Thursday 10 October 2013

The Fit, The Fast, The Fat and the Furious

Many of you who keep up to date with my blog will recall last year my desire to get fitter and to come face to face with an obsession known as cycling.  Culminating in a ride for charity last year called the Palace to Palace Cycle ride (45 miles of cycling in aid of the Princes Trust) which I completed in 4 hours 11 minutes.

At the start of this year, I decided to up my game and set myself dizzier heights, including taking part in Cycling Weekly's Ripon Revolution, 65 miles and a categorised climb to kill my legs if the the altitude didn't.  I also took part in another 45 mile ride sportive completing it in 3hrs 10 minutes. So about an hour faster than it took for a similar distance last year.

At a discussion at home, my father-in-law asked me if I were going to try to do the Palace to Palace again in under three hours, promising to sponsor me if I did.  So I duly signed up and began my quest for sponsorship.

A week or so after I signed up, whilst eating dinner, my wife suggested to my son that it would be great exercise and he should do it with me.   I mentioned that it was possible to put in a cycling team in to the event if you get four people. My son replied he wouldn't do it if my brother didn't. My wife claimed she couldn't do it because of Alex. They both agreed I should ask my brother both I think confident in their expectation that he would say no.  Unfortunately for them he said yes and our fledgling team was born.

We started with the name "The Fast, the Fit and the Furious" but Peter quickly pointed out that was only three names, we should make a name for him too, so we had it, "The Fit, The Fast, The Fat and The Furious".  We all signed up and began asking friends to sponsor us.

One of my friends then decided that she would like to join us with her husband.  So the team increased to six, with the Feisty and the Fearless taking their F names too.

We all began our respective training programmes.  I think Fat did the best, as he was particularly fit and ready for the ride (he admits when he did the Nottingham Sportive with me last year that he wasn't quite ready).  He now has a pretty good 19 RITMO to boot.

Feisty and Fearless practiced largely in the South, although there was a team ride on the Monsall Trail consisting for Fast, Fit, Furious, Fearless, Feisty and Flump (Flump being my youngest son who is disabled and in a trailer on the back of my bike).  Fearless was in a fearless mood, challenging first Furious for a race and losing, then challenging Fast with Flump in tow but Fast chickened out at 26mph in case the trailer got unsteady, he finally challenged Fit who decimated him.

Left to right: Fast, Flump, Furious, Fearless and Fit (Feisty is taking the photo)

Fast, Fit and Furious had a final training ride in August at the full challenge distance, resulting in Furious crawling into the kitchen on all fours screaming in pain and saying she was never going to do it again (shame we had an event coming up in just a few weeks time !).

The Event
Fast, Fit, Fat and Furious travelled down the day before and stayed overnight in London.  Feisty and Fearless met us at the start line.  We then lined up and set off.

The fact of being close to Buckingham Palace plus taking part in The Palace to Palace really went to Furious' head, she started waving to everyone, although whenever one of the official photographers took her photo, she was often seen waving to some obscure guy in the opposite direction.  Nearly suggested a change of call sign from Furious to Floozie. Here is brief look at the start from a bike eye view :-

After a couple of miles the group split into two.  Fast and Fat decided to strike off (there was a sub 3 hour ride time to beat), Fit came along for the first half of the ride acting as domestique with Furious, Feisty and Fearless in the second wave.  Fit then joined the second wave over the second half of the course.

At the first drink stop in Richmond Park, the first wave stopped and were quickly caught by the second wave.  Although the Find my Friends App reported Furious being 2 miles away, in reality, she was in a porta-loo only 10 feet away.  We set off again, hitting some high speeds as we sped out the park and were soon back up to an average 16-17 mph.

At the second break, we stopped and were just getting ready to leave when again we briefly met as a team.  This was the last time we would see Fast, Furious, Feisty and Fearless until the end.

The weather held up throughout the event.  Feisty and Fearless were also introduced to a cycling essential (an energy gel).  Hmmmm, you can tell by their face just how tasty it is :-

Fast and Fat completed the even within the target time (2hrs 55 minutes of cycling), Furious, Fit, Feisty and Fearless also completed in an impressive 3hrs 40 minutes.  We're all now looking forward to our next event.  He we all are with our finishing medals :-

Left to Right.  Feisty, Fast, Furious,Fat,Fearless and Fit

The Cast

Fast - Gary Newbould
Fit - James Newbould
Furious - Joanne Newbould
Fat - Peter Newbould
Feisty - Tina Watson
Fearless - Peter Watson
and the Flump - Alex Newbould