Step one on the ‘to do’ list: Get a bike (hopefully this is a stage most of you can skip!) My current hybrid is perfect for the short-ish cycle to and from work and makes a comfortable journey out of even the deepest of pot-holes, but isn’t quite up to the 100 mile challenge of our Solihull cycle, at least not if I want to finish before sunset.
Instead I’ve opted to use a Dawes Ultra Galaxy. With a steel frame she’ll be a buxom lass compared to many of the size zero model carbon frame bikes at the start line.
There will be roads during the journey around the world when the robust frame is much needed. For the smooth asphalt of Birmingham a road bike is the perfect option, but the Dynamic Solihull ride will be the first 100 mile test for the Ultra Galaxy touring bike.
Since first putting on the Macmillan green t-shirts in temperatures exceeding 40 degrees in Australia I’ve never found enough of a difference between a cotton t-shirt and a cycle jersey to splash out on the more expensive, and form-hugging, jerseys.
Several long distance tours have made me a real creature of habit and particularly during cycle rides during the summer months I prefer tops and shorts to be heavier and more breathable than lighter and clingy. All of which means I’m unlikely to be within sight of the leaders as they cross the finish line.
I am giving consideration to one of cycling’s great questions and a proven way to improve performance; to clip in (and risk an embarrassing inability to clip out story) or not to clip in? In the past I’ve been perfectly happy with a simple pair of sports trainers, or pair of flip-flops (as was the case during the 3,000 mile cycle across Australia). It was through nothing more than fear of embarrassment that the cowards option of footwear was taken in the past, but I’ll be wearily testing a pair of clip-in cycling shoes ahead of the Solihull cycle and the 18,000 cycle around the world as a way to reduce the amount of energy expended and improve the efficiency of each rotation.
No doubt there will be at least one story when I’ll be unable to clip-out and will fall to the ground in hopefully comedy style. Hopefully by the 13th July the quick turn of the foot will become second nature and pile-on’s at the start line will be avoided.