Discussion about any other rides & touring

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John D
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Joined: 07 Apr 2014 11:52
Real Name: John Deeley


Post by John D » 06 May 2015 16:54

As some of you may be aware, after reaching the milestone of 50 years of age just over 18 months ago, I made the decision that I needed to undertake a serious challenge (whist the body is nearly able) and with some likeminded friends with whom I enjoy an annual golf break in Murcia, the challenge was quite simple.... we will cycle to Murcia instead!!

So the journey begins.

For an unfit 50 year old who baulked at 36 holes in a day and got out of breath cycling up Bournville Lane…I could not begin to attempt it without some sacrifice. This meant not only compiling a wardrobe of Lycra, but also missing my weekly “fix” of golf and substituting it with time in the saddle.

I quickly realised I was not going to get through this unless I made some effort and regular commitment and so it was with a little trepidation (and my newly acquired second hand Planet X sl carbon that had recently completed an end to end with a friend of a friend) that I did my first intro. ride with Beacon in April 2014. Success, first hurdle accomplished without embarrassment and with growing (and perhaps misplaced) confidence a couple of weeks passed before I ventured on a c ride and one "D" ride where our President led me up Day House Bank.... he cycled, I walked part of it :oops: ....ouch....big lesson/wake up call...need to be much much fitter and my 36 25 gearing had to be changed.

So "training" in earnest started approx. 12 months ago during which time I have clocked up nearly 6000 miles on my bike, spent what seems a small fortune on cycling related hardware, clothing, and bike fit, been scammed for £200 on a Garmin (another story) and the moment of truth is nearly upon us.

On Thursday 14th May, 5 of us will be leaving Birmingham and spending 2 days cycling to Southampton. We “cut the corner” by taking the ferry on Friday afternoon, arriving Saturday afternoon in Santander and then a shortish 35 mile ride towards Bilbao. We then have 7 days to cycle the remaining 600 miles or so to the coast near Murcia including a very lumpy bit in northern Spain peaking at a little over 3,000 ft., a total distance of approx. 800 miles. We have a support driver and accommodation has been booked en route. Return flight booked for Sunday 24th May so no room for "taking it easy".

For some members, this may not present the greatest of challenges, for 5 guys that have no previous experience of multi day rides, this is a serious challenge. Our training "highlights" have involved a 2 day ride from Birmingham city centre to Lake Vyrnwy and back, various Sportives, the Sunrise and Snowdrop express, and the route of the Cotswold Journey. One of my favourite rides was Steve Smiths 100 in as long as it takes last August, my first century... with the last 35 stuck in one gear due to shifter issues.... at least he let us off Weatheroak Hill at the end.

So am I prepared?, I guess I will find that out when we hit the hills in Spain, I fluctuate between times of confidence when the legs feel strong during my midweek rides, to ever increasing thoughts of self doubt as D day approaches. Pacing, nutrition and hydration will be my focus.

What started as a personal challenge for us all has developed a little further and the consensus amongst friends, relatives and colleagues was that it would be good if others far less fortunate than ourselves could benefit from our efforts. Choosing an appropriate charity is a very personal thing but we all had a common friend who lost his son at the age of 9. He is an inspiration, if you would care to read their story, please see ... Joseph.htm.
Thinking about my young family will hopefully get me through the tough moments I will inevitably face.

So apologies for the blatant "rattling of the tin", but if anybody wishes to support us by making a small donation to our cause, please see the following link, ... sTeam=true , it really would be appreciated.

If anybody wishes to follow our progress, we have a blog and will be providing a daily update at

Your support, advice and encouragement has been greatly appreciated thus far and I look forward to continuing my club runs upon my return



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Post by CakeStop » 06 May 2015 18:48

I'm sure you'll be fine John but I wouldn't bother taking the clubs this year if I were you.

Enjoy the ride - I look forward to following the blog.
Eat cake before you're hungry

David Cole
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Location: Northfield, Birmingham

Post by David Cole » 06 May 2015 19:51

Have a good trip John

David Cole

Beacon Roads Cycling Club

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Real Name: George Barker
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Post by George » 07 May 2015 13:08

Best of luck, John. Look forward to hearing how you get on.

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Philip Whiteman
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Post by Philip Whiteman » 07 May 2015 14:21

Hope all goes well and keep us posted.
Beacon Audaxes The Kidderminster Killer & From Clee to Heaven 20.7.19; Autumn South Salopian 5.10.19.

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Post by Hels147 » 07 May 2015 22:02

Have you actually made it up day house bank in one go now?! ;p

Good luck with the ride, and don't forget to also enjoy it! :D
If you’re all about the destination, take a f#€king flight!

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