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, 10 October 2010

Bike Bells

My favourite view - it means I am nearly home
Training finally seems to be going better. I am managing to do the ten mile stints three times a week (admittedly with one of those on the exercise bike) and an evening or so of five mile sprints (again on the exercise bike). As a result of this my legs are starting to ache within the first mile of each ride but I am hoping that as the muscles build up this will start to ease.

New Bell loving fitted by my own hand
Over the years our house has developed a system to address all DIY; I, as the trained engineer, am project manager while hubby provides the labour element. However, despite me adding all of the bike maintenance to hub's to do list there has been a slight lack of action. On Thursday I gave up and wielded the screwdriver myself, as a result of which I now have a bell, I worked out why one brake doesn't work (but need a piece to fix it) and my front reflector no longer has brewers droop. The new front light is now fitted but I am baffled as to where I fix the back light as the panniers get in the way and the bike stand is still wobbly since we do not appear to possess a socket wrench. I'm coming to the conclusion that I may have to bite the bullet and take it into the local shop for a full service; a little treat for the trusty steed after fifteen years in my possession with little more than a couple of squirts of WD40.

Having the bike bell has been a revelation; pedestrians seem to prefer the quick tinkle of a bell as opposed to a lady bearing down upon them shouting 'ding ding'. Previously some of the pedestrians have got a little shirty but now relations with those who amble along the tow path have improved, although not with the group of teenagers on Thursday who appeared to take exception to me shouting 'get out the way I am going downhill'. 

Planning to up the ante shortly on distance so fingers crossed that I can actually walk the next day.


1 comment:

  1. Blimey - just found out that the local paper (Hertfordshire Mercury) is going to run an article and is sending round a photographer on Tuesday.