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, 3 October 2010


Not been a bad week training wise. Managed a couple of evening sessions on the exercise bike of 5 miles plus a trundle up the Cole Green Way on the real bike (without any incident this time) and 8 miles today on the exercise bike. Really need to get up to a 14 mile minimum now though so not quite going to plan but intend to do another 2 miles today to round it off to at least double figures. There is a bit of benefit analysis involved as I do need to be able to walk the next morning for work and I have a nasty feeling that if I push into too high a double figure I will be requiring motorised assistance to go anywhere.
Strange Sheep for Hertfordshire

Came to a horrible realisation on the Cole Green Way; I was biking along, happily listening to Gardeners Question Time and it occurred to me that I might be middle aged. As you can imagine this was a bit of a shock so quickly switched to some obnoxious rock music. Sadly, given that said music dated from the '90s, then concluded that it just condemned me even more. Then cheered myself up as I decided that proper middle aged ladies don't cycle along with their Ipod stuffed in their bra (lack of appropriate pockets) and so I didn't fit the expected decorum levels and therefore I could not be middle aged.

Reached the quarry (somewhere near Welwyn) and overtook the JCB that was driving along the edge which was a new overtaking experience and one I celebrated by stopping to get my breath back once I had rounded a corner and was no longer in view.

The exercise bike is proving to be a real godsend as I can get in a few miles most evenings and I figure that anything is better than nothing. But, we have been invited to a get together of MAG cyclists in early November so it is dawning on me that I might actually be expected to cycle the distance. Methinks a review of the suggested training plan from MAG and a bit of pulling out of fingers may be in order over the next few weeks, whether it leaves me unable to perambulate or not.


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