No More Excuses!!!!!!!!!!

Hi everyone sorry we haven’t been posting recently but to be honest there hasn’t really been much to write about! With a long list of excuses stopping us from cycling we have really hit a big bump in our JOGLE training!

Firstly we had my big fall, which has literally left me with zero confidence & a broken bike!
Then just as Jay went back to his American Football season he damaged one of the main cruciate ligaments in his knee not only stopping him from playing football but stopping him from doing any type of exercise which involved moving his knee (I think cycling might just fall into this category).
Then with a bout of freezing cold weather, icy conditions & the dreaded potholes all over every single road, our training for Jogle was getting pushed further back & back!!

But there is a light at the end of every tunnel & things are now looking up for us :-)
So I did the first & most obvious thing today.. I took my bike to the bike shop to get fixed! They made a few adjustments to a knocked gear bracket thingy & my bike was ready to go! 10miles later I’m feeling good & my confidence is picking up!
Jay has now started physio on his knee & is getting stronger all the time! The physio has given him the all clear to cycle as long as he doesn’t go crazy on it (like plan to cycle 900 miles).
With the weather starting to pick up & the potholes slow but surely getting repaired, we really are running out of excuses :-)

We have a 50 odd mile ride planned for this weekend so hopefully we can get back out & start enjoying cycling again! We loved it so much when we first got our bikes, riding was such a joy & every time we finished a ride, we couldnt wait to get back out again! We have just been a little unfortunate & we need to get our confidence back up!!

CHANGES TO OUR JOGLE RIDE!!!

As you can imagine, with little to no training recently & with Jay’s knee still on the mend the likelihood of us completing JOGLE in June & in a week is highly unlikely!! So we have made a few changes to our challenge.

Firstly – we have moved the cycle back to September. Dates are to be confirmed but were thinking maybe the second week in September.

Secondly – we are no longer planning to do the cycle in 1 week! We have decided to extend the ride over 2 weeks so that we can actually enjoy it! We have a great opportunity to see a lot of the Country & we would rather be able to experience this rather than just fly past it!!!

Everything else remains the same! We are still trying to raise as much money as possible for the amazing charity which is CASPA! If you would like to help us out by donating some money then please follow the link below:

www.justgiving.com/CASPA-ride

Lastly – We will be looking into setting up some fundraising events over the next few months but we are both pretty clueless in this area? If anyone has any ideas, advice & would like to help us then please let us know – Any ideas would be massively appreciated!

Thanks for reading our blog & hopefully you will be hearing alot more from us :-)

Christie & Jay x

Autism…

Before I met Jay I had very little knowledge about Autism & how it effected people. However listening to Jay passionately talk to me about it & the work he does with Autistic Children at CASPA I have come to learn a lot about it.

Did you know that over half a million people in the UK alone suffer with Autism? Thats 1 person in every 100. If you include their families, Autism touches the lives of about 2 million people in the UK every day!

There are many different theories behind the causes of Autism but its generally classified as a neuro-developmental disorder. There are also many different types or severity of Autism. The most common and well known form of Autism that you have probably heard of is Asperger syndrome.

Autism affects the way a person communicates with, and relates to, other people. It also affects how they make sense of the world around them. Everyday life for people with autism can be confusing & frightening. They often find understanding and communicating with others particularly difficult, which can leave them feeling isolated. They can have difficulty recognizing and understanding people’s feelings and managing their own feelings. They may, for example, stand too close to another person, prefer to be alone, behave inappropriately and may not seek comfort from another person. This can make it hard for them to make friends.

While some people with autism can live independent lives, others may need a lifetime of specialist support. Autism can have a profound and sometimes devastating effect on individuals and families. But making sure they get the right support makes a positive difference to the person who is diagnosed and for their families.

Autism is not caused by a person’s upbringing and is not the fault of the individual with the condition. There is no known cure for autism. However, there are a range of learning and development techniques that people may find helpful.

This is where groups like CASPA come in. CASPA which stands for Children of the Autistic Spectrum Parents’ Association is a charity that works with children, young people & families affected by autism. They run social clubs, holiday activities, an independent living skills programme & provide support in many ways to the families of the children & young people. They are based in Bromley & currently work with around 100 children & young people every week.

They are passionate about providing inspirational activities such as sport, cooking, art etc, & opportunities for young people & children with high functioning autism to develop social, communication & independent living skills, gain confidence & increase their chances of full integration into society.

For the kids this is a great way to interact with other kids & make friends – something a lot of them may have never done before. For the families, this is great for them to get support, not just from the group but from other families in similar situations!

Jay & I have decided to do our 900 mile crazy bike ride in aid of CASPA! This will help to keep CASPA going but also to help them to provide the best care, facilities & resources possible.

You can also help support these kids too by giving a donation to our charity ride. Help support Jay & I on our bike ride but more importantly help support CASPA, so they can continue to help 100s of kids every week.

Click on the link below & follow the instructions, its will take a couple of minutes of your time but will help the kids for the rest of their lives!

Thank you :-)

www.justgiving.com/CASPA-ride

If you would like any more information on CASPA then please visit their website at:

www.caspabromley.org.uk

Christie :-)

 


Happy Mother’s Day :-)

Firstly I would like to say happy Mother’s Day not only to my lovely Mummy but to all the Yummy Mummys out there.. I hope everyone has had a great day!

Our training today has revolved around Mother’s Day. I had this great idea that we could cycle to my Mums house which is about 18 miles away, stop for a cuppa & then cycle back! That way we get our training in & I get to see Mum for a bit! Dad is also happy because he has a new bike.. & decided to meet us & ride around with us! Great!

This is our longest ride yet & is not without its own fresh set of problems!! Firstly though, I would like to reward myself for my steady cycling & my ability NOT to fall off.. Yayyyy :-) I am however getting re-occurring issues from when I did fall off!! My gears are broken :-( Stupid bike wont let me use the last 3 gears (the 3 gears which make hill climbing easier)  & keep jerking in & out of different gears the whole time!! This wouldnt be such an issue if Jay & I picked nice, flat routes.. but wheres the fun in that? One good things comes out of this.. its GREAT training for the legs!! We will soon be powerhouses when it comes to hills! Jay is very supportive & says, “If you cant use your last 3 gears then neither will I” How sweet!!! However Jay has got knee issues & although cycling helps his knee a lot by keeping the surrounding muscles strong without the impact, he soon feels the effects on his legs too!! This is where we are both very appreciative of ‘out the saddle’ riding.. phew our legs get a bit of a break!!!

Anyway.. gear, knee & leg issues aside, the first stretch of our cycle has gone well & after trudging our way up what felt like a zillion hills, we’ve finally made it to Mum & Dads! A nice sit down, a cuppa & a pasta pot sort us right out & we are now ready to battle our way back home! We are very aware that even though the way over felt hilly, its nothing compared to the way back! There are 2 big hills to tackle & lots of sloggy ones in between but we know as soon as we get to the top of the second hill its a nice, easy 4 miles home! Its FREEEEEEEZING!! In fact as soon as we set off it starts hailing & sleeting! We dont let it faze us.. Big hill no.1 has ensured we both stay warm (actually hot & sweaty) & the ride is going well! We get to the bottom of the 2nd big hill! We have just cycled up a long sloggy hill so we stop for a minute for a leg rest & drink.

Here we go… actually this isnt too bad… legs feel alright & were feeling strong! We are nearly at the top… I can see the peak… YES YES YES!!!! We made it to the top!!! 31 miles done! Lets quickly stop, rave about how amazing we are & carry on!! I’m in front & I feel amazing!!! Hold on.. wheres Jay…

Are you serious?!!!!! Hes got a damn puncture!! His 4th one since we got the bikes!! Ok no worries we can sort this (or Jay can anyway). Jays Mum & Dad happen to drive straight past & pull in to offer help! I now feel like I’m standing in the middle of the Antarctic.. Its Freezing!! I’m sweaty from the last big hill so now I’m damp & cold!! Jays the same but hes busy working, so I’m just standing around uncontrollably shivering! No idea how I’m gonna make my body get back on that bike & get me home! Our nice 4mile stretch home now seems like a long drag!!

But we did it!!! And everything aside, this has been a great ride!! We battled some monster hills, got up to speeds of about 30mph on some down hills, cycled a total of 35miles, practiced our road side repair (or Jay did) & had fun!!

Not feeling too bad now we have both warmed up! Bodies are tired but now we can slump :-) We Love cycling.. I think we have both found a real passion in it.. cant wait to get back on the bike & see what new challenges it brings us :-)

Thanks for reading guys.. If you fancy helping support us you can donate to the amazing charity we are doing this for, CASPA.. its real simple, just go to the link below & go from there..

www.justgiving.com/CASPA-ride

Live healthy, Live happy :-)

My First big fall!!!

So training has been going great!! We have been upping our distance and speed gradually & feeling very confident. On Sunday we did a nice 21 mile cycle with my Dad, who is also a keen cyclist. He is a lot better than Jay and I right now so it was good training for us trying to keep up with him! It was a great ride.. and being the flattest route we have ever done we found we were making good time. I cant believe I’m actually gonna say this but I think I prefer a route with a few hills!! Crazy right!! But the problem with a flat course is that your legs never get a break. You constantly have to keep your legs moving in order to keep the speed up. It ends up being a bit of a slog! Also roads that when driving seem to be flat are actually not! Usually they are small gradients but miles long! This is knackering on the legs! At least with an up hill down hill course your legs get a break on the down hills!!! Anyway the best part of the ride was as we pulled up on the drive.. I came to a stop & unclipped my left cleat.. somehow managed to clip myself straight back in again.. And what happens to someone who is clipped in on a bike & not moving.. You tip over & off you go! Luckily I landed on a nice, soft bit of grass and that was it.. The giggles set in & I couldn’t stop! Jay & my Dad also found this very funny wishing they had it on video to send to You’ve been framed!!!

My next fall wasn’t so funny! We decided to cycle into Croydon, doing the same route that Jay is planning to cycle to work. Wasnt my best ride for sure! Almost getting hit by a stupid car cutting me up & getting a bit stressed on the very busy main roads, I was struggling to keep up with Jay. However I knew we were close to our destination which meant a stop break was coming up! A very misleading ‘No Cycling’ sign meant we couldnt go the way we wanted (we have now looked further into this & the sign is pointing to a footpath not the road but this was unclear) so we had to go onto a main road with tram lines on it. Now if anyone has ever cycled before, you will know its VERY bad news if you manage to get your tyre caught in a tram line! Well this is exactly what happened to me :-(
I flew straight over my handle bars and went smack onto the floor!

Its amazing how instinct completely takes over in this situation because I knew even though I was in a lot of shock & hurt everywhere I needed to get off the road! I grabbed my bike & ran off the road & into Jays arms where I completely broke down! My amazing hubby did such a good job in calming me down & alot of nice pedestrians came running over to see if I was ok!

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The most disappointing part of this story was the next bit..  I had taken few layers of skin off of my hand, and my knee was a mess – I’d torn my leggings and blood was pouring out, it was visible there was alot of dirt and stones in the cut as I’d had fallen off on the road.  A lady could see how much pain I was in, so ran to the local doctors surgery (less that 60yards away) to try and get some help. Jay cleaned my knee the best he could with water, (or as much as I would let him) as the lady returned to say that nobody from the doctors would come. Not only would they not come, they wouldn’t give us any cleaning wipes or anything which would have been useful. Why? Because “they are not insured to treat anyone outside of the surgery”. We also checked if we could maybe go inside so they could just check me over – to which the reply was – “if she’s hurt, get her an ambulance to hospital.” Why? Because they “aren’t insured to treat anyone without a prior booked appointment”. We ended up walking (&hopping) to the station and getting a taxi home. Thankfully my wounds don’t seem to be serious or infected.

This isn’t a slam of the NHS as a whole, more so the society that means people aren’t allowed to help people for fear or being found in the wrong. The fact that I was in tears and losing blood from a deep and dirty wound, and that somebody sitting 60 yards away who may have been willing, was apparently not allowed to help.. I find disturbing!

Anyway I eventually did my myself checked out the next day no lasting damage or infection! Just a very sore, swollen & bruised knee, a bruised & cut hand, very sore shoulders & body where I jarred them.. plus an extremely bruised ego!! It could have been much worse! As soon as I can bend & use my knee again I will get back on the bike! I dont want to lose my confidence & let this effect my cycling!

Thanks for taking the time to read about my nasty experience & fingers crossed our next post will be happier one :-)

 

 

Our idea of a Romantic Getaway

So I decided to take my lovely hubby away for the weekend for an early Valentines Day surprise. As we don’t usually celebrate Valentines Day I was determined to make this weekend as romantic & perfect as possible :-)

So I picked this place in Westerham called The Grasshopper Inn. A gorgeous place, lovely building in a lovely little village, but more to the point, a great cycle route just down the road (what more could you want). The cycle route promised quiet roads, a couple of honest hills, nothing too painful & great scenery to keep you entertained while cycling.

Having no idea where the cycle route starts & no help from the staff in the hotel (who all think were crazy mad for going out in the cold anyway) we decide to make our own route up & cycle where we feel like cycling!

I have now decided that a rule Jay & I will stick to from now on is that if the road name or place has the word ‘HILL’ in it.. we are NOT to turn up it!!! The first 2 miles of our cycle went up ‘Surrey Hill’ which just seemed to go up & up & up! On a good note, it didnt take us long to warm up in the cold weather!! As we were trudging further up this hill I pointed out that what goes up MUST come down!! Which indeed it did! So taking what felt like a life time to get to the top of, took not that long to get back down. Getting a little more confident with down hill speeds now, we reached speeds of 32mph which seems like 100mph on a bike!

Ok so we have now given our legs a little rest & are quite happily plodding along a nice little country village called Brasted. Up ahead we see a signpost! Now this is where my ‘no Hill in the title’ rule should have applied! We see that if you turn right, it takes you to Ide Hill. We had literally been talking to my Dad about Ide Hill earlier that day because my Dad had cycled up it the day before & was telling us how painful it was!!! We surely if my 55year old Dad can cycle it.. So can we!!! If you are familiar with Ide Hill then you will understand that what we should have done is ignored the turn right signpost and kept going! Surrey Hill now looks like a stroll in the park & Ide Hill is actually Everest!!

It goes on & on & on & on! Every corner you turn makes you sob a little bit as you see that it STILL keeps going up & up & up! I saw a Quote the other day which actually came in very handy half way up the hill when your legs, hips & glutes are burning so much they may actually catch on fire! The quote was.. ‘Shut up Legs.. Im trying to cycle’!!! Haha, I love this! My legs got told to shut up a zillion times!!

But every hill eventually comes to an end! its a great feeling when the road starts to even out & you ride past a man who shouts “well done guys, you made it” Surely that means we’ve reached the top? Me & Jay both smile & feel a great sense of achievement. We stop for a drink just as it starts snowing. Its the perfect moment – see I knew they’d be some romance in this story somewhere :-)

Anyway after that we ended up cycling back up the other side of Ide hill (which is just as hard) because we got lost! Jay nearly hit a farmer who seemed to forget he was crossing a road and walked straight out in front of Jay who was flying down a hill at about 25mph! We rode on one of the bumpiest roads EVER & trust me, on road bikes your ‘saddle area’ feels EVERY single lump, bump & dip! We rode up an incredibly short but sharp hill (yes another hill), contended with idiot drivers who will literally do ANYTHING to get past you as quickly as possible, even if it means nearly knocking you off! And eventually 20 miles later we made it back to the hotel! Phewwww :-)

Thank GOD I booked a room with a bath!!! After cups of tea & hot chocolate & nice hot bubbly baths we are refreshed & ready for our dinner! Here’s the problem.. a tough, knackering bike ride + a massive 3 course meal + a bottle of wine = So Very Very tired Jay & Christie!! Another problem with this is that our bed was like a giant marshmallow! Big fluffy pillows, big fluffy duvet & a squishy, snugly mattress! Unfortunately we were in bed by 10 and asleep by about 10.02!!

Haha.. can you feel the romance yet?????   :-)

A deflating day..

So, out for a leisurely ride today, I was 15miles into a ride (about 6 miles from home at this point).. when I got a sinking feeling. Literally. A nasty rear puncture left me stranded, in cleats, a long way from home..

After a quick attempt at repair, and fingers numb from the cold, I did what any man of the world would..

Luckily, Christie wasn’t too far away, so I got a lift to the CyclesUK where they assessed the inner tube, and with it beyond repair, quickly installed another one. I’m sure this is the first of many, so we have stocked up on repair kits and are much better prepared for next time!

A romantic getaway at the weekend will give us a chance for a few 20mile odd bike rides – dedicated we are :)

New bikes… Oooo shiny…

SO over the last few weeks we have been in talks with CyclesUK, their amazing guy in the shop called Alex – who has got us a great discount on our bikes.

We have gone for Trek 1.2 Road Touring bikes, and having just got back off our first semi-substantial ride on them, we are thrilled.

Our thanks obviously go out to Alex, CyclesUK and Trek, who have saved us a lot of money and got our project off to a great start! Now its time for you to do your bit – our justgiving page is up and running at

http://www.justgiving.com/CASPA-ride

Please give generously! Its a great cause!

Help needed…

So obviously, with such a huge task we have taken on – we need peoples help. Most importantly, to start off with..

WE NEED BIKES.

Not loans, not just for the ride.. We need our own bikes that we can start using ASAP. Please, please, if you know anyone who owns a bike shop, or would be willing to give us the bikes themselves, or a huge discount on good quality road touring bikes, please get in touch!

An Introduction …

After an 2012 which was so good to us, my wife Christie and I have decided to give something back by going through large amounts of pain, effort and bad drivers to help out a fantastic cause.

Although dates are not definite, around the last week of June, me and Christie will be cycling the 900 miles from John O’Groats to Lands End – all inside a week. This works out at about 150 miles per day. Day after day after day. 11 hours in the saddle a day and 4:30am starts every day. Um … No, I have no idea what inspired us to take it on either …

With 6 months of training we will be fine though, and we are doing it for an amazing cause, CASPA, a charity I have have the pleasure of working with for several years now.

CASPA (Children of the Autistic Specrum Parents’ Association) provides pecialised provision for children and young adults on the Autism Spectrum, in the most positive way imaginable. For more information on CASPA, their website is http://www.caspabromley.org.uk/Pages/default.aspx and their facebook site is https://www.facebook.com/CASPAOnline.

We will keep this site up to date if we can – but before we can truly get the ball rolling, we need YOUR help. Do you know anyone who would be able to get us fantastic discounts on bikes, energy and recovery bars, spare parts, bike sat navs – any help would be amazingly appreciated!

We need equipment, support, accommodation along the route..the lists are endless. Whats more, when the time comes, we need people to dig deep in their pockets and support such a fantastic cause.

Thanks everyone, hope you enjoy our journey as much as we are petrified of it.

Welcome to the Caspa Ride website!

Welcome to our website, where we will be blogging about our 900 mile bike ride from John O Groats to Lands End, in a week,  setting off in June 2013.