Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Have you heard the one about the Englishman, the Texan and the Aussie who cycle to Brighton?

.....it sounds like a joke but it isn't. We made it.

And if you want to see the route we took you can see a detailed map here, provided by Jeff the Texan.

Lots happened on the trip. For starters, we met a guy outside the Foundry before we set-off who had too much to drink and was attempting to impress us - unsuccessfully - with his Star-Trek inspired hand gestures. I then fell off my bike leaving Tooting. Those damn new shoes! And we met a crazy old guy in Woodmansterne (though he clearly was from Nutfield) who wouldn't leave us alone despite ending each sentence with "I will let you go" before proceeding seamlessly to the next non-sequitur. Poor Jeff got stuck with him while James and I backed-away slowly.

We saw lots of wildlife too. Mostly of the cute variety: foxes, bunnies, lambs, and a rottweiler puppy. A Husky in a sidecar even overtook us (he wasn't driving though, he was a passenger). I had a lovely golden retriever run alongside me for awhile too. I'm not sure what charity-run he was training for.

Ditchling beacon was gruelling but I felt stronger on it than last year.

Sunday was fun too. James and the band put on a crackin gig at Victor's House, which explains why he didn't join me on the ride home.

So after 4 hours sleep, I found myself jumping on my bike at 6:30am Monday morning and setting off on the trip back to London all on my lonesome. It all went smoothly, despite an early wrong turn, a technical problem with my speedo, and losing my maps half way through. Made it back to London in just over 4 hours.

So now I'm exhausted, but glad. And feeling positive about my ride to Paris. Can't wait.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Cycling to Brighton today

Just about to head our the door to meet up with James at the Foundry. We like to start our rides with a pint first....just kidding.

For some reason the Foundry seems to be our meeting spot for all our rides, and today is no exception.

So its the Foundry, then Clapham direction then onward to Brighton, with lots of hills in between.

And as luck would have it, the weather is superb.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

New cycling shoes

Been trying my new cycling shoes today.

They take some getting used to, but I'm proud to say I didn't fall over like a pancake, which apparently is common when you first start using them.

I'm keen to get them worn in before my big ride to Brighton this weekend, eeeek. They help on the hills I'm told.....and there's plenty of those going through Surrey.

more to come.

stay tuned.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Big Issue Open Day

Feeling really pumped about the ride to Paris, thanks largely to the Big Issue Open Day that James and I attended on Saturday.

It was held in Twickenham, which according to Google Maps made for a lovely 16 mile ride.

In addition to some workshops on fundraising, bike mechanics and getting some more information about the ride it was amazing to hear the story of a few people - one who did the ride last year, and one who'll be riding this year - who have both been affected by homelessness.

One of those two people was Sean, a young guy who's been selling the Big Issue for 10 years since he was 16 in Bath. Someone asked him about giving money to vendors - as opposed to taking a magazine in return - and he said he would much prefer to sell a magazine otherwise it feels like a handout. To me that captures the essence of the idea behind the Big Issue magazine and speaks of the dignity that the simple transaction of selling a magazine engenders (and deserves).

It was also great to learn more about the support services The Big Issue offer, particularly around helping vendors find permanent accommodation and assisting vendors get identity documents (such as passports) that everyday life requires.

From that day I also got a sense of the importance of the Big Issue Ride to the Foundation. This event is the single biggest fundraising event in their calendar.

I also walked away with a sense that I've got to train. a lot.

I leave you with some pictures:

p.s, if you haven't already checkout http://www.justgiving.com/charliescyclingtoparis

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Before and After.....Just for you James

As I write this, I'm listening to Taj Mahal, a man who loves his blues, and undoubtedly loves his doughnuts. I think I could have sold him alone 38 dozen.

Someone brought Krispy Kreme doughnuts to work today - nothing to do with fundraising, but they were tasty. I digress.

The point of this post is purely to bug my co-rider, James. I'll let the photos do the talking:



oh yes.

you gots some buskin to do Jimmy.


Sunday, 15 February 2009

A very Krispy Friday

As I type this I can still feel my shoulders aching.

That's because on Friday I lugged 38 dozen doughnuts from Krispy Kreme Doughnuts at the Harrods Food Hall to my work near Liverpool St. Okay, I didn't walk, I took the tube but even that was exhausting.

Turns out everyone in my building likes doughnuts.

So this post is to thank everyone in Zetland House (and at Deutsche Bank) who helped me make the Friday 13th a crackin, krispy success.

All in all I raised $389.50 (that should be a pound sign but I don't have one on my keyboard!). So that's a massive dent in my $1300 (pounds) target.

Here are some pics:

Fundraising for the Big Issue

Hey everyone.

I'm Charlie Ward.

Welcome to my blog dedicated to my training and fundraising effort for the Big Issue London to Paris Bike Ride July this year.

I've always enjoyed cycling and always tried to support the Big Issue so this event is perfect.

I have to raise 1300 quid by May. If you fancy supporting my efforts and the Big Issue check me out here: http://www.justgiving.com/charliescyclingtoparis