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, 7 November 2010

Red Riding Hood aka Fluorescent Yellow Riding Buff ...

All feeling a bit more hopeful about my ability to stay the course. I did 20kms on Thurs along the tow path then another 20kms today along the 
Barn ... the Slaughtered Lamb is just round the corner
roads and back today, all supplemented by 5-8 miles a night on the exercise bike (except Tues and Fri as we were out). On Thursdays ride had a very nice man doff his cycle helmet to me as I pedaled past so nice to see the old manners still extant.... Although today had the interesting experience of waving frantically at a man who looked exactly like my husband in a car exactly like ours which drove past me while I was taking a breather at Hertford Heath. When I spoke to hubby he denied all knowledge of ignoring me and stated that it must have been doppleganger that also happened to be driving back from the archery field at the same time since he must have missed me by several minutes :-)

A bit of mud on Ermine St
Todays ride was a bit of an experiment as I have got a little bored with the tow path and Cole Green Way and thought I would expand my horizons. I cycled out into the countryside on the roads intending to meet up with a bridleway on the line of an old Roman Road (Ermine St). After a couple of close encounters with Range Rovers and the like where I ended up taking refuge in the ditch, multiple stops to consult the OS map plus my bike getting stuck in the quagmire on the Roman road I decided that it was not particularly successful. This was compounded by getting back and finding I had only done 12 kms so ended up circling various bits of Hartham Common overtaking one particular dog walker 5 times which may end up with me being labeled as a bit of a nutter... Despite the mud it was pretty and I did get to see some of the farmland around Hertford albeit that I did keep thinking of 'American Werewolf in London' for some reason.

Slightly pink after 12 kms (mostly uphill and muddy)
But the big news is that after the ride today I still had enough energy to do a further half an hour on the Wii Fit rather than having to limp upstairs and have a sleep in the bath... so - next weekend target is 25kms.

Going up to Manchester next Saturday for the briefing at MAG and to meet the others who will be doing the ride (around 32 this year). As I will have to share a room with someone I will be putting on the charm and not necessarily  be mentioning that I tend to talk in my sleep, especially after late night cheese. Hubby also alleges that I snore but I think that is complete tosh and he is just hearing the echo of his own. As always sharing a room with me should be considered a privilege and I am sure I can convince my new roomie of this :-) Especially since I am Now Famous...


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