Wheels on Fire

Where am I going?

TL/DR.  I’m riding to see my parents.  Leaving Naas, Ireland on the 18th July and arriving in Bristol, a couple of days later.  After a few days, I’ll be donning the lycra again and making the return trip.  Oh and by the way, I’m a rank amateur, never done anything like this before.  Plus, I’m trying to raise some funds for charity at the same time.

Why?

I’m not an endurance person, but after my brother and sister had successfully completed very fast marathons I really didn’t want to be left out, so ran a few marathons in the 2010s.  I loved running and spending time on my own.  Actually I was a sprinter and long jumper/triple jumper when I was younger, so not something I’d ever really expected to do.  I also competed in master’s sprinting up until very recently which was my real love.  There’s nothing quite like tearing around the bend on a 200m to suddenly find the real race on from 110m in, and then clinging on in the last 30m or so.

After one too many hamstring tears I gave up sprinting a couple of years ago and then in 2019 was told that I’d damaged my kneecap and running was going to always be about maintenance and working around it.  I’m not that old yet, so couldn’t quite make do with struggling up and down stairs wincing with every step.  So I got my bike out in March 2020 and decided to have a go at that instead.

Of course the lockdown from Covid-19 then happened and soon after followed the lockdown pounds around my waistline.

Since June I’ve been trying to build up some miles and while I still haven’t worked out what gear I should be in at the bottom of a climb, I’m loving it.  It combines the bits I love about sprinting when you’re going as fast as you possibly can and putting the power down, but also a real sense of achievement over a longer ride.  The best bits of sprinting and the best bits of marathons, all together.

Well today (28th June), I rode to Glendalough for the first time, and in wet and windy conditions.  As a result I’ve now resorted to going a step further and am going to be ratcheting up the effort, while also going over to see my parents who I’ve not seen throughout the whole lockdown period in Bristol, in 3 weeks time!!

The ferry is booked and guesthouses are booked for stopovers.  The Welsh hospitality sector hasn’t confirmed that it’s opening yet, but I’ve booked and am now hoping for the best.  If not, I’ll be bringing a tent with me too.

Many people have done much more energetic and impressive things with exercise, but this is just a little bit that I want to do.

Raising Money

Of course I’m not going to deny that I’m doing something that I want to do and that I’ll enjoy anyway.  Foil, Arms & Hog have voiced this their views about this and I thoroughly recommend you enjoy this clip.  However, while I’m doing it anyway, I would also like to raise some money while I’m doing so.

I’ve chosen to run for my employer’s (Qualtrics’) charity, 5 For The Fight.  5 For The Fight is an amazing fund, raising money for Breakthrough Cancer Research and directly funds the employment of three research scientists who are searching for cures for less common cancers, which don’t benefit from larger funding programmes.

I will be matching all donations, up to a total €1,000.

You can already donate instantly by paying via the 5 For The Fight logo.  Thank you very much for you generosity.

My Itinerary

Outbound:

  • Sat 18th July @ 9am – depart Naas, Co. Kildare
  • 8.45pm – Irish Ferries from Rosslare to Pembroke
  • Overnight @ Pembroke Travelodge
  • Sun 19th – overnight at an Airbnb in Llandovery, Carmarthenshire
  • Mon 20th – arrive Coalpit Heath, Bristol 

Return trip:

  • Sat 25th July @ 10am – depart Coalpit Heath, Bristol, following a big cooked breakfast
  • Overnight somewhere in Wales
  • Sun 26th – Irish Ferries from Pembroke to Rosslare @ 2.45pm
  • Overnight in Wexford
  • Mon 27th – arrive home Naas, Co. Kildare

Strava Routes

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