Unfinished business – My 100-mile charity bike ride debt

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When I decided to become healthier in my thirties than I had been in my twenties I thought long and hard about the sporting challenges I had completed but felt I could have done better in.

The first couple were easy to identify, the London Triathlon and the Birmingham Half Marathon, however there was one that kept nagging at me and I couldn’t put my finger on it. Then it came to me, it was a 75-mile charity bike ride that I had taken part in during the summer of 2013.

Now technically the ride was in my thirties not my twenties, however that didn’t change the fact that my performance was terrible. I did minimal training and turned up completely undercooked. To say that I completed the 75-mile ride is stretching the truth; I rode most of it but walked up the big hills.

My preparation for the charity bike ride was shocking and I actually spent the week before the ride on holiday in Lisbon celebrating my wife’s thirtieth birthday. I did bugger all training that week and we flew back in to the country less than 36 hours before the ride was due to begin. I turned up on the start line full of positivity but was soon found out and struggled for the next 5 hours as I barely completed the route.

Looking back the thing that I am most disappointed with is that I let my dad and brother down by failing to prepare properly. The ride was supposed to be something fun we did as a family but I didn’t take my training seriously and that clearly showed. Anyone can have a bad ride, run or training session but not putting the work in was inexcusable. That is why I feel I owe myself and my dad another go at completing a charity bike ride together and it is a debt I want to pay back.

After choosing the five goals to help me be fitter I decided the 100-mile charity bike ride goal should be the first one I target. My dad is a huge cycling enthusiast and rides his bike nearly every day, in fact last year he rode over 4,000 miles at the age of 65! He has told me repeatedly that completing a 100-mile charity bike ride is an aim of his so it seemed only natural for us to take on a challenge together. Doing the ride with my dad will allow me to put right my last performance and pack back my debt.

If you read my blog ‘The hard work starts now’ you will know that I bought both of us a place on the Hearing Dogs for the Deaf Sportive on July 3rd. There are three reasons that I chose that race; firstly the route takes in a lot of the areas where both my dad and I grew up. Secondly the ride is in July so it gave us six months to train properly and get ourselves in the best possible shape, and by us I mean me! The third reason was because it was a charity bike ride. I believe that everyone has a responsibility to help those less fortunate than themselves and that is why I chose a charity sportive rather than a non-charity organised one.

So now I have explained the reasons behind why I chose this challenge I guess there is only one more thing to say. On this cold January evening I don’t know whether I will complete the ride in less than six hours but I do know that I will repay the debt I owe with hours of training and more importantly cycling every single mile of the 100!

I start paying off my charity bike ride debt on Sunday and I can’t wait!

Toby

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