Thursday, 7 August 2014

The Road to Transylvania 2014 pt. 3

Today is our third post from Paul Stevens, a long-time Yes To Life supporter who is taking part in our cycle adventure to Transylvania in September 2014 and hoping to raise lots of money on the way! 

D-Day minus one month is upon me and if training has not been too high on the agenda, it needs to be now! It is a matter of pushing yourself hard, as the joys of climbing the Romanian mountains twice is not so far away.

This diagram shows our first climb, which will take place on day two. If you can read it, it shows we will be ascending over 2000 meters in less than 9km, at an angle of almost 45 degrees! That's probably two hours of hard uphill graft, a fantastic incentive to keep training!

I got home late last night, (quiz night social and a sherbet or two after work), and was thinking of not cycling in today but it is a matter of thinking of the mountains to come and forcing yourself to do it.

I have been thinking (dangerous I know) this must be what a real athlete feels like. Having a goal and knowing what you need to do to get there, but constantly having to motivate yourself to push and push yourself again to make sure the target is achieved. The trouble is, whilst I might occasionally feel like a real athlete, I still look like a ‘’Weeble’’, if you’re old enough to remember them!

The road-riding also brings out the competitive edge in your weeble-hidden athlete. There is a great surge of testosterone when you get overtaken by another cyclist and feel like you have to keep up, or when you see
one off in the distance and you want to work a little harder to try and catch them up. Being frustrated by the traffic light sequences (that you get to know like the back of your hand) and knowing that the journey home, after a hard days work, is mostly uphill!

I’m not going to lie, it takes determination to wake up 45 minutes earlier than normal, don the lycra and push the bike out of the front door when you could be rolling over for a little extra sleep and taking a leisurely stroll to the train station in preparation for a comfy journey gazing out the window. But the mountains are on the horizon!

My regime is now pretty set, although the English weather (even during this fairly decent summer) perpetually threatens to cause havoc. Cycling in a monsoon is not my idea of pleasure and that’s happened twice this year already!

Sunday night I watch Countryfile, as they give you an indication of what the weather is likely to be for the next week. My preferred regime is then minimum 3 days cycling to work (dependant on the forecast) a spin class, at least one squash match and a more lengthy cycle with a friend on a Sunday. That equates to a minimum weekly 200km road riding in total, Transylvania here we come!

In spite of the hard work, you do it because it improves your personal well-being and health no end, similar to the way ‘’Yes to Life’’ has improved so many lives too. You ask your friends, colleagues, customers and various acquaintances to be generous and to sponsor you, for the hardship, inconvenience, tiredness and aggravation that you are enduring, so that you can actually survive the trip across the Romanian mountains, twice!!!

So please do sponsor me for a fantastic cause and give as generously as you can so the road to Transylvania is paved not only with sweat, blood and tears but also with hope for people with cancer who climb personal mountains every day.

Read part one of Paul's journey here, part two here.

Please sponsor Paul on his cycle ride for Yes to Life here.

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