Neil's Diary: Ramblings of the Bikelord

I'll be updating this page as regularly as I can with all kinds of related stuff - training news ,sponsors, photos , occasional ranting….

I'll also be posting here during the journey itself, so please check back regularly to keep up to date. Your support really will make a massive difference to me, even if it’s just a few words it all makes a difference!

Day 1 photo

Posted at 11:59pm on 28th September 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 436 Comments | Category: The Journey

Day 1 photo

The sign that made me get even more nervous.

Day 1 photo

Posted at 11:58pm on 28th September 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: The Journey

Day 1 photo

Only Jim was in Land’s End AND John O’ Groats! Jim endured the most boring home life ever living with me while i trained for this, for those 6 months. Thanks Jim,couldnt have done this without you.

Day 2 photo

Posted at 11:57pm on 28th September 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: The Journey

Day 2 photo

This is where the wheel problems started…..and they lasted the whole journey! I managed to do a temporary fix and got another ten or so miles before the wheel collapsed outside the salubrious location below……

Day 2 photo

Posted at 11:55pm on 28th September 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: The Journey

Day 2 photo

….No bets were placed though as i knew i would have some wheel difficulties in the morning.

Day 3 photo

Posted at 11:54pm on 28th September 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: The Journey

Day 3 photo

A big smile as it only took about 2 hours and £60 to get a new wheel sorted. A beautiful sunny day of cycling awaits……

Day 3 photo

Posted at 11:52pm on 28th September 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: The Journey

Day 3 photo

This is Wells Cathedral it was a beautiful town, the photo doesnt really do it justice. The cathedral was in the news recently as the wind up clock in the cathedral needed replaced to an automatic one. Some family have been winding it up every day for about 300 years or something. I forget now, either way its a good place for a bike ride.

Day 4 photo

Posted at 11:51pm on 28th September 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: The Journey

Day 4 photo

This is Elizabeth ( a Paterson family friend ) who was my support driver on Day 4. Elizabeth and her husband kindly gave Jim and I dinner and a bed on day 3 ( one bed each thankfully) on top of the support driving the next day - as Jim had to go back to Scotland after 4 days of perpetual driving for me.

Elizabeth also made the effort and came all the way to John O’ Groats for the finish which was much appreciated by all concerned.

I very much enjoyed my day out with you Elizabeth, you did a great job thanks, on hand for all sandwich and puncture related emergencies!

I only just remembered the salad cream in tuna pasta as well, will try that soon.

Day 4 photo

Posted at 11:49pm on 28th September 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 1 Comments | Category: The Journey

Day 4 photo

Halfords in Nuneaton- although a satisfying end to a hard day of busy A-roads there is not much to see. Instead here is a photo of a sweaty tired man with questionnable hair.

Day 5 photo

Posted at 11:46pm on 28th September 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: The Journey

Day 5 photo

The hot weather had gone so I was able to wear my customized cycling top from the start for once. At Halfords in Nuneaton again of course. Mum & Dad had taken over support driving duties for the next few days.

Day 5 photo

Posted at 11:44pm on 28th September 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: The Journey

Day 5 photo

En route somewhere mid morning. Dont have a map with me just now to look at to get the exact place name. Progress was good and enjoyable roads to cycle on.

Day 5 photo

Posted at 11:39pm on 28th September 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: The Journey

Day 5 photo

Arriving at the finish point. That was a great day i remember really enjoying it.

Day 5 photo

Posted at 11:38pm on 28th September 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: The Journey

Day 5 photo

The first time i washed my cycling gear so far. I find the best wash results are obtained using a bathroom sink and a 60/40 philadelphia cream cheese v hair shampoo mix. Other cream cheeses are available.

nasty.

Photo action

Posted at 11:37pm on 28th September 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 30 Comments | Category: Ramblings

More photos will be coming tomorrow

hope you liked these ones so far

neil

Day 6 photo

Posted at 11:30pm on 28th September 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 31 Comments | Category: The Journey

Day 6 photo

Mum now happier as am I wearing clean pants ( see day 5 photos ) and have combed hair….

Day 6 photo

Posted at 11:29pm on 28th September 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: The Journey

Day 6 photo

The other half of support-team-APPS and me at the start of the day.

Day 6 photo

Posted at 11:28pm on 28th September 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: The Journey

Day 6 photo

Finished in Bedale, just away to stay in Leeming Bar Services Hotel. It was a really nice ride that day, although very windy in places, which delayed me considerably. A beautiful sunset when i finished. A very sad day compared to most though as it is beautiful countryside around here which Ross loved and i went through lots of places that he enjoyed working in during his time with Poletecs.

Day 7 photo

Posted at 11:20pm on 28th September 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: The Journey

Day 7 photo

This hill was great fun, i think it was in the hills above Stanhope. I hit about 45mph coming down. Poor photo quality from reflection of the navigator’s notes on the dash sorry.

Day 7 photo

Posted at 11:10pm on 28th September 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: The Journey

Day 7 photo

End of day 7 - i was sitting on the kerb waiting on Dad coming to pick me & the bike up and a car pulled up.

It was Mike, I had been speaking to him earlier about maybe seeing him en route but he just drove up the A68 and thought he would probably find me. Good work Mike, it was great to see you.

Day 8 photo

Posted at 9:00pm on 28th September 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: The Journey

Day 8 photo

It was a great feeling having made it this far.

Day 8 photo

Posted at 8:59pm on 28th September 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: The Journey

Day 8 photo

Obviously sad to leave the motherland though…..

Day 8 photo

Posted at 8:58pm on 28th September 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: The Journey

Day 8 photo

It was a great days cycling, lots of uphill followed by lots of downhill. Torrential rain and hot sun. Really enjoyed it and did it all in what seemed a very quick time. At Gregors house in Edinburgh in this photo, where mum and dad handed the support baton to Gregor. They did a great job over the 4 days which i cant thank them enough for, their navigation skills and other contributions to keep me in the style to which i am not always accustomed were excellent.

Cheers!

Day 9 photo

Posted at 8:00pm on 28th September 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: The Journey

Day 9 photo

An early start on the Sunday morning with Gregor. This photo was one of the highlights. Had a very fast and productive day and made it to Calvine area. Gregor ( Ross’ brother) introduced me to a different type of energy bar, and also made me porridge in the morning which seemed to work wonders - i had it every day from then till the end. Cheers for the help it was great to have you along, it meant a lot that you were there.

Day 9 photo

Posted at 7:59pm on 28th September 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: The Journey

Day 9 photo

At Halfords in Perth, bumped in to some friends…

Day 10 photo

Posted at 7:58pm on 28th September 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 9 Comments | Category: The Journey

Day 10 photo

John ( Ross & Gregor’s Dad), Laura and I at the Glamorous location that is Tesco, Inverness. I finished a long day of riding here, the last hour was high speed downhill following John. Laura and John were invalulable help as things got more difficult towards the end in the hilly country with limited shops to get to for supplies and bike maintenance. Again it meant a lot to have you both there. Thanks!

( only 2 days more photos to put up, should get it done this week - neil 5thOctober)

Day 11 photo

Posted at 7:30pm on 28th September 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: The Journey

Day 11 photo

Heavy heavy rain….

Day 11 photo

Posted at 7:29pm on 28th September 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: The Journey

Day 11 photo

Big hills…

Day 11 photo

Posted at 7:28pm on 28th September 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: The Journey

Day 11 photo

..were finally making me very tired!

Day 11 photo

Posted at 7:27pm on 28th September 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: The Journey

Day 11 photo

Getting closer though!

Day 11 photo

Posted at 7:26pm on 28th September 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: The Journey

Day 11 photo

Another broken wheel ends the penultimate day.

Despite being the hardest day so far it was still enjoyable.

Online return of the former 'bikelord'

Posted at 12:00am on 23rd September 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 42 Comments | Category: Ramblings

Hello again! Its now been almost 6 weeks since I completed the cycle and you haven’t heard a word from me. Sorry!

Allow me to briefly explain the lack of any update since then. A few days after the ride the fatigue set in and I was constantly shattered, and this coupled with no internet connection made me think ‘ I will leave it a while to recover then get back online’

However as time went by I kept putting it off as I wanted to be sure to get the right words down to express my gratitude to everyone who sponsored and helped me to achieve this and also to write a bit more about what it means to me to have finished the whole expedition.

It has now got to the stage where I simply cannot put it off any longer, but unfortunately I still don’t have the perfect words at my disposal. For about 2 weeks now I have had the time and the internet connection to sit down and write something but I have haven’t been able to summon the courage as I don’t want to disappoint anyone with what I write. There are a lot of strange emotions and thoughts in my head.

( I am writing this bit here after what comes below – Stevie just phoned and confirmed exactly what I am thinking – he has been meaning to put a post on the site as well for ages but keeps putting it off as he wants to get the words right as well)

This is the best I can come up with for now, but even having read this over countless times it still isn’t exactly what I wanted to say.

I went from working and cycling ( or thinking about/organising cycling) every day for 6 months, to unemployed and not cycling in an instant. It has been a very odd time. I have now been staring at this sentence for a full 15 minutes and I don’t think it is possible to explain myself so I am going to give up for now.

However, the good news is now I have got over my worries I can now begin to fully update the page at last.

I am planning to upload more photos ( if this has worked there should be more photos from the trip below already). I am also going to work out exactly how far I travelled and list all the places I visited and try and write a bit more about each day.

I would like to say a massive thank you to those who have helped me and I will detail as the days go by exactly who has helped and how. To summarise for now – you know who you are and I will be in touch very soon – there are too many to mention and I don’t want to start with names just now in case I forget anyone.

Now that I am employed again in the North of England I will be arranging to go to the ICU to see exactly how the £1000s will benefit others and report back to you.

I still have a number of donations to collect from those who used the paper forms, I have 2 cheques I still haven’t cashed and probably £100 in cash in an envelope so the total is still going up. It really is amazing how generous so many people were and I cant thank you enough.

The only person I want to thank by name just now is Ross. Still a constant inspiration and since I have finished cycling I have definitely tried to adopt his positive attitude to life and I must say I am happier because of it.

The cycling is over and I have almost forgotten about it really. However I wont ever forget about Ross. Still miss you mate.

Stay tuned over the next couple weeks and I promise there will be more web action on the way.

Cheers Neil

Some photos and stuff part 1

Posted at 11:30am on 14th August 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 3 Comments | Category: The Journey

Some photos and stuff part 1

Hello, I will be putting up a quite a few more photos over the next week or so, together with other trip related stuff and news of the total raised amongst other things. This will take some time though. In the meantime here is a series of photos showing the extra pain i had to endure on the last day! Scroll down for the other photos showing the transformation back to a more natural state.

cheers

Some photos and stuff part 2

Posted at 11:28am on 14th August 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: The Journey

Some photos and stuff part 2

Off it comes…

Some photos and stuff part 3

Posted at 11:27am on 14th August 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: The Journey

Some photos and stuff part 3

Ah thats better…

Day 11.5 Complete

Posted at 5:30pm on 11th August 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 4 Comments | Category: The Journey

Day 11.5 Complete

I made it.

Couldnt have done it without the support of a lot of people.

Thanks

More later….

cheers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

neil

Day 11 Complete

Posted at 10:50pm on 10th August 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: The Journey

Started today where I finished yesterday as usual, which was Tesco car park in Inverness. Today’s target was to make it as far as possible basically - the bare minimum acceptable was Brora.

It was hard going from the off, I dont think the roads were any more difficult than usual, i just felt like the last 10 days were starting to catch up.

A torrential downpour did not stop me, for the simple reason that to stop would have been to freeze, and still be under the clouds. Keeping going meant eventually i would outrun the rain and the wind would dry my clothes after a while.

Once the sun came out and i was dry we stopped for lunch then carried on toward Brora after a half hour break.

I was struggling for the first time in a while i felt, and had a couple more stops than normal. By the time I arrived in Brora it was 5 oclock and my front wheel had buckled - another loose spoke.

Tightened up the spoke, and started off again, hoping to get another 35 miles done by 8pm.

It was unbelievably hilly around Helmsdale but very enjoyable as i started to feel the energy come back. Then another torrential downpour but still carried on anyway until finally at 715 i stopped to check the front wheel and the loose spoke fell out . I have 2 spare front wheels plus a spare bike anway so will be sorted for tomorrow but called it a day at that ( approx 78 miles total), with 22 of the projected 35 miles further past Brora completed.

A bit disappointed i didnt make it further to make tomorrow even easier, but i am still ahead of schedule and have only 45 miles to do tomorrow approximately. Every mile tomorrow will seem like double though as I have to wear the Celtic shirt for some extra donations and also more importantly as it would make Ross’s day.

Internet conection here is barely existent so no photos but i know John took loads today and the views were great so they will appear soon. I also got some good video of the mega-hills, you should try going on the route page of this site and drving North from Helmsdale to see how steep they are!

Feeling a bit odd that it will be all be over tomorrow as this has been the focus of my life since February, but i will be pumped and ready for action come morning.

See you in John O Groats about 2pm tomorrow?

Day 10 Complete

Posted at 11:55pm on 9th August 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: The Journey

Day 10 Complete

I am currently 119 miles from John O’Groats! Made it to Inverness today after a day of some difficulty, so I am pretty pleased about that, but still not yet comfortable enough to start the complacency.

Did not sleep too good last night so was more tired than usual. I started the day at 10:15am with Laura as the support driver. It was pouring with rain and the first couple miles were on the A9 North of Calvine. It was not a pleasant experience but very quickly the rain stopped and the cycle track started. It was a great ride all the way to Aviemore on the cycle track, very scenic and sunny and quite simply a joy, however i was shattered when i arrived there.

As well as Laura being there, Tina and Oliver & Finlay were there too to join in the action, it was great to see them and we got some good photos, which as usual i will disappoint you by not putting up on the site yet. As i was so tired i decided to have an extra long lunch and wait for John P ( Ross & Gregor’s dad) to join the support team. Unfortunately John brought some torrential rain with him so we sat in the car for another half hour before venturing out at what was now a worrying 3:30pm. Would i make it to Inverness?

Got started again finally at a frantic pace and after 2 miles i heard a disconcerting crack and the bike went wobbly. A spoke had snapped on the rear wheel and it was buckled. Rats! With a 2 car support team this was no problem and Laura took the bike back in to Aviemore to Mike’s Bikes who kindly fixed it up for cheap when they clearly did not have time. In the meantime i treated the spare bike ( a mountain bike) to a spin for about 10 miles so as not to lose too much time, with John in support. It is only when you have been cycling a proper road bike you realise just how awful a mountain bike is on the road and progress was very slow and painful until Laura pitched up with the fixed bike at 6pm. I was glad of John being there to hand over more drinks than normal.

Once back on the main steed there were 25 miles, more or less, to Inverness and these were despatched in about an hour and a half at high speed, it was great fun tailing John through the back roads.

A real feeling of success having made it to Inverness but there is still work to be done.

Just had a mega-feed at Joanne&Dari’s house and drying my stinking shoes by the fire.

80 miles tomorrow and i can relax a bit for Wednesday….

Fingers crossed for no wind, rain, hills, breakages tomorrow.

Those of you coming to John O’Groats… if all goes well i will see you there at 2pm but watch this space.

cheers

Day 9 Complete

Posted at 9:54pm on 8th August 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 1 Comments | Category: The Journey

Who would have predicted that the earliest start to date would come at the hands of Gregor?

8am we left, as Gregor had advised that the Edinburgh 10k was on around the Forth Bridge area. I had been fed porridge for breakfast, and what a difference it made. I have never had so much energy in my life.

Stopped in to see Jacob, Angela and Paul in Dalmeny for 5 minutes then proceeded to Forth Road Bridge, it was amazing i have never been on it other than in a car.

After getting some photos on the bridge, the porridge-energy fully kicked in and next thing i knew we were in Halfords car park in Perth. ( The mechanics are good in this branch i know from experience) Just half an hour prior to this I met Sarah & Cloy who drove out from Cupar just to say hello which was much appreciated cheers

Met up with Mum & Dad, Tom & Angela, Melissa, my nutrition adviser( Dug Park) and then carried on up the road to Pitlochry where Gregor and I stopped for Sandwiches.

Having refuelled i set off again and went as far as Layby 60 which is a few miles North of Calvine on the A9.

Total for day about 100 miles. I finished at 6pm and had energy to keep going however we decided it was best to not get carried away and ruin myself for tomorrow.

Only 3 days left, but still a long way to go. However i am starting to believe I am actually fit enough to finish this…

It was a great day today , I really enjoyed it, Gregor did a great job driving and spent a small fortune on Lucozade for me as my 96 bottles ran out 2 days ago….

I will be putting all the photos from the trip on at the end as now that i have let it get away from me its going to be a nightmare

Back at the parental home now with Laura here who is taking over support duties in the morning. Again she has a hard act to follow, especially with radio banter….

Its time for bed now

80 miles planned for tomorrow, i think that should get me to Inverness but not sure, too late for map checking now…

Day 8 Complete

Posted at 9:15pm on 7th August 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 3 Comments | Category: The Journey

I am at Gregor’s house in Edinburgh and have just eaten a massive plate of pasta. I should only be in Galashiels in a hotel but things have gone very well in the last few days. Approx 87 miles today along the A68 from Bellingham area, the first half mostly uphill, the second half mostly downhill. So i am about half a day ahead of schedule, or around 35 miles.

However, not time to be easing off and getting complacent , it surely must be all uphill from here so some hard days ahead still.

The parents are now departed having done a magnificent job over the last few days, the best bit today was tailing them through Edinburgh receiving directions over the 2 way radio.

Gregor takes over tomorrow , he has a hard act to follow, can he live up to it?

Will update more later and get a couple photos on, got some good ones today, also i havent forgotten need to update more detail and photos from previous days….

neil

Day 7 Complete

Posted at 10:45pm on 6th August 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: The Journey

Day 7 Complete

Right, very briefly as i really need to get to bed. No phone reception here, internet reception v. poor.

I am in Bellingham, i should only be in Hexham according to schedule so this is very good news. I did about 85 miles tbc. It was mega hilly . Proper mega hillly ! I will update this again tmrw with some interesting chat and photos…gotta sleep now.

Another very good day

Gregor can I stay at your tmrw night then please as we discussed was a possibility ? - I intend on getting to Edinburgh now, rather than just Galashiels.

Photo is of the A68, it goes on forever like that, there will be more of the same on Day 8

cheers

goodnight.

Day 6 Complete - updated

Posted at 10:00pm on 5th August 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 2 Comments | Category: The Journey

Day 6 Complete - updated

101 miles completed today! I reached Bedale, therefore I am way ahead of schedule. However, no complacency as there are big hills ahead and i am only just over half way.

More detail later, just cooking some pasta in hotel room….


Started in Retford of course, at 10am for once, in the hotel car park where i finished yesterday, up some back roads through Mattersey then on the A631 to Bawtry. I then followed the A614 all the way up to Selby, passing through Thorne amongst other places. 99% of these roads were flat, hence why i picked them from some previous local knowledge. It was really hard going despite this as there was a strong wind in my face the whole way across to Tadcaster and then over to Wetherby at 3.30pm. I pretty much didnt stop the whole way other than for a quick drinks refill and the odd sandwich. Mum & Dad were constantly in the right place having learned their trade very quickly.

In Wetherby i stopped for just over and hour, had the rear wheel looked at in the bike shop mentioned before. It has seen better days and I am not sure if it will make it to the end. I might have a bike like ‘Trigger’s broom’ by the end of this.

Then on to some roads i know very well having spent the last 5 months cycling them in training. Up to Boroughbridge then over to Ripon and finally arrived in Bedale about 730pm. The roads from Ripon to Bedale were a joy as they were quiet country roads with beautiful scenery and a warm sunny night. i took a few photos and even had time to sit around and enjoy it for a while.

I am really beginning to enjoy this, it didnt seem like 100 miles atall. Tomorrow is going to be a decisive day as its in to hill country - I have to make it to hexham however its not even 80 miles there now so i have done myself a big favour today. I am hoping that i can go even further than that but we shall see…

I noticed that there is now over £6000 raised which is unbelievable. Just saying thanks is not enough so i will try even harder. Also thanks to everyone who is sending text messages which are always good to receive even if my replies are late and not very interesting sorry.

Fingers crossed for no wind tomorrow.

cheers

(photo is of Selby Abbey taken while waiting for lights to change, notice the imminent storm brewing in background. Will catch up with other photos another time….)

Day 5 Complete

Posted at 10:15pm on 4th August 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 12 Comments | Category: The Journey

At 1145am I started at the salubrious location that is Halfords ,Nuneaton. Even though i didnt need any bike stuff desperately i went in and asked and there were no mechanics again. I feel a claim coming on for £17 ( full service for a year) with all that spare time i am going to have in the coming weeks.

Dear Mr H. Ford Why oh Why Oh Why do you not emply bike mechanics who can start at 9am etc etc.

Anyway, i digress.

With both parents in the apps-mobile i sped off up the A47 then A447 to Nailstone, then across some B roads and postman pat roads towards Quorn, dunno if that has anything to do with Linda McCartney or not. Then up to Wymeswold and Keyworth and through the pouring rain to Southwell, where it got torrential.

Then met some nice people at a bus stop on a juice break who said they would donate which was very kind. More postman pat roads to Halam, Eakring, Ollerton, Walesby finally arriving in Retford at 730pm.

During this time my parents caught me up several times to check i was eating properly and had clean pants and socks on.

Having got to the hotel at a respectable 745 i ate a mega meal of 2 baked potatoes which Dangerdug tells me will provide super-energy.

I am going to post this then start looking at photos to upload so will be back either later or tomorrow morning.

Summary for day - 80.3 miles, 4 square meals. Clean socks required. Success and on target. A very enjoyable day , possibly due to the diversity of roads and countryside , rather than just A roads the whole way.

ps just tried uploading photos its dial up speed at the moment so no thanks for now.

Day 4 Complete

Posted at 11:30pm on 3rd August 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 3 Comments | Category: The Journey

I really need to get to bed early one of these days. No photos again sorry due to sleep requirements.

It was a straight line pretty much all the way from Cirencester to Nuneaton except for the last few roads.

One puncture, 4 litres of lucozade and 4 mega hills ( 14% gradient on one of them) were todays main players. I have perfected my hill technique now and am no longer fearful of hills.

It was a nice ride but to be honest i didnt see much of it as just got my head down and tried to go as fast as possible.

Top support driving work from Elizabeth today, todays distance covered was 76 miles so still perfectly on track to complete on time and the food was ace as well thanks Elizabeth!

Met my parents this evening, we are staying in a very nice hotel with good facilities for the knackered cyclist so a gold star to parents there. I havent seen them in months so the next few days should be good. Might see if either of them wants to try and keep up on the spare bike….

Swish.

Heading out East tomorrow in search of flat roads despite my earlier comments.

Day 3 complete

Posted at 11:57pm on 2nd August 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: The Journey

Right its well late, so very briefly.

Disaster to start, back wheel was also bust it turned out and had to buy a new front wheel, couldnt use the spare. Halfords had no spares and no mechanics. Went to Colsons cycles in Taunton, the staff there were brilliiant and sorted me out super quick and gave 10% discount! So didnt start until after midday.

Cycled to Glastonbury, then to Bath, then Cirencester.87 miles total, there was a bit more to it than that but they are the main places. It was very hot and sunny and a very enjoyable ride, the last ten miiles my energy ran out so had to dig deep.

Finished at 8ish , cant remember just now. Staying with Elizabeth and Ian, friends of the Patersons near Stratford. Their hospitality tonight has been fantastic and much appreciated. Elizabeth is taking over from Jim tomrrow, i will be starting in Cirencester and aiming for Ashbourne( if i get to within 20 miles of it then i will be happy) where i will meet my parents

Jim has done a brilliant job since Friday and i am sorry to see him go, it has been good fun. Cheers Jim, couldnt have done any of this without you.

Photos will be follow, i said that last night as well but its been a long day and i still havent washed yet. goodnight.

Day 2 complete

Posted at 11:00pm on 1st August 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 1 Comments | Category: The Journey

Started of course in exactly the same place as i finished yesterday, at Launceston. Managed to start at 11am today which was better, still need to be earlier though.

A very scenic ride along the back roads to Okehampton, then along to Coppleston and then Crediton, where i stopped for lunch. There were many big hills just like yesterday but being as it was scenic country roads and i was better rested it was lots more fun and not nearly as tiring.

From Crediton went up towards Tiverton, then took an extreme-back-road short cut that Jim worked out across to a road that leads on to the A38 near Cullompton. These were single track roads with some of those steep hills that you see on maps marked with the black triangles to indicate just how steep they are. Going up was ok as i have learned not to rush, going down the other side was pretty spicy, culminating with an emergency stop to avoid going in to the back of Jim as he waited for me at the bottom.

Continuing along the A38 there are a lot of very gradual but very long inclines with sharp downhill sections once you reach the top. As yesterday, half way up some of these i began to doubt my abilities, then once i got to the top it was happy days again. Going down one of the hills, i imagine (from the days when i had a speedo)at about 30-35 mph there was an unavoidable pot hole which i managed to not take at full force but despite the evasion technique the front wheel took a battering. For the next little while it rattled but seemed ok then it went a bit wonky and i stopped where Jim was waiting in a layby. Half of the spokes had come loose and the wheel had buckled a bit so i got the bike fix manual out ( i know almost nothing about bike maintenance) and Jim and I did our best and it the wheel was running true again.

Set off for Taunton, and after about 45 minutes the wheel decided to almost collapse and i was forced in to the pit lane where at 645pm i decided to call it a day.

I have a spare wheel but there was no point messing around with that at that time so just packed up and went to B&B near Bristol and got some food in a pub where all the bar staff avoided me as best they could as i smelled like a tramp after the days exertions.

So a stop in Halfords is required in the morning first, but it appears the Gods are smiling as where i need to start tomorrow ( Eastbourne Road, Taunton) is 2.6 miles from Halfords mega store where i have free bike servicing priviliges( £17, they didnt donate).

So another successful day, approx 80 miles completed, still on target.

Hoping to start at 10am tomorrow but will see what the helpful chaps from Halfords do to assist this.

Will some photos on tomorrow from today but gotta go to bed now.

Tomorrows route

Posted at 10:31pm on 31st July 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 1 Comments | Category: The Journey

Tomorrow - Start Launceston - Okehampton -Coppleston - Crediton -Tiverton- Taunton -Weston Supermare or as close to there as possible. That is about 100 miles, so as long as get 80 or over all is well. Staying in Bristol area.

The general plan for this is 12 days x 80 miles per day = 960 miles ( total distance is 973 but as stated before the route on the route page is not accurate as it uses motorways etc - the end stop of each day is always more or less right though)

Will try do some bigger days to make the last day easier

time to snooze.

photos

Posted at 10:05pm on 31st July 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 1 Comments | Category: The Journey

Photos wont work till tmrw sorry

Good work Jim

Posted at 9:21pm on 31st July 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: The Journey

Good work Jim

Jim is doing a fantastic job. cheers.

More day 1 stuff below

Day 1 finish photo

Posted at 9:18pm on 31st July 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: The Journey

Day 1 finish photo

More chat below

Day 1 complete

Posted at 9:11pm on 31st July 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: The Journey

Day 1 complete

A late start today at 1pm what with 2am bed last night after an 10 hour drive down.

Jim and I had a look around Lands End for a bit and took some photos which i will put up later. It was a nervous and somber morning in some respects, clearly i was nervous about cycling the length of the country, but having finally got to the start line the magnitude of what i am doing, and more specifically why i am doing it, suddenly seemed all too much. Thoughts of Ross were running high prior to the start.

Anyway, i got underway and it was all pretty easy going, up until after Penzance i think, then suddenly loads of steep hills that i didnt remember from the journey down appeared.

As usual the self doubt takes over as I struggled up hill after hill. I have to keep telling myself that it is not supposed to be easy, if it was easy then what would be the point in doing it?

Despite the published route on the ‘route’ pages on this site, i am not really sticking to exactly the roads shown there, and following some advice from Doug Park a couple weeks back i decided against doing 2 big days at the start but never quite got round to changing the destinations on this site. Anyway, the destination today was Launceston, rather than the mentioned Okehampton, a mere 80 miles or so.

Arrived in Bodmin after cycling pretty much uphill for 90% of the day, at about 545, and had a rest and some food till 7pm then set off for the last stretch along the A30 dual carriageway to Launceston. Then the rain came down and i got absolutely soaked. However the majority of these last 20 miles were downhill so it was a great way to end the day at 830. As instructed i had the protein shake Doug. Just off to get dinner now at 10pm, need to get started a good bit earlier tomorrow!

Anyway, to summarise, despite a day of self doubt , i am feeling pretty good being as I made it here in a reasonable time, and i have seen how much money has been raised so i wont let anyone down.

Only 11 days left!

On route to Lands End

Posted at 3:30pm on 30th July 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 7 Comments | Category: The Journey

Jim and I on our way to Lands End - excitement building… you need sound for this by the way

Another challenge

Posted at 11:59pm on 29th July 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 1 Comments | Category: The Journey

Against my better judgement, the last day of the trip will be undertaken wearing the famous hoops of the Glasgow Celtic.

As a man with much better taste than that, this will be an unpleasant experience for me but I think a fitting tribute to a man who i shared so much great fun old firm rivalry with.

Ross would have a great laugh seeing me suffer in it, i imagine telling him that my greatest ever physical achievement was tainted by having to wear that strip and him never letting me forget it.

I miss him.

A milestone reached

Posted at 10:17pm on 29th July 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: Funds Raised

Today sees the magical figure of £5000 raised. That is amazing - thanks to everyone who has donated.

Jim is taking me to Lands End at 11am tomorrow. Getting excited and nervous.

neil

www.atomised.coop have literally just saved the day!

Posted at 8:49pm on 27th July 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 6 Comments | Category: Sponsors

As i hinted at earlier, today has not been a good day.

Again, missing out some detail, essentially the trip lost a sponsor for reasons beyond that company’s control - which meant suddenly we were faced with having to spend hundreds of pounds on fuel and van hire that were going to be paid for before todays bad news.

Like a phoenix from the flames, Al, Morgan & Neil at www.atomised.coop( the company behind this website) have stepped in to pay for the van and fuel.

This is a monumentous gesture and words fail me to express how much i appreciate it. I will be able to sleep soundly tonight after all.

If you havent been on their site to see what atomised are about you better get on it now after this news.

nice one

neil

ShuttVR join the cause

Posted at 8:48pm on 27th July 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 3 Comments | Category: Sponsors

ShuttVR join the cause

A big thanks to Simon and all at ShuttVR for supplying a personalised cycle shirt for me to wear during the trip. This shirt has been printed with the all the key details and photos for this trip and I am looking forward to wearing it all the way - except on the last day ( I will get to that in another entry later)

Great work and big thanks to shuttVR, go visit them at http://www.shuttvr.com/ for more cycling goods.

See the photo….

neil

M&D cycles aka Wetherby Bike Shack join the cause

Posted at 8:47pm on 27th July 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: Sponsors

A massive thank you to Dean at the shop in Wetherby.

Not only did he supply my bike ( see blog - this is my bike) at a great price but he has supplied all the spare parts i may need for the trip should anything break, as well as servicing my bike at very short notice. I also have received good support & advice over the last few months where needed.

A big thank you - if you are ever in Wetherby area and need bike help this is the place to go.

Tel 01937 588 944

cheers

neil

Training/Planning news.

Posted at 7:00pm on 27th July 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 1 Comments | Category: Training

Training/Planning news.

So training is over, from now on it is sleeping and eating. I still have to iron out a few details , for example last night i bought 96 bottles of lucozade, and there is still the odd hotel to sort out.

There has been a minor setback today which admittedly has put a large spanner in the ointmont and a fly in the works… but i wont go in to that just now. All i will say is the next couple days are not going to be stress free, and I have to move house again by Friday morning, which is a total nightmare.

It doesnt say anywhere is the training manual that you should move heavy boxes the day before cycling almost 1000 miles…..

Regardless, the cycling will still start on Saturday.

There will be further updates over the next couple days before the off.

Thank you to all those people who are supporting.

back later

neil

Training update

Posted at 12:00am on 24th July 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: Training

I have spent today cleaning, lubricating and fixing new gadgets on to bike. Finally went out cycling about half nine ish this evening. Being as I still dont know my way around York it was easy to get a few miles in just by cycling somewhere i dont recognise then getting lost trying to find my way back. I went round in various circles for about an hour and a half, getting almost 28 miles done. Not bad going. Last big training run of the campaign is tomorrow, then maybe one or two short runs out on Monday or Tuesday. After that I have to concentrate on eating and resting ready for Saturday morning. Sounds good…

Organising and training stuff

Posted at 4:00pm on 23rd July 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: Training

Hello, i was booking hotels and organising bike spares and such last night, so no training.

Having a night off this evening, back out there tomorrow on the bike with my shiny new bike shoes and other gadgets, the majority of which were kindly donated from www.bike-force.co.uk ( they arrived today, it was like Christmas opening the box )

neil

Wednesday's action

Posted at 9:50pm on 21st July 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: Training

So much still to do so just went for enough of a cycle to not feel guilty and lose touch with the saddle, but not really enough to be worth mentioning. This concludes my self justification.

Bike Force join the cause

Posted at 12:00am on 20th July 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 2 Comments | Category: Sponsors

I am pleased to say that Bike Force ( www.bike-force.co.uk) have donated various bike accessories and safety wear for the trip.

Their contribution will prove invaluable to keep me moving safely and comfortably over the 900+ miles.

Great stuff and i am truly thankful to them for their help.

You can visit their site by clicking on their logo on the sponsors page or wherever else you see it appear on this site - or type in the address above.

Please pay them a visit when you can.

cheers

Neil

Cheers!

Posted at 11:59pm on 19th July 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: Funds Raised

Big thanks to all the people who have donated just recently, as well as those who have been in from the start.

Cant quite believe how much there is. Good work everyone, i wont let you down.

Also cheers for all your contributions to this site, stories/comments/photos etc.

So far the pages have been looked at over 6000 times. The thought that you are keeping up to date is very motivating when its raining and i have to go cycling and report back after, it is helping keeping me going.

Nice one.

neil.

Training ramblings

Posted at 11:33pm on 19th July 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 187 Comments | Category: Ramblings

Despite the persistent heavy rain throughout the ride it was the most enjoyable outing of the last 5 months for some reason - i think the absence of the speedo has been a benefit. I dont plan on fixing it - its demotivating affect is too much for me - its basically like someone cycling next to you saying’ You are going too slow and there are still miles and miles to go’

I fixed the flux capacitor so was able to go faster than yesterday anyway. Bike now has 1.21 jigawatts of power…..Great Scott!

Training stuff

Posted at 9:37pm on 18th July 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: Training

Today was mostly uphill however i have employed some new tactics of taking my time hence the slower average speed. It seems to make it more enjoyable and easier overall, this may be a good plan for the trip itself i am thinking.

Fast as lightning

Posted at 8:52pm on 14th July 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 2 Comments | Category: Training

Had to stop for 35 minutes tonight as was in middle of a lightning storm. Does anyone know what you are supposed to do when on a bike in lightening? I dont, so i got off and hid under a bridge for a while.

Stuff

Posted at 10:00pm on 13th July 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 40 Comments | Category: Ramblings

Ahoy there! I have been on t’internet last couple nights sorting hotels, contacting suppliers etc. You would think after the poor form at the weekend i would have been out on bike trying to make it up but alas no. There is much to do to ensure success. I have had some positive news from a couple of sponsors which i will unveil in a day or so, once confirmed. At present i have a support team which consists of 6 -8 people who will do the trip with me in various vehicles, carrying such items as clean pants, toothbrush, hairdryer etc and possibly some spares for the bike. Without them it would be 973 times harder.

A big thanks to them for commiting their time and effort, and in all cases, the untold money it will cost them all to do so.

It was also very encouraging to speak to quite a few people at the weekend at Finderlie who have been on this site and it meant a lot to hear such positive things from you all- thanks - it made my weekend.

The funds raised so far are amazing, including gift aid its just over 4000 pound! I didnt think for a moment it would be so much when i was finished, nevermind before i have even started.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed so far, sorry i cant get in touch at the moment individually.

Will be back out cycling tomorrow now that the bike is fixed , even if the forecasted mega-rain continues ( i am glad i am not out tonight).

Cheers, neil

Aaargh!

Posted at 11:00pm on 11th July 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 3 Comments | Category: Training

Aaargh!

Returned to Finderlie to the bike to find punctured again. Clearly something wrong with wheel. Rats! Will have to get a service sorted. Best these things happen now, although on the trip itself I will be supplied with spares of all types not to mention i am taking a spare bike.

Punctures and more punctures

Posted at 7:00pm on 10th July 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: Training

Punctures and more punctures

All set for a good day out to take the long way down to Kev’s. Left Scone at 1230. Just past the ice factory in Perth the unwelcome sound of my first puncture of the training regime so far. Nevermind, i will quickly fix it… or so i thought. However this was a 3 - hole puncture so i called in the troops ( Laura - practising her role as support team member for the expedition itself) to pick me up and take me to halfords to buy spare inner tubes. You are probably thinking at this point why dont i have these with me already? I am awaiting delivery of some spares that are allegedly going to be donated for free before the trip commences so had assumed that a puncture repair kit would do in the meantime. Got to halfords, got TWO spare inner tubes , fixed puncture- started off again. 1 mile later another puncture. Back to Halfords. The bike man there couldnt deduce any reason why it was continually bursting until eventually we found a tiny tear in the tyre which was causing the problem. So a new tyre needed. However they didnt have the right size so the only option was to buy a different size and swap the existing front tyre with the back and put the new wrong tyre on the front. Sounded like a pain so i just paid them to do it. Eventually all fixed and £48 lighter for the day i set off and did the the shorter route of 21 miles to Kevs in good time in the pouring rain. Probably should have phoned ahead to warn people i would be turning up in lycra, i think a couple of people already worse for wear were sickened at the sight…. A boring story I agree but if you were to just read the stats it would look like i wasnt trying. Aiming for Perth - Glasgow tomorrow, will see what luck that brings….

This weekend's action

Posted at 11:00am on 10th July 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 3 Comments | Category: Training

Having been to physio Friday morning, once again I have been instructed to get out on bike again, make more use of lower gears to avoid further leg injury. I will be cycling to Kev’s (Finderlie) to join in the T-in-the-Park related fun this saturday morning, but for the first year without having any beers there as of course my training regime wont allow it. I then plan to cycle back to Glasgow on Sunday morning, before driving back to York in the afternoon. I am currently sitting with Laura discussing the ‘shall we camp tonight’ question. It’s raining and camping does not make you feel much like cycling 80 miles the next day anyway. Hmmm….there is a comfy bed only 20 miles away and i am not drinking anyway so could drive there later tonight. Such difficult decisions….

Shackleton Technologies joins the cause

Posted at 5:01pm on 8th July 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: Sponsors

I am pleased to let you know that we have another sponsor to assist with the funding of the trip. Their donation will be invaluable in helping with accomodation costs, supplies, and all the other things that cost money on such a large undertaking.

A big thanks to them, their help really makes a difference. You can click on the link to their website by visiting the sponsors page on this site, or anywhere else you see their logo appear on the site.

Please take a minute to visit their site, it might be just what you are looking for:

Shackleton Technologies are an IT support company based in Tayside that offer a full IT support service including, hardware, software and internet presence; all under one roof. We are a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, an accredited Sage Business Partner and we provide IT support to some of the best known SME’s in Tayside, Angus and Fife.

Keeping your IT engine running is a large part of our business. We have a dedicated helpdesk (manned by skilled local technicians, not call queuing software), 247 server monitoring, proactive maintenance programmes and highly skilled and experienced team of server and network engineers.

On top of keeping the IT engine running, we offer a range of services that help your business develop, from software development to improve back office systems to substantial web based, data driven and mobile applications to improve your customer’s interaction with your business.

No training

Posted at 5:00pm on 8th July 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: Training

Physio tomorrow. Have now spent 3.90 on frozen peas as i havent got my freezer in new house yet. What a waste.

No training

Posted at 10:07pm on 7th July 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: Training

Advised to ice up the leg and rest. No training.

FYI

Posted at 10:43pm on 6th July 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: Training

Birds Eye Field Fresh Garden Peas are on special offer in the spar in my road! Hurry while stocks last….

Leg muscle injury hampers training

Posted at 9:37pm on 6th July 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: Training

Got about 5 miles in and felt a twinge in right leg. Something definitely not right, probably from football last night. Having consulted Dr Mcgregor, he recommended “Rest,ice,strapping,elevation,ibuprofen and reassess in morning” I turned around and cycled slowly back.

I think i will have to pull out of Monday night football until this cycle is done and dusted, cant risk any further issues - sorry lads, please dont replace me, just a find a substitute until Monday 16th August. This has nothing to do with the hammering we took last night John!

I am off down the spar to buy some frozen peas… will follow the advice to the letter.

Sunday 4th July training stats

Posted at 11:43pm on 4th July 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: Training

The speedo on bike didnt work so will have to plot journey tomorrow to see exact mileage and calc average speed etc. I reckon it was about 80 miles but we shall see. Need to get a new speedo, however it was a more enjoyable day not watching the clock all the time. It was extremely windy which made the first 30 miles ( speedo did work for a while) very hard going, and as promised i chose an uphill route. On the plus side going down the other side of the hill the wind was with me.

Saturday 3rd July training

Posted at 11:59pm on 3rd July 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: Training

Was moving house all day with Jim. Finished everything about 7pm, went out for a leisurely tour around York ( where i now live ) on my other bike, which has no speedo so no stats, but i cycled for just over an hour at a leisurely pace. It must have been at least 10 miles. Back on with proper training tomorrow as all house moving action complete.

Wetherby Physiotherapy join the cause

Posted at 12:55pm on 2nd July 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 3 Comments | Category: Sponsors

Nora Thrush, MCSP Grad. Dip. Phys. who is treating my back at Wetherby Physiotherapy practice has kindly sponsored the expedition with 50 % of her fees from the 1st three sessions to be deducted and put towards the cause! Very generous and much appreciated thanks. My back is also clearly gettting better as you can see by my training log so all good work - you can find a link to Wetherby Physio site on the sponsors page.

This is my bike....

Posted at 10:05pm on 1st July 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 36930 Comments | Category: Ramblings

This is my bike....

This is my bike. There are many others like it, but this one is mine. My bike is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life. Without me, my bike is useless. Without my bike, I am useless. I must cycle my bike true. I must cycle straighter than my enemy, who is trying to exhaust me. I must cycle to him before he cycles to me. I will. Before God I swear this creed: my bike and myself are defenders of my country, we are the masters of our enemy, we are the saviors of my life. So be it, until there is no enemy, but peace. Amen.

’ Full Metal Bikelock’ by Stanley Kubrick 1987.

More cash, more webpage contributions = more dedication to training

Posted at 1:00am on 1st July 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 3 Comments | Category: Training

Hello there… The tone was set for tonights training yesterday. I knew i had to deliver some training miles after all your contributions both on this page and financially on the justgiving site.

We have raised an awful lot since this site went live - i have seen just how many people have been on this site looking about( google analytics are pretty swish) and the total raised has shot up on the justgiving as a result.

Thanks , the response has been great so far, the photos and stories are fantastic and the stats say that these are the favourite pages to view. Dont be shy if you havent added anything yet, there is plenty more time. If you have videos, you can email them to me to go on.

cheers everyone, you have definitely spurred me on to train harder. This weekend i am going to do uphill routes as a thank you for your contributions. -neil

Training variation

Posted at 12:35am on 1st July 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 3 Comments | Category: Training

To vary my training, i went out tonight at 730pm having had no dinner to see if i could go the distance under difficult circumstances. It was pretty hard going, the last 5 miles were a nightmare. However this is why i am still up at this time of night, still eating. It was an interesting experiment but i dont think it needs to be tried again. My parents are probably reading this about to fly back from their holiday to make sure i am eating properly now….

Late night training

Posted at 11:10pm on 29th June 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: Training

A late start tonight, luckily the ride was made more enjoyable by an extra snack of a mouthful of flies. Might need some kind of face mask although i look disturbing enough in lycra as it is…..

Monday...

Posted at 11:59pm on 28th June 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 5 Comments | Category: Training

…is not a good day for many reasons today. Like the mighty England - I promised so much (training) today, but i then thought it fitting to only deliver a little, and leave many people disappointed and disillusioned with my performance. This concludes my football based analogy.

More cycling tomorrow….

Fitness improvement

Posted at 9:23pm on 26th June 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 2 Comments | Category: Training

Just sitting here thinking, the first day i went out for a big ride, I did an easy route, and at 52 miles i was totally shattered and had to give up. I couldnt move for days. I suppose its a good sign that I am disappointed having only done 64 miles today and it was too easy. There clearly has been an improvement in fitness. The pressure is on tomorrow as need to get the miles on the clock in plenty of time for the England game….

Training update

Posted at 8:00pm on 26th June 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: Training

See training page for stats, back not too bad after that. It was very flat though so not that hard going. If i had started earlier i would have done more. Disappointing…. but will try again tomorrow.

Ouch

Posted at 10:32am on 26th June 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: Training

After yesterdays physio i can barely move this morning. Going to start cycling after lunch and still aim for 100 miles though. Will update later.

Physio says get back on bike!

Posted at 10:31pm on 25th June 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: Training

Good news - Went to physio this morning, apparently my quadraceps are too short or something like that, so my lower back is overstretched. Maybe i wasnt listening properly as that doesnt sound right, they look long enough to me.

Anyway, i am to do some stretching exercises and some lying down on my back on the floor and get back out cycling. I will therefore be back in the saddle tomorrow after following advice and lying on the floor tonight.

I will do some cycling tonight as well just to ensure there are no issues, but only about 10 miles, so not really worth mentioning. neil

Website contributions

Posted at 10:31pm on 25th June 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 0 Comments | Category: Funds Raised

Thanks to everyone who has contributed in the short time this has been online, your photos and stories are great !

keep them coming please.

Also we are now up £923.08 since yesterday in sponsorship.

Good work.

Thanks!

Posted at 12:00am on 24th June 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 1 Comments | Category: Sponsors

Thanks to everyone who has sponsored me so far. The current total is £2015.73.

Special credit goes to the following so far as well -

Morgan for giving up so much time to make this website, and to his family for letting him!- weeJim for training support so far- Laura for training support amongst other things- Mum&Dad&Joanne&Dari for cycling stuff and maps. Dangerdug for the diet advice- I will be calling you for more soon!

Ross for the good times and the inspiration to do this.

A summary of training to date.

Posted at 12:00am on 24th June 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 1 Comments | Category: Training

A summary of training to date.

I turns out it is not just about cycling…

I started training the day after my last unhealthy meal, it was such an emotional occasion I took a photo. Yes, that is weird.

It was the 21st February. Ever since then it has been a strict diet of fibre, fruit, vegetables, fish, rice and pasta. Those who know me well can appreciate that it has been a nightmare for me. The typical combined Apps-Paterson diet has legendary fattening properties. I know Ross would sponsor me just to stick to the diet never mind the cycling!

It was a slow start getting out on the bike, but after a couple weeks I was in the zone. Then some ‘undesirable’ stole my bike which was somewhat of a disadvantage you could say. How I retrieved it is a story for another day. I am now on my second new bike, and third saddle, the first two saddles were threatening to do some shocking damage to the future of the Apps-bloodline.

I have cycled various routes around North Yorkshire where I live, the longest of which was 102.8 miles in one day - pretty much all uphill. It was a long day but I was back on the bike the next day again which was encouraging. I have also cycled a few routes out from Glasgow westwards of 50 miles+

There have been some visits to the gym when I couldn’t get out on the bike - even when on holiday in Majorca last week, but an exercise bike is far too unrealistic to be of any real benefit in my opinion.

I have only fallen off once, in front of quite a few people which was nice.

After all these weeks I would have hoped to have exceeded what I thought was a low target of 700 miles training by now but alas various things have conspired against me - the bike theft already mentioned, moving house, changing job, and I will admit - a degree of complacency in the early weeks. However, given the size of the task and all the other organisation that goes with it I am now reasonably pleased with how I have done to date.

Crucially there has been a definite abstinence from pub- related activities, with the exception of one staff night out and Gareth & Fiona’s wedding. I would say thats not bad going in 4 and a half months.

Over the next 33 days I plan to cycle an average of 50 miles a day to ensure I am in peak physical fitness for the main event. You can monitor my progress on the training pages.

Stay tuned- neil

The Route - a note

Posted at 12:00am on 24th June 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 3 Comments | Category: The Route

The Route - a note

By the way, the route shown on the ‘Route’ page, although the places i will be stopping and the distances are correct ( more or less) the roads shown are not necessarily right yet. I certainly wont be cycling up the M1… will sort that out asap. You get the general idea from it though…

Temporary training issue

Posted at 12:00am on 24th June 2010 by Neil Apps Add Comment | 2 Comments | Category: Training

No training has been completed since Saturday much to my disappointment. I have put my back out somehow ( I have a history of this)… dont worry - an emergency visit to physio at 830am Friday 25th will ensure back in the saddle on Saturday….