Raising awareness and cash for Bipolar UK.
Lands End to John O'Groats Cycle Tour.
Sponsorship = £1500
I purchased my Trek 3700 18" alluminium frame mountain bike from Wellington Trek (Sunningdale) for just £230 in July 2004. The front forks have Rapid Suspension Technology. The gears, brakes and wheels are from Shimano. With the rear rack, my bike weighs 16Kg or 36lb. My bike is a basic mountain bike with 26" wheels, whereas hybrid bikes usually have 700mm wheels. I have 3 sets of tyres. My bumpy mountain tyres are Bontrager XR-Mud 26 x 2.0. My trail tyres are Bontrager Connection Trail B 26 x 2.0. My hybrid tyres (flat bottom, bumpy sides) are Bontrager Hard Case Triple Flat Protection 26 x 2.0. The hybrid tyres make road cycling easier, but they were problematic when I cycled 16 miles from Westcott to Leith Hill and back with Martin Pearcy. The North Surrey Downs made this relatively short journey my toughest training session ever. My hybrid tyres slipped, my chain dropped off and I fell off the bike a bit too often. I have since learnt to change my tyres on both wheels so that I can choose the appropriate tyres on each day of the Lands End to John O'Groats Tour. I have since done some good hill climbing in Swinley Forest, using my Mudex tyres.
Wellington Trek replaced my front wheel with a wheel constructed (by Shimano) from a Mavic 317 Rim and Shimano DH-3N30 Front Hub Dynamo.
The dynamo transmits power through a regulator cable to my Biologic ReeCharge Power Pack strapped to the front of my cross bar. The ReeCharge stores the energy for use whenever.
My Dell Streak is an Android Tablet. It is like a luxury iPhone with bigger screen (5"). My Dell Streak is in a cradle attached to a handlebar mount. My Dell Streak battery is recharged from the Biologic ReeCharge Power Pack USB port. Out cycling, I use my Dell Streak to shoot and upload photos to this travelog web site, so that you can follow my journey from Lands End to John O'Groats. I also use my Dell Streak for satellite navigation (ViewRanger), email, SMS and phone. Notwithstanding lack of 3G radio base stations, this minimises the chance of me getting lost in the Scottish mountains.
In 1976 I was swimming underwater at Victoria Falls, Zambia. I was holding my breath too long for my own good. My lung collapsed due to Spontaneous Pneumothorax. I got treated in the UK at Harefield Heart and Lung Hospital. After my lung was re-inflated, the doctor told me that the chance of another Pneumothorax depended on how fit I stayed. Since then I have kept fit with yoga, swimming, running and cycling. Marathon personal bests include 3 hrs 40 mins (Snowdonia Marathon 1984) and 3 hrs 6 mins (London Marathon 1985). Running eventually impacted my knees, so I stopped running in 2010. My aerobic sport is now cycling. I signed up to this Lands End to John O'Groats off-road cycle tour in February. Since then I have cycled over 1100 miles and my knees feel good.
Using my Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS device and heart monitor, I record my maximum heart rate on steep hill climbs. In March, I have watched my peak heart rate drop from 160+bpm to 145bpm on the same hills. The Garmin also uses my body weight, bicycle weight, heart rate, distance and elevation to calculate calories burnt. My travel log shows Garmin Training Centre route maps and ViewRanger Interactive Maps.
I purchased a pair of Carradice Carradry Rear Panniers from Wellington Trek for £74, but I have been disappointed. There is a plastic tongue that secures each pannier to the rack strut. One tongue has worked loose and fallen off, so the pannier rattles around. On each pannier, there are two grey plastic clips that attach to the edge of the rear rack. These clips have jammed so that it requires pliers to undo the clip after use. I have abandoned my Carradice Carradry Rear Panniers.
In April 2012 I have purchased a TOPEAK MTX Trunk Bag EX with side panniers from Halfords for £67.99. This has less capacity than a pair of Carradice Panniers, but has superior design and build. Capacity is sufficient to carry wet-weather clothing, spare inner tube, tyre levers, food and 7 bottles of High5 energy drink. I also purchased a TOPEAK rear rack for £37.99. The MTX Trunk Bag underbelly and the TOPEAK rear rack are united by a track and rail system. This makes the Trunk Bag really secure and rattle-free.
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