appeared to set the trend for my training program. I adopted a regime of taking my bike with me no matter where or when so trips to Yorkshire saw me bike a small section of the forthcoming Tour de France route. A visit to a relative in Llandovery let me cycle part of the fabulous Brecon Beacons, also parts Dartmoor, Hampshire, Wiltshire, West Bucks and of course Bodmin Moor all followed.
The biking has not been without incidents, I have been chased by a Herd of Bullocks, had my first flying lesson when bailing out of bad circumstances and dropping down a pot hole and going clean over the handle bars (quite proud of the landing really). I have nearly come to grief again when a convoy of trucks greeted me with their air horns (that will teach me to suggest the ‘toot when I’m training’ in a letter to one of the papers) and of course getting lost on Bodmin Moor I shall never quite live down. I am sorry but I am going to bore you with the details of this.
In the early days of proper training I decided to get my wife Berni to drop me up at Bude and I would cycle back. Decided on reaching Marhamchurch that I would ignore route 32 National Network of Cycleways in favour of following a GPS app downloaded that morning on my phone. An hour or so later I am somewhere near Launceston when I should have been close to Halworthy/Crowdey Lake. Unwisely I decided to phone my bike hire shop, speak to my Manager and see if he with the aid of a map could pinpoint my location. The conversation went something like this, “Mat, you are never to repeat what I am about to tell you, I am lost on Bodmin Moor”, and what did he immediately do? He turns round to my wife and says, “Nige is lost on Bodmin Moor”.
That is all my Lady needs to make my life hell and of course now I have half of b—— Wadebridge directing me to paper shops etc etc – Nigel not happy.
Al “Chico” Jago.
I have to say the kindness, the good wishes the generosity of everyone has taken me aback. The notes that accompany some of the Sponsorship money have been moving to say the least and Chico if you are looking down on this you know for sure you still have a presence. This ride is for you.
Your fishing Buddy, Nige.