Fringe Box



Uphill All The Way – The Plan (Part Two)

Published on: 24 May, 2014
Updated on: 25 May, 2014

UATW 002 470This is the third article in a series on the author’s ambition to cycle from Guildford to Edinburgh. It follows Uphill All The Way – The Idea and Uphill All The Way – The Plan (Part One)

All Uphill All The Way articles can be found under the Leisure section heading on the front page in their own sub-section called Uphill All The Way.

by Martin Giles

So much for the bike what about me?

Some regular Dragon readers might recall that I was ‘selected’ for special fitness training by my GP. This was not because at 58 I had become suitable for SAS selection. Just the opposite. I was overweight and had borderline high blood pressure.

Having overcome the insult and persuading myself the training was actually a good idea, I duly filled out the form. Some days later I received a reply to say that my answers indicated I did too much exercise to qualify! I was unable to contain a smug smirk.

I mentioned my ‘rejection’ to my doctor next time I saw her. “I am sure there is some scheme or other for you,” she said, “I will check.” I thought no news is good news on that one but during my next routine visit she said had found a scheme and gave me another form.

I started the gym sessions about six weeks ago. I am not sure how much good they are doing. There does not seem to be enough pain involved. But there is plenty of sweat. I wonder that they don’t generate electricity from all the energy expended at these fitness factories. I have never seen the place empty. It would be more reliable than wind power.

Anyway, hopefully I am in good enough shape for the gentle three week tour.

“What about kit?” I hear you ask. I pride myself in being a light traveller and it should be easy enough to wash shirts, socks and pants in a B & B, although drying them might be a bit more of a challenge even if they are all ‘quick drying’ by design.

One problem with the British climate is that even in May/June I could face quite a range of temperatures and conditions, especially in northern latitudes like Yorkshire. I recall reading somewhere that snow had stopped play in a cricket match somewhere in the Midlands, in July.

Anyway, I will hopefully have sufficient clothes to keep warm. Normally staying warm it is not a problem for me. Once I start cycling I seem to be far too proficient at generating my own heat. If I have to don the rain cape for extended periods the amount of steam I give off might make me look like a two wheeled Flying Scotsman. Well all right, perhaps more Thomas the Tank Engine, at my speeds.

I had a quandary over maps. I could rely entirely on my iPhone. It has several map apps all of which plot your precise position to within a few yards. But they are power hungry; if left on they could drain the battery before I reach my destination for the day.

To allow me to view the phone screen on the move I have bought a neat little bag [insert pic] that sits on the cross bar just behind the handlebar stem. I think though I will turn the app off between views and am still trying to decide whether to take paper maps, of some kind, too.

The problem has been solved by a kind neighbour who has lent me his bike sat nav. All I have to do is learn how to use it. But he has given me the instruction book too so no excuses.

Enough kit for 23 days uphill?

Enough kit for 23 days uphill?

Kit: Rear pannier bags to contain…

3 x shirts (one to wear)
2 x trousers (one zip off, one to wear)
3 x pairs socks
3 x pairs pants
Micro Fleece
Outdoor jacket (to wear)

Rain cape
2 x hats (one water proof)

Washing & shaving kit

Tool/Repair kit (in saddle bag)
2 x spare inner tubes
Oil and rag

MacBookair + charger
iPhone + charger
Garmin satnav +usb lead
Ear phones
Camera + charger

Wildlife book
Book to read (J B Priestley’s – The English)
Notebook & pencil

First aid kit: plasters; antiseptic wipes; Germolene, sun block

Water bottle

Emergency rations (provide by my wee wife and a kind neighbour).

Well its only hours now before I set off, tomorrow morning Sunday May 25th. Wish me luck and hold your breath for the report of my first day tomorrow evening.

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Responses to Uphill All The Way – The Plan (Part Two)

  1. ray springer Reply

    May 25, 2014 at 10:09 am

    Good luck Martin

  2. John Schluter Reply

    May 25, 2014 at 6:34 pm

    Looking forward to tales from the saddle Martin.

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