This week we have done our final short and long training sessions. As both of these were not stop training sessions - I was not able to take many photographs. I think we saw about 10 herons or at least the same heron ten times. We have been worried about being fit enough for the journey due to the very hot weather. As all of our cycling group are under the age of 18 - we could not train in 30 degrees. Some of the teenagers went in to their local gym to train in the air-conditioned environment, others have taken to getting up very early or going out much later. I took a few days off during the heat and paid for it during later training sessions.
As part of this exercise was ‘decision making’ and ‘team leading’ skills for some of the older lads, it is they who have decided that we are ‘a go’ on the 21st August. The weather looks good for cycling.
We have had a few drop outs, one learner has had a number of acute asthma episodes over the very hot spell and so everyone concerned has agreed - not this time. This summer, we have had three learners who have had severe reactions to wasp’s stings. One of these was to join us but he has only just got out of hospital. After what has happened he needs to rest for some time. Although we know both are very disappointed, we also know they will be following us on the map and I will update them as we go along. And we have had two teenagers who thought they were fit enough not to do any of the training and have found that in fact they were not that fit - not fit enough to keep up with this old lady at any rate. Sadly, they have decided not to join us on the day but have wished us all the best.
So, on the day we will have our youngest, aged 9, who has joined us for all the training sessions (We are putting in place as a precaution - a support vehicle who will follow us along the route to pick him up just in case he can’t make it. When I last spoke to him - he was determined to do) The oldest excluding me will be 14 years old. We have a support vehicle loaded up with everything we need meeting us at points along the route where the road and the Downs Link met.
Our 43-mile bike ride along the Downs link from Brighton to Guildford will be raising money for Action for Carers Surrey. (For more information about this fantastic organization, visit their website: https://www.actionforcarers.org.uk/) This charity supports carers to look after family, partners or friends who are ill, frail or have a disability. The care they provide is unpaid.
To donate visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Orchard-training