I get to meet some awesome people in my line of work. Today, one of those incredible human beings was Paul Pritchard. He came in today so we could kit him and his team out in our merino wool thermals and active/outdoor wear in preparation for their upcoming cycle expedition!
Paul is a life-long adventurer. Back in 1998 while climbing the Totem Pole (one of Tasmania’s most famous rock formations) Paul was struck on the head by a falling boulder. He lay on the cliff ledge for over ten hours, bleeding and broken, as his climbing partner ran 8km back to base for help. The accident left him a hemiplegic and changed his life forever. He basically had to learn to walk and talk all over again.
But he has never let his injuries curb his adventure spirit. Years of recovery and rehab later, he has since completed a trike expedition across the Himalaya from Lhasa to Kathmandu via Everest Base Camp and most significantly, returned to the rock which almost finished him – to finish what he started – succeeding in climbing to the top!
Tasman Peninsula rock formations, including the Totem Pole
Next month Paul and his team will set off on a 2100km cycling challenge which will see them pedal their trikes from Australia’s geographical low point (Lake Eyre) to it’s highest, the peak of Mount Kosciusko! Not only that, he’ll be doing it on a TANDEM trike – accompanied by a blind stoker – alongside his team of other disabled adventurers. People really are amazing.
Last weekend I had the opportunity to take my bike down onto the Tasman Peninsula for a ride along the coast and into the hills. It was one of those rare and perfect early winter evenings. Still mild enough to have the legs out, not a drop of wind and hardly a car to contend with.
It’s not often enough I get out on the road these days and this ride certainly reminded me of what I am missing out on!
During the summer the roads down on the Peninsula are jammed full of tourist rental cars and badly driven camper vans, but outside of peak season you can almost have the place to yourself. It really is a little slice of island paradise. If it weren’t for the fading light I could have ridden for hours, but in the end I rolled back to the house with a shade over 51km on the Garmin, three Cat 4 Climbs, 28kph average, two Strava KOMS and one absolutely stunning sunset to finish off the ride. Some days life is just ohhh so sweet and it makes you thankful to be alive. #keepthosepedalsturning
How time flies! I mean REALLY flies! I can’t believe it was a year ago I packed up my trusty Bike Box Alan along with the rest of my possessions and moved from England all the way to Tasmania, Australia. It was a big move for April and I to leave the life we had built there over the previous decade, but the time was right.
It’s been quite the sea change! :-)
Some moments are just too good to waste on the trainer. My plan for the evening was to get home from work and jump on Zwift for an hour’s sweetspot session, but perfect weather (combined with an internet outage, hehehe) convinced me to unshackle myself from the trainer and head outdoors for some magically mellow miles.
A quick photo stop on the jetty to capture a perfect late summer evening…
I took my trusty time trial bike out for a spin as I need to clock up some more time in that position. Well, what a fantastic evening for it! I wasn’t pushing super hard or staring at my Garmin stats, just enjoying the fresh sea air, but I still managed to pick up some Strava PRs (including a couple of Top 5 times). Some days, there’s just no better way to spend and evening than outside on two wheels. #moremilesmoresmiles
* Photo critique: Yeah I know, I didn’t remove my light, saddle bag or water bottle and also forgot to line up valve stems properly. At least it’s in the big ring! ;-)
The Woking CC Metric Century Challenge is a monthly challenge that encourages club members to get out and ride their bikes further and more often! The rules are simple enough. Clock up one 100km (or longer) ride each month for 12 months. Virtual rides do not count. The ride can be as fast or as slow or as flat or as hilly or take as long as you like, as long as it’s one single ride completed in one day.
For some this may be a breeze, for others it will be a really tough slog. The idea behind the challenge was that it be accessible to as many club members as possible, getting more people out on their bikes for longer. It’s more about just getting out there every month!
The challenge runs for 12 consecutive months from December the previous year to November in the current year. Why not January to December you ask? It’s so the award badges can be given out at the Club Christmas Party, the number one social event of the year! I’m sad to be missing that for the first time this year…
Where will your 100km journey take you?
Steve H, the club’s Competition Secretary has done a sterling job of keeping the challenge going and promoting it to many more members this year. I’ve recently ticked off my November 100km to complete the dozen, so I’m looking forward to receiving my badge of honour to take pride of place alongside last year’s finishers badge!
How is it October already?!?! It’s been a big 2016 of changes for me and this year seems to have flown by at rocket ship pace. It feels like only last week I was cycle commuting through Surrey in minus 5 degree C winter darkness. It’s about time I got some summer.
Daylight savings kicked in here in the south today. The clocks went forward an hour overnight so that means those long summer evenings are on their way. Hopefully there’ll be plenty of opportunities for an after-work cycle or two. It’s definitely time to build up those miles again!
Oh and a big shout out to my girl Elz (The Lonely Cyclist) who had a big off on the road last week. Rest up, heal quick and see you back on two wheels soon!