Monday, 27 January 2014

Pedal for Pounds 5 - My biggest challenge yet

I am a fat weak punter. 

There is no denying this. My current weight is a shocking 90kg. 

Anyone who has read this blog for a while will know I am a Huddersfield town fan. What you may not know is I do not like Arsenal. 

The reason for this is simple ... family. 
My Grandma on my dads side before she died had a partner called Ron. He served with my Grandad on my Mums in the second world war but lost touch after the war. They eventually met each other again when one of my Aunts was getting married and my Grandad invited Ron along. 
He then met my Grandma at the wedding and things clicked. They quickly found they wanted to spend all their time together. 
There was one issue. He lived in Islington. He was a gooner and cobbler making shoes for the royal family amongst others. So they spent half there time living in Islington under the shadow of Highbury and half there time in Huddersfield enjoying the clean air and quiet streets. 

Growing up almost every year we would live in Rons house in London for two weeks as a summer holiday. I grew up joking with them about Arsenals troubles. So it was a jovial dislike. 

Time went on and both my Grandma and 'Uncle' Ron passed away.
I have not been to London for any great period in years and not been to Islington for longer. This brings me to the title of this blog.

The pedal for pounds is a long bike ride for charity organised by Huddersfield Town football club. They run what is called the keep it up campaign. This raises money for Yorkshire air ambulance and Huddersfield's academy with 50% of all money raised going to these good causes. 
The bike ride this year is from the emirates stadium to Town ground. It is roughly 250 miles. They have called it the Chapman trail because of the almost century old connection between the two clubs. P4P5

I have wanted to do the bike ride for a number of years now but always found an excuse. This year being a start in Islington I felt the time was right and my school friend Josh who I do not see often enough wanted to do this also. So we both bit the bullet and have joined up. 

My issues were many:
I did not own a bike
I had not ridden a bike this millennium
I had never ridden more than around 1 mile
I had never ridden a road bike
The bike ride is in April

So I now have a road bike and have done my first over 5k bike ride today. I am slowly building confidence and learning how to ride a bike again. It is a slow process. 
I have 3 months to get fit enough for 3 80 mile days in a row.

The cause is one I believe in. I fully support football youth development and I think the Yorkshire air ambulance is a vital service we should all support especially climbers/walkers and mountaineers in Yorkshire as one slip and their service could be the difference between life and death.

I will be blogging and tweeting my progress with training and will blog after the event.
If you would like to sponsor me or find more details see my just giving page here: or contact me via e-mail etc.
Or donate via this button:

JustGiving - Sponsor me now!

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Er What Now?

Stereotypical start to blog ..
I have not blogged in a while.
I blogged once in November and before that it was October. Maybe I should just stop?

I don’t know why I write this blog really. It’s just something to do I guess?

Since my last blog I have hit a wall in my climbing. I was ecstatic to tick flying arête but then I realised I had nothing left I wanted to do.

Open Projects:

Old Lace 6C – never really put much effort into this one. Maybe time I did?
7A left of holmeward bound – Hit the top jug with my fingers tips but foot popped before I could latch it.
Yendor 6B+ - Wanted to try this for a while but need a good spot and confidence on top move above the block.

Remergence 6B – Was very close until it rained 18 months ago. Not been back
Cleo’s Arete 5+ - Beautiful should go first try when I go back not been on it in 2½ years
Tiger 6B – Just knacky and destroys skin

Not to be taken away 6C – frustrating times working the first move. Is it really only eng 6a?

Other bits and pieces.

Crucifix arête 6A+
Crucifix traverses 6A+ / 6C+
Pebble Wall 6C
None of these make me desperate to return to the crag this minute Like how I was with flying arête.

Abroad I have unfinished business:
La Surplomb de lepraux 6A L’Elephant Font
La Marie Rose 6A Bas Cuvier Font
Arabesque 7a Arab steps El Chorro

These I am keener to get done but there are obvious more challenging factors involved in these routes (i.e. the distance)

I also want to go see Gary and Mel at the Olive Branch in El Chorro. But the fact I want to see them more than I want to climb there suggests to me I might prefer to go somewhere else.

I really want to go to Kalymnos but it is looking pricey. I also fancy an adventure somewhere. I want to go somewhere a little more unusual like Ireland, Sardinia etc.

I guess I just want to do so much that I have not really picked my trips for this year. Last year I had my year planned out. March sport climbing with Nik and Si. September Squamish. Christmas Font!

This made training and planning easy. I need something to focus on or my willingness to train disintegrates faster than tissue paper in a fire.

Anyway these musing are bollox.

I barely climbed outside in December but I went to font over new years. As previously it was amazing and frustrating. We had an awkward time climbing around the damp but we climbed dry rock every day which at the time of year was great. Still no 6 climbed in font though

Here are some pictures from Craig Bailey. Check out his flickr account here: Rockjedi