Sponsor Us Here

Make a donation using Virgin Money Giving

Friday, 11 June 2010

Raising our Profile

Tomorrow is Jake's school fete and we are on a mission. We are looking for sponsors.

After a sudden rush of blood to the head, we came up with the idea of showing Jake's schoolmates exactly what Jake will be carrying and how it will all pack onto the bike.

At gone 10.00pm last night we e-mailed a plea to a local branch of Oswald Bailey Ltd. asking if they had the tent Jake wants to take. A 9.30am telephone call confirmed that they had and they also offered us some discount. An incredibly quick turn-round and very generous offer which means we will be pitching the Vango Banshee for all to see. Have no fear, the pitching exercise will take place well before the general public come in, unless we feel we could charge for the amusement.

Let's hope his friends are impressed and press-gang their parents into sponsoring us.

Exercise was side-lined in the greater scheme of fundraising but the weekend is upon us and we will be out there, despite England's first match in South Africa.

Just a footnote to say that there are days when the importance of 'Action for Children' and what they do for vulnerable children is really brought home to us. Sometimes, in our daily life we become aware of the difficulties faced by young children who are overwhelmed by the circumstances they find themselves in - it's tough to witness, difficult for us to support them, and an incredible motivator.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

A day of technology

No, we haven't been cycling although, pleased to report very little in the way of discomfort following our training session last night.

We are posting this blog despite none of us being computer literate - a testament to the straight-forward approach we have found setting up this site. Today we have launched our virginmoneygiving site:


It is true that some of the photos may be a little scary but that is no excuse for failing to show a full slideshow. Jake looks lovely at Warwick road-race but we want to see more - we want us all to be there looking..... lovely?

On to better news - we are fundraising at Jake's school fete on Saturday - let's hope the weather is good, the school raises lots of money and people feel inclined to sponsor us.

Sorry, must sign off - more internet frustration beckons.

Please don't let this put you off visiting our wonderful page (with countdown calendar showing 53 days to go). If you're feeling generous you may even like to donate?

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

More wimping adults

Jake has finally had his down-time day - Cubs beckoned, so he probably used as much energy hurtling around with his mates as he does pedalling or running.

Tonight it was the adults' turn - in a gym, being put through their paces. What started out as a fitness session ended in a lot of pained groaning as Nic and Philip made the mistake of mentioning the various troubled parts of their body.

So, Philip has been complaining of aching upper arms and shoulders and has been gently swinging his arms in a rather unstable way, searching for relief, during our leisurely pedals through the Cotswolds. Never identify a specific area of aches in the company of a trainer, an anticipatory glint appears in their eye and suddenly, you are being asked for the pain level on a scale of 0 - 10 whilst you breath deeply and try to answer, "Eight", hoping this will mean the pain will stop. The discomfort, and there was some, was actually followed by pain relief. We left the gym laden with specific exercises for all the weird aches we have accumulated and even more stretches to follow after our cycling exertions. It was time well spent.

Who knows what beckons tomorrow or indeed, whether we will be moving smoothly - it must be progress!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Adults are wimps

Nic & Philip have wimped out of exercising today. I don't think you can count 3 lots of 30 seconds doing the dreaded 'plank' as a full exercise programme Nic - no, honestly I don't!

Jake was out there though doing his bit. Tonight it was running with his cousin, Harry. Harry is 14 and a very fit young chap. A bit of cross-country running up hill and down dale works wonders. Jake discovered that you need different muscles for running but he persevered and came back flushed with success and covered in nettle stings on his knees.

Adults just don't cut it !

Training with Mac tomorrow.

Monday, 7 June 2010

On your feet

Quiet day today, there was enough hassle getting off to school/work after a week off. And, anyway, our poor old cat had obviously misjudged a moving vehicle and so we've spent a lot of time talking to him, providing food and generally being in attendance. He is only mobile in a very hunched way but he eats, washes himself and sleeps lots so we'll have to see what the next few days bring. Trevor (the cat) is a lean, mean, hunting machine and hopefully this will help him pull through.

So, Nic opted for a day off cycling and Jake gently pedalled the mile to school in school uniform rather than full cycling kit.

However, this newly invigorated Jake returned from school and fuelled by a slice of coffee sponge cake, donned his walking boots and stated his intention to begin breaking them in. Snowdon beckons in just a couple of weeks these boots need to be used or the Cubs' Leader will be treated to a low moaning and groaning up and down the mountain. Off, up the hill we strode. Well, actually it was more - off, up the hill we meandered and it was good to be out, even if the wildlife were keeping a low profile in the drizzle.

We saw a great thistle, towering above it's surrounding counterparts - can you get a king thistle?

Jake put his boots through a few paces without any ill-effects to Jake or the boots and we came across a calf heading for an identity crisis.
It was a great way to spend an hour and we got back just before drizzle turned to rain.
Hope to cycle tomorrow.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Up The Drainpipe!

So, a new chain meant that Jake wanted to try it out, put it under pressure, give it a stern test.

Where better than The Drainpipe, the hill leading out of Wick Rissington. Nic 'volunteered' to accompany him and Philip definitely volunteered to be in the support vehicle, i.e drive up.

Despite having completed just over 110 miles in the week, Jake was bouncing off the walls after lunch. Far from wishing for a quiet afternoon, his newly found fitness levels seem to have given him a shot of boisterous energy, oh, the benefits of youth!

After a shot sharp, thundery shower of rain we set out on a mission. Not distance, not pedalling with weighty panniers but could we make it up the 350ft climb.

With no weight to lug, Jake seemed to fly the couple of miles to Wick Rissington - what a picturesque village, lovely to see the long grass and meadow flowers on their green however, can't stop!

Nic had failed to make it up from Broadway to Snowshill a couple of weeks earlier but there were a couple of gentle slopes in between the stiffish climbs today - perhaps more achievable?

Philip 'coached' from the car and Nic puffed encouragement to Jake about rhythm, small achievable targets, get to the trees, the cow parsley, the lay-by. "Philip, SHUT UP!", was a sure sign that things were getting tough towards the top but bizarrely a downward heading vehicle was all the motivation needed to make that last effort. Just as Nic's fluorescent pink jersey was beginning to lag further and further behind Jake's straining purple, the car (which necessarily contained a driver at the very least) could not be witness to a foot out of the pedal or a slump over the handlebars.

Once past the vehicle, the lay-by, the big tree, the signpost at the T-junction was clearly visible ahead, signalling the end of the climb. Jake pushed his bike into higher gears and sprinted to the end. Nic chugged along just happy to be at the top and feeling quite incredibly hot.

A gentle, quick spin for half a mile and bikes onto the roof of the car and back home. Just 6 miles today but a goal achieved.

Work tomorrow - work, training, life balance to adjust to.