Epic cycle ride undertaken by unfit, overweight, not middled aged lady

I visited Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos in 2002. One of the things that really struck me about the countries was the indefatigable people, the welcome extended to visitors and the simple joy taken in small pleasures. But, having visited the Museum of the American War in Ho Chi Minh City, seen the 'Danger UXB' signs in Laos and read the good news headline in a paper in Cambodia: ' Deaths from UXBs down to 3 this month. Only 40 maimed.' I was acutely aware of the toll still being taken on the population.

Over the years I have pondered the munitions still there and this year I have finally decided to get off my bottom and do something. So I have, somewhat impetuously and with little regard for my physical fitness, cycling ability or dodgy left knee decided to join the MAG cycle ride from Ho Chi Minh City to Ankor Wat. I will be doing this the first week or so in Feb 2011 and it does involve a couple of days of over 100km in 30 degree heat. Having signed up I have been told that neither a rickshaw nor an electric bikes are options and that doing the distance on my own pedals is expected.

Donation link is further down on the right - I have paid for my own flights and contributed enough to cover living expenses so all money raised from sponsorship will go to MAG.

This is my blog of my progress to get on the road and when I am there - assuming I will be capable of rational thought after a day of unaccustomed exercise.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Cow Crossing, Overtaking and the Tasting of Wine

This week I was struck down by the lurgy... specifically a sore throat and chesty cough so today has been my first training session of the week. Boy was it a good one.  While I haven't got any further than my normal ride (about 9 miles) I am doing it much faster as I have finally managed to get up to third gear. This heroic feat enabled me to overtake two people who didn't have gray hair! Woo - hoo! I did think about getting off, doing a victory dance then overtaking them again once they had passed me but thought that this might be a tad undignified. Sadly this Herculean achievement wasn't captured on the new speedo (fitted yesterday) as at some point it came off it's mount not to be seen again.

Moos heading for the bridge
And they are sneaking up behind me...
Slightly dodgy moment traversing the meads: I have a mistrust of cows ever since my Mum told me that the farmers put bulls in the field with them so if anything without udders showed undue interest I should run like the blazes; the meads are full of bullocks (which definitely qualify on the without udders thing) and they chose to traverse the bridge just as I got there; I seized all my courage and, spurred on by the fact that they were also sneaking up behind me, managed to get across (in third gear and at speed as I figured I could probably out peddle them given that I was on the way out rather than the way back). All passed without incident even though I was sporting my red buff but they did give me a few sidelong looks that I wasn't too happy about.
As a training aid Chris and Judith have lent me an exercise bike (big thank you) so I am intending to do a bit of cycling while watching TV of an evening in an attempt to get the muscle mass up. While exercise bikes are not as effective in training as the real thing I realised that I am not getting any further because my legs are aching and that I am also a bit of a lazy mare; so, fitting in 40 mins peddling of an evening seems a bit easier than getting on the real bike after work and a commute.

Finally, been running round the house doing a bit (ok - quite a bit) of kibble removal as we have the first wine tasting next Sat and neither hubby or I are natural minimalists. Not quite sure where the general detritus all comes from, especially since lots has gone to Freegle, but it definitely breeds once you put something down. Had a bit of a de-clutter since our small, Victorian workers cottage rooms were not designed to host huge numbers of people so removal of stuff is essential if people are to have small luxuries like seats. Just hope nobody decides to open any of the cupboard doors since we could have an avalanche fatality :-)

1 comment:

  1. are you getting better now? Pei Pa Koa (www.geocities.jp/ninjiom_hong_kong/index_e.htm ) is one of the few Chinese natural cough remedies that have been scientifically studied. it's something like herb plus honey, and it's sweet, thick and black in color. If you have a cough, look for it! It used to be one of my favourite natural cough remedies.

    if your cough persists, seek professional help such as traditional Chinese medicine physicians - I have had very good experiences with them.