Not to be

This Sunday I should have been cycling from Manchester to Blackpool and back totalling 120 miles with a few friends but thanks to Covid 19 the event has been postponed until July 2021.

To be quite honest I think I bit off a little more than I could chew in doing it “there and back” but it’s something i’ve always wanted to do. Over the years i’ve ridden 100 miles in a day but the thought of that extra 20 miles and just over another hour in the saddle did fill me with dread. What it also did was motivate me to lose weight for the ride and get out and put the miles in on my days off.

The ride itself is run by Bike Events and is a sponsored bike ride from Salford Quays to South Promenade in Blackpool, 62 miles or so. It’s usually run for the Christie Cancer hospital in Manchester and riders tend to fundraise for all different cancer charities as I have done in the past.

Normally I would be welcomed at the finish line by my family but this years plan was to arrive in Blackpool, have a break and some food then cycle back the way we came! It’s just one of those things i’ve wanted to do and can say i’ve done it.

I often need to book on some organised rides in the year purely as a motivation to get the miles in. All too often if there is nothing to train for I end up not clocking up the miles and my fitness suffers.

Once I had booked onto the event I took to the bathroom scales to find that lockdown had not been kind. During the months of March, April & May I had eaten poorly taking advantage of the nice weather having numerous bbqs but also drinking a lot of alcohol too which tends to be when I put weight on. Beer especially piles the pounds on me and I have to cycle 2-3 times per week to keep that weight off.

So I decided to lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks to be down to 14st 7lbs by the time I rode to Blackpool. Despite a holiday in between this time, I have managed to hit my target but what for? Now there is no event on Sunday, I will have to be careful not to lose my motivation to keep going.

Hopefully 2021 allows me to sign up for and participate in several organised rides. I already have the Blackpool (and back), Manchester 100 miler and Tour de Manc (60 mile) rides in my calendar so fingers crossed we are free to ride those.

Ideally I would love to be 14st exact but I know this will not be easy if at all possible. Last year my wife & I joined a local slimming world group. I lost 1.5 stone in 12 weeks and got down to 14st 3.5lbs but then lost interest and stopped going, then the weight slowly returned. My wife continued going for a full 12 months and lost 2.5 stone in weight. Realistically, I would be happy at 14st 7 but think I could probably get down to 14st 3lb. Unless I really was disciplined with my food and exercise (which I know I am not) I could hit 14st but it is staying at that weight which is difficult. I also want to enjoy my life, food and drink too and get a happy balance hence 14st 3lb would be great.

So come Sunday I will be gutted I’m not on my bike riding through Lancashire in the sunshine. Typical how now the ride is off the weather is looking ideal for the day with sunshine and temperatures of 20c. I would guarantee had the ride gone ahead there would have been rain around. Ah well, there’s always next year.