We were joined by Dave from Avanti Cycling, a specialist cycling company established over a decade ago and who specialists in cycling training and delivering a wide range of course national and internationally.
We have learnt how to inspect and repair our bikes in preparation for our cycle from Brighton to Guildford in the rain. After weeks of sun and high temperatures we managed to schedule the day on the only day it rained continuously. Luckily, everyone who came were outside people, dressed appropriately and just got on with it under the gazebo.
We started with learning about the Alphabet Check for bikes: Air, Breaks, Chain, Cables, the Drop test, Direction adjustments, Dangers of dangle bits, Ends of handlebars, Frame, Forks, Gears, Handlebars, Inner tubes, Pedals, Rims, Seat Posts, Saddle, Suspension, Tools and how to use them, Tyres and Wheels. As we went through each check we learnt how to carry out the checks and what action to take to rectify the problem. Out of all the bikes present – only one bike was deemed not fit for purpose. Leg length in the turning of the peddles and saddle height being very important to long distance cycling. I will pass on the suggestion of a new bike is needed for that individual to mum and dad.
Repairing tyres was good fun and I learnt how to take of my bike wheel and how to put it back on with the gear system - something I didn’t know.
Part of the information we learnt in relations to our training was all about GORP – “Good old fashioned raisins and peanuts”. Dave our instructor kindly showed us how to make up (and eat of course) a training mix of mixed nuts and raisins with salted peanuts and minstrels. Jaffa cakes, Jelly babies, bananas and flapjacks where also covered. I think we will have enough energy to get to the end. With the knowledge, we now have - we will be able to customise these mixes to the individual. He also recommended that we drank squash rather than water to encourages ourselves to drink more on the day. The expensive sports drinks were rules out because of the expense and the fact that milk if far more effective at getting hydration and sugars back in to the blood stream. So, milk shakes will be going in the support vehicle on the day.
Finally, we covered the “must haves” for each individual cyclist and the list is: hat, glasses, cloves, cycling shorts with padding, sun cream, lip balm, tyre repair kit, bottle holder and water (squash) bottle, GORP, pump, bike locks, waterproofs and navigational tools. Dave also showed us individual first aid bags. On the day, I will be taking a large first aid pack in my panniers.
So, what is left for our big adventure is to get back out training. We have not been out recently because of the excessive heat. Hopefully, it will have cooled down and won’t be hitting the high 20’s and low 30’s for the rest of the month. If it does we will have to reschedule the actual event day. In the meantime, there was a suggestion of a two-day cycle with camping overnight – I am up for it!