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, 26 September 2010

Me in the buff

Trusty Steed on the Cole Green Way
Last nights fundraising did not start propitiously. At around midday had a call from Caroline to report that she had strep throat and was not well enough to come, then a text from 'Vets and Steve to report a family emergency needing them to cry off. Managed to scale down some of the dishes to suit the reduced numbers but think that Paulie and I will be eating our way through the hummous and felafel mountain for a few days.

So, apart from having a few less you'd have thought it would all go well from there on. Nope. Turned on the oven and it hadn't got up to temp after 1/2 an hour; realised that there was something seriously wrong so devised plan B:  used the little oven (lucky we were only cooking for 5 and not 8 as not sure that both joints of lamb would have fitted in it). At this point I decided that we were probably doomed.

Chris, Sarah and Neil all arrived safely and a jolly evening of ribald comments and wine tasting ensued; until we got to the piece de la resistance; the dessert wine; which turned out to be corked.  Definitely doomed. 

Well maybe not: due to huge generousity on the part of our guests we now have a sizeable contribution to add to the fund and a good time was had by all so despite a few teething problems job's a goodun. Just the Oct one to do now where I think we may have 12-16 people coming.

So as promised - me in the buff :-)
Now, to date I have been a little hesistant about wearing the full pukka buff gear as I think anyone seeing me in it would then assume I might know what I was doing. I have been sporting the buff and gloves as I realised both of them are marvelous: The buff soaks up the sweat/rain etc and stops it dripping in my eyes plus it has the added benefit of holding my sticky out ears down so stopping my glasses falling down my nose; The gloves are a joy; I think I mentioned that I kept getting aches in my shoulders and hands when riding but I have found that the  padded gloves have stopped this. But, haven't ventured into the t shirt wearing since I am still panting like a steam train once I get peddling and not sure this is a good ad :-)

But, decided today was the day. So, despite having woken up feeling a little groggy and out of sorts (obviously down to overwork), I donned the full buff and cycled off down the Cole Green Way (for a bit of a change); where my gears jammed and I ended up coming off the bike. After some minor cursing gave Trusty Steed a bit of a talking to and then got back on the horse but think a visit to the bike hospital may be overdue. Tshirt did perform admirably and appears to make me more aerodynamic although not sure how that works.

So an eventful couple of days but do need to get the sponsorship up to secure my place on the ride so a few nagging emails to write today. 

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