August 14, 2015, by sustainablenottingham
Thunderbirds are nearly ready to go…….
With just over 3 weeks until I set off on my Thunderbird charity ride for dementia research my mind turns to perhaps doing a little bit of planning. The principle of my ride is simple – 5 Capitals ( Edinburgh, Belfast, Dublin, Cardiff and London) – in 4 days, involving 3 sleeps – on 2 wheels, covering some 1,000 kilometers, it’s just the detail I need to sort out and maybe do a bit of riding…….
The wonder of mapping tools makes route planning relatively simple, although I’ve learnt the hard way about relying on online mapping tools – road bikes don’t like bridleways! In summary I plan to leave Edinburgh at some ungodly hour on the 7th of September ( having finished the Lochs and Glens ride the day before with the Lifecycle team) and ride the 200 km to catch a ferry across to Belfast then ride down to Dublin ( 197km) to catch a ferry to Holyhead – then a 300 + km ride down to Cardiff before my final leg takes me in to London. I plan on being outside Buckingham palace on Thursday 10th.
Any sort of long unsupported ride throws up lots of dilemmas around what to take? Do I look to stay at hotels each night and reward myself with running water and a comfy bed, how will I charge things up as I ride (GPS, Phone etc..), what tools, food, spares and clothing will I need to take.
The more I take the heavier the bike will be and the harder the ride, in contrast for me the more the luxury the less the incentive and desire to get going the next day. So for September I will be opting to carry my own hotel (bivy bag and sleeping bag), take minimal clothing and limited spares. I will ride until i’m tired and find somewhere to sleep (hopefully a campsite – if not bus shelter, farmers field or something similar)
So why do it?
I like riding my bike and I like eating cake – ask any cyclist there is a direct correlation. But on a serious note I am undertaking this challenge to help raise money to improve our understanding of dementia to help develop effective treatments and further develop the care that improves the quality of life of those with the condition.
There are over 800,000 people in the UK that have dementia and it is estimated that one in three of us has a family member or close friend who is affected. Yet, it attracts only 1/12th of the research funding devoted to cancer.
You will be able to following my progress on Twitter @GavJScot and you can support me in my fundraising through my just giving site. Also, it’s not too late to sign up for your own cycling challenge and join the Lifecycle community events on 23rd August.