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.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Happiness.... is a padded bottom :-)

The padded cycling leggings have been a revelation - on the serious upside the padding relieves quite a bit of saddle pain in your.... well let's say nether regions and leave it at that... the downside is that when you get off and walk you adopt a stance somewhat like John Wayne in a nappy. I am also having a bit of a sizing issue: the cycling has meant that my legs have become somewhat thinner but has had little affect on my torso area and whoever designed these did not have in mind a woman with a profile of toffee apple (on a stick....).

Great ride today (Hoddesdon and back then a few turns round Hartham Common) - been just over 25kms and only came in because I was starting to get cold, so, 25% there on distance and feeling ok. Will aim for 30kms at the weekend or possibly two days of 25kms and see where I get to with it but the short bursts of frantic cycling on the exercise bike most nights seems to be the right training strategy for me. I do need to devise some different routes as getting a little bored but listening to podcasts whiles away quite a lot of the monotony. For those of you into Kermode I will be saying 'Hello to Jason Isaacs' while on my trip...

Will be working out the injections needed for Vietnam and Cambodia and booking in with the doc, so next week I will mostly be a pin cushion. Hopefully it will not be as bad as when I ran out of time before a trip and had typhoid, cholera, polio, japanese encephelitus and rabies all in one go then spent three days wrapped in a duvet about 2 inches from the gas fire because I couldn't stop shivering. To be fair the doc did express some qualms before administering but I believe I told him to stop being a wimp and get on with it which, with hindsight, might not have been the best decision.

No proper piccies but me as I now appear on the work intranet
No piccies this week due to serious camera malfunction.... battery is dead. Bit of a pity as weather good today and some fantastic scenes of the trees with the last few leaves clinging onto them but perhaps I can catch them at the weekend. Assuming I can find the charger :-)

Managed to get me, my bike and a few words on the company website and already had the promise of a donation so well impressed with that one. Although I am not sure my colleagues will look at me in the same light. Sponsorship is still going well and I am really grateful as so many people have donated. But still a bit short on the minimum level of cash plus I want to get as much in as possible given that I am unlikely to ever do anything like this again so we are also planning a party in Jan for a joint birthday/please give a fiver to MAG event. Details will be coming through shortly.

That's about it for this week


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