Lee Patmore: Update

Sorry that there has been no updates since the start of the ride, but getting a decent phone signal for the internet hasn't been easy, and there have been some long days where we have just crashed out early.

We have made it to Chavasse House VC Recovery Centre. There will be some posts going over the early part of the ride, but we will try to keep updates coming online as much as possible.

Rest day tomorrow for the whole team and then on Wednesday we are riding to Brentwood Centre and will be arriving there about 1800hrs.

Look out for more updates now we have a better signal and better access to wifi points.

Lee Patmore: COUNTDOWN TO "KRANKING DAY"!

The latest news from Lee Patmore as he prepares for the cycle ride from John O'Groats to Land's End.

Its Thursday 13th April, Count down timer states 17 days and 8 hours until Kranking Day arrives.

This coming week I have a ride with Steve and one of our sponsors Carol from AC Goathams & Son based in Kent. So there will be more on that in my next post. Apart from that, should be some weekday rides, but as yet, who knows what next week will throw at me.

This past week has been good. Last night was a 2 hour Wheelchair Rugby Taster Session at the Brentwood Centre, so that was all arms, and yes, I can feel last nights efforts today.

Cycling wise, I had a couple of decent rides and the distance is now becoming a decent improvement as to how it has been. Friday 7th April was 26.6 miles in 2hr 19mins with an avg speed 11.5mph. I then did another ride the very next day, Saturday 8th April 20miles, 1hr 41mins an avg speed 11.8mph.

Overall, I’m pleased with progress and this coming Saturday will be a test of hills as Steve finds so many of them in Kent. So we shall see how well I have managed to get my fitness back to my normal standard.

Mentally, coping well. But I’m fully aware that my current furthest distance is 26.6 miles, which is very short of my 40-60 miles per day. But those miles wont be alone, I will have some great company, lots of support and encouragement.

Lee Patmore: 24 days and counting down

As of today, I have 24 days until I turn the first turn and start my journey of 1,400 miles. Each week I want more progress for the next week, but still feel that what I have achieved isn’t enough. It is one hell of a mental battle as well as a physical battle whilst managing my disability and illnesses.

Sunday 2nd April I managed to do my best distance of recent training. 26.6 miles in 2hr 13mins with an average speed of 11.9mph. Trouble is, I think I could have done another 6.5 miles (1 lap of my training route). I could have pushed it to possibly another 6.5 miles after that, but the last lap would have been slow and reduced my time. The reason for not getting at least one more lap was due to running out of time, and to be honest, I wasn’t actually expecting to be able to get the distance in I did, let alone more.

Next week there are going to be more changes. To help me with my challenge and journey Help for Heroes have help get some upgrades to my Handcycle. It will be going Di2, yep, electric gearing. This will be a massive help, it will mean coming off the cranks less to change gear, and less time reducing cadence to ensure I hit the gear change lever accurately so it changes gears correctly. Currently, the Front Cassette (rear cassette on a normal bike) is controlled by one lever. A short push on the lever changes the gears one way, a slightly (and very slightly) longer push changes the other direction. In a nut shell, coming round a corner, needing to change gears to a lower gear often results in me changing in the wrong direction into a harder gear which then basically stops me dead. Then I have the issues to get from a harder gear, into a lower gear to be able to restart my accent on the hill. The new Di2 system will remove these issues and changing gears will be more accurate and simpler, meaning I can keep on the power into the hills, and not be stopped dead in my tracks keeping momentum going and no reduced speed due to gear changing issues.

Only issue next week will be, actually climbing the hills! I can’t worry or blame it on gear changes, the only issue (which I admit is a problem anyway) is my ability to attack the hills. One good thing is, now I can start to look at hill training more, and have no worries about problems with gear changing. This should remove much of the mental battle I have with hills.

Yes this is a very physical battle and challenge, but it will only be achievable with the mental battle winning. This is so much more than being fit and ready. It’s about believing I can complete it, that 40 – 60 miles per day is possible. Along with knowing, this isn’t going to be easy, it is going to really hurt and knacker me, it’s not going to be all fun and laughs, it’s going to be yet more pain and battling my body and its current limits than I currently deal with. But, it will be fun (maybe not at the time) and what a sense of achievement it will be.

Yes many can do this journey and probably a lot easier than me, but not many with Fibromyalgia would even think of doing such a challenge, let alone actually plan to make it a reality. My other issues will also play their part in challenging me as the journey progresses along, but it will be the Fibro that will be my biggest enemy during this, and this is going to be both one tough physical, but more importantly a mental battle and a mental battle of self-belief.

Steve Craddock: The main focus of my training has been climbing

At the time of writing this blog we are only 26 days away from turning the first
pedal stroke as myself and Brian Kilgannon cycle 1400 miles in support of our
fellow Band of Brother Lee Patmore. It was 18 months ago that Lee asked me to
accompany him on the challenge of his life riding from John O Groats to Lands
End. As we all live many miles apart, all of our training has been individual
and focussed around what we will face daily as we make our way down the spine of
Scotland and England.

As i have completed many multi day cycling events, i know i am happy with long
days in the saddle. However this ride will include over 63000 ft of climbing and
requires specific training. The main focus of my training has been climbing and
so i have been mainly riding hill repeats, that is finding a hill which takes me
approximately 10 minutes to climb and then after warming up gently for 30
minutes i climb the hill 5 times with 5 minute breaks between each effort. Some
days i will do these efforts in a very light gear and spin up the hill and other
days i basically do weight training by being in the heaviest gear i can manage
and complete the session except this time allowing 10 minutes between each
effort, to allow full recovery before climbing again. At the end of the session
i ride steadily home to ensure i warm down correctly.

Mixed in with the training has been sorting out the admin for the ride as well
as generating press coverage. I am lucky to have secured sponsorship in the form
of a Motorhome from the Sun newspaper and recently we spent a few hours with
them having our photos taken in preparation for the launch of the Sun's
coverage of the challenge.

Just a reminder that if you wish to sponsor us you can do by going
tohttp://www.ourcycle2recovery.co.uk/ or texting RTOR 99 to 70070

This year as well as taking part in this epic challenge i am also organising my
own sportive to be held on the 24 June, organising and taking part in a 3 day
210 mile Great Kent Cycle Ride, the 100 mile Dawn Raid and of course my 9th
BBBR. This will make a total of 2200 miles i will be this year in support of
Help for Heroes.

Onwards and Upwards (but mainly upwards).

Brian Kilgannon: 800 miles on the simulator

Not been a bad month just past 800 miles on the simulator found some of the hills hard going. From Newcastle down starting to flatten out which makes it harder going because you have to keep pedaling.

Days to the start are getting fewer. The 1st May only round the corner. Everything seems to be coming together now. Hopefully the weather will change for the better.

Both bikes are now back together and up and running. Would like to thank my mate Nick Keat for burning the midnight oil to get them finished. Lee is up and at it again and training hard. Steve now doing his impression of a chicken on heat. It's been a lot of hard work but it's beginning to pay off. Brian

Lee Patmore: 30 more days to train

As of the countdown, I have stacks of time, a whole 30 days to train. Where the past 17 months have gone since I first talked to Steve about this ride, is anyone’s guess.

Last week I didn’t write a blog post. It was an okay week, but nothing special and certainly nothing inspiring me to write a blog post. This week, again, it’s been less training, but okay. Monday 27th March, I completed my best distance for a while. I managed just under 20miles (19.98miles by my Garmin). So those of you with Strava would have seen this. To be honest it was the only ride, but with a few body weight bits at home. My forearms ached like hell. Tuesday I was okay, felt fine and was really tempted to go for another ride. Knowing that I should rest for 24-48hrs after completing such a distance for the first time in a while, I decided for once to follow my own advice. Tuesday evening, it hit me, my forearms hurt like hell. Had I gone for the ride I wanted to, I would have blamed it on that ride and been angry with myself for over doing things and ruining possibly the rest of the weeks training. Lucky enough, I know it was due to Monday, and that I didn’t over train, I did the right thing for once and took the rest period despite feeling great.

Emotionally, I’ve been up and down at times. The coming challenge really is starting to settle in. I know I can do this, how my body will react is something I’m just not thinking about at this stage.

I also found out that the journey isn’t actually downhill when starting in Scotland (John O’Groats). Steve told me, start at the top, then down and then a slightly less of a downhill to Lands End. If I had known this, I’d have told Steve to join me on a handcycle so he can suffer with me.

This coming week, should be good. I’ve not over done things, and giving myself good rest time. Yes, it’s less training, but it’s better training. I should be able to get those bigger rides in, and I should be able to ramp things up with each ride and see progress.

Steve Craddock: One month to go before we embark on our epic cycle ride

Now only one month to go before we embark on our epic cycle ride. Really just trying to tie up a few loose ends. We've been doing some press and really trying to get the word out about the challenge.

We are continuing our training to ensure we are ready for the rigours of the Challenge. One of the reasons for the ride is to commemorate the 10th year since Bryn Parry & Emma Parry along with several others decided to set up the charity, and what a difference we have made
in such a short time. £300m raised, 4 recovery centres built, Headley court swimming pool and gym facility completed. A little known fact is that we have donated £30 million to 60 partner charities who are also doing great work for our wounded, sick & injured. This charity really does do what it says on the tin. Our youngest beneficiary is 18 and our oldest is over 90 years of age. Got to say I'm excited but a little apprehensive about the challenge ahead. But know
that this is massively important to our brother Lee Patmore as he takes on the 1400 miles and 63000ft Of climbing on a handbike over the toughest terrain the UK can throw at us. Lee suffers with Fibromyalgia and is mainly confined to a wheelchair. He will be in pain and discomfort for the whole of our journey. But with myself and Brian Kilgannon as well as our support team Ryan Kilgannon, Mandy Nannyma Falloon and Duncan Griffiths we will get him to the end of the journey. Must also mention our sponsors, Sun Newspaper, Goatham's Carol Ford and GORE BIKE WEAR and GORE RUNNING WEAR for their unstinting support. I would also
like to thank our great friend and Patron Jodie Kidd who will be joining us for part of the ride. You can show your support by going to www.ourcycle2recovery.co.uk or you can text RTOR 99 to 70070 and donate some of your very hard earned money. Please could you spread the word amongst your friends. Thank you. Remember, they don't want your sympathy, just a #helpinghand will you give that #helpinghand?