Monday, 30 November 2009

And Away We Go!

7th November, here at last and the start (or end?) of the journey. 7.05am train down to Euston, listening to the days plans of a group of London "first timers", the vision of them racing up and down Oxford St. trying to find Harrods(!), getting off at the "next" tube stop, as one of them didn't manage get on at the last station, gave me something to smile about and passed the time away. In no time at all, only two stops on the way, I was heaving my bag through the Euston Station concourse and heading for a "Costa" has it seamed I had time in hand.

Meeting new people for all of us can be a little nervy, 32 of them all at once, knowing you have no escape for the next 9 days can make you question your sanity, however the 11.30 meet at Heathrow in no time at all seamed an age ago, as by the time we hit baggage check it felt that we had known each other for years as witty banter broke down the barriers and any remaining nerves.

Saturday, passed mainly in a blur of departure lounge daydream, in flight reading and dozing as, by the time we cleared the airport and stepped into Cairo, Sunday was upon us. The night drive across the city had us all staring out of the coach windows taking in the sights of a "new" city at night. The hotel was reached and the first challenge, who was your room mate! As on previous trips, I was lucky and was paired with Andy with who I shared many a laugh! although approaching 1 am we all elected to try some food, the fear of the rations ahead giving us added reason for getting good food while we could get it. (as it happened the food was great all week)

Time for the first of the weeks "moments", and it fell to me, well me and Andy. Wondering through the Hotel trying to find our room, Andy laughed that "wouldnt it be funny if we all had double beds", sideways look from me and a quick "dont be daft they will be twin rooms, always are"............. what do you do, call reception and complain demanding to be moved to a twin room or get your sleeping bags out and bed down.......... we opted for the latter! Now this in its self is not a major problem....... sitting at breakfast and telling the whole party was!, no matter how much I kicked under the table, Andy continued to give a blow by blow account!

Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Just your average week............

Still working on the blow by blow Sinai account, hope to "post" at the weekend, for now a picture of myself atop Mount Sinai.

Back on the bike at the weekend, managing a short ride in the wind and rain on Sunday morning followed by a pleasant ride to work on Monday. The home leg however, was not so good though with a heavy headwind for half the route making for hard work.

Monday, 16 November 2009


Well, what a challenge!, what a group.

The ride is done, the Mt. climbed!, a really great adventure made all the greater by the people sharing it, some with some tear bringing reasons to be there, some just wanting a challenge.

some £50,000 plus was raised, with blood, (lots of) sweat & tears along the way, sleeping under stars, chased by rabid dogs, target pratice for the local pre-teens - sticks & stones - and many more tales, and lots of photos.

A more detailed up date to follow!

Friday, 6 November 2009

Its Now!

So its here, in 24 hours time I will be in the departure lounge, ready to jet off.

If time / access allows I will try and update during the week, if not a full report upon my return.

Thanks to all have have supported me, with extra special thanks to Sally - X, who I will miss loads!

Friday, 30 October 2009

One Week!

One week, just one, so think training can be pulled back and give in to some good old "Carbo Loading" (eating like a pig in my case!)

Think a trial pack this weekend, money- check, suncream - check, Passprt - check, Imodium - check "Sudacream" - check... etc... to make sure all present and correct, maybe a ZipVit trip for some extra ZV energy, a good ride on "the Chase" Sunday, Spin Tuesday.............. and the Rugby Club Sportsmans Evening Thursday - opps!

Monday, 12 October 2009

The Big Count Down!

12 months ago I had no idea I would be embarking on this trip, and there are times when I forget why I undertook it, and when reality dawns I wish I wasn't, because then I would not need to mark the passing of Steve. We could still be seeing each other a couple of times a year making the usual promises of "I will call you" " we must do dinner", safe in the knowledge the cycle would continue with no need to fit "more" in, God, how one call can change so many lives in so many ways.

Under 4 weeks to go, September`s miles where down and I"missed" the organised training weekend, but with a couple of long rides planned I feel OK regarding the actual ride, the funds however are not looking good and I risk becoming a "Pain" in some quarters!

I have booked in for some Spin classes at the gym , these seam the "in thing", watch this space.....

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

and so it goes on..................

Mid point of September, training going ok, still 36 miles round trip to work 4 out of 5 days, whilst getting in some "bigger" rides at the weekend, 50 + road miles last weekend including a 12% climb, the weekend before a good few hours on Cannock Chase, damped somewhat by double puncture on way home!

The sponsorship is still lagging somewhat, but have "upped" my activity on this front and hope to see the fruits of my labour soon.

Plan to call and see the twins this week as have been a little neglectful on this front.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

And that was August

So August has been and gone a good mileage of 600 +, mainly on the road with a small amount of "mountain biking", my "trail" skills where never that good, but 2 hours on Sunday saw me all over the place, oh well a quick blast around the Winnlatter Trails on Friday morning should see me back in the saddle!

The funds look like they have stalled somewhat, pledges made are hard in converting, and another mail out is on the out!

We have the Training Weekend at the end of the month, so will be good to meet up with my fellow "trippers", lets hope for some sun.

Monday, 24 August 2009

Miles and Miles......................

Hello All, the last two weeks have seen an increase in the miles, Monday - Friday 10th - 14th August was 200 and 17th - 21st 236, with NO weekend riding at all, apart from shop / allotment trips, so feeling ok legs wise now. The approching weekend is a long one so am hoping to get a good mountain bike ride in, with the following weekend in the Lakes helping on Race the Sun, chance for a little Lakeland ride maybe!!

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

July, where did that go?

Seams hard to believe its August already!, the year is flying by (must be an age thing!) July came and went so quick I am finding it hard to remember what I did, must have been the two weeks leave I had. During the Holiday I only manged to get on the bike a couple of times, but found Mondays ride in, well easier for the rest.

Fundraising is, well should be reaching a close, but I find myself a little under half way so I need to put in some effort!

Tuesday, 23 June 2009


Lovely day, and up too late to come in on the bike! opps..............

Just a bit of an up date really, thanks to all who have sponsored, to all who have promised some - now would be a good time!

Looks like I am to add the BHF Dark Peak Challenge to the "warm up" events. Starting from Edale the Extreme Route takes in 34 miles of ".....tough climbs and fast technical descents ...... conquer this and you`ll have earned "Elite" status.........." so should be a nice morning out then?

Also planned a trip around the Mary Towneley Loop. Lady Mary Towneley fought to hightlight the state of the county`s bridleways and was a campaigner for the The Pennine Bridleway. The route is approx 47 miles taking approx 7 - 8 hours, I will post the chossen date and if your free why not join me?

Links for your interest -

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Diary of a Commuting Cyclist

As some of you maybe aware, I can now truly call myself a cyclist commuting a round trip of 36 each (most!) working days. "Is he mad?" I hear you cry, no........., well ok a little but you knew that anyway!

I have to say that in the time I have been riding in every day (I had been riding in once a week since Christmas) so far it has been fairly dry, if a little windy!, manging around 17mph average. It is a great way to start the day, plenty of time to think of the day ahead, and watching the world pass by, although - it is really necessary to get that close to me in your "flash" BMW, I am sorry but it does seam that BMW drivers have to see how close they can get to me without actually pushing me ditchwards.

So far, one (serious) close shave, when seeing me pedalling towards him, a nice gentleman decided pulling out at a cross roads was ok, causing me to take avoiding action and use far too much brake pad in the progress!

Again, as you may be aware, I have a cycle trailer which I use when going to the allotment, a challange has been laid down regarding me making a delivery for work with the trailer - I need to think about this as I am guessing a doubling of traveling time!, I will let you know what happens!

Friday, 15 May 2009

Catch up........................

Hello All,

Couple of weeks since last post, sorry!

Sponsorship is again on the move, which is good!, looks like could be close to a 1/3 by next week, so still some way to go.

Training...... the "company car" "went" last week, 8th May, so this week has seen me cycling to work and back, a total of 180 miles covered at around an 18mph average, I managed to avoid the much of the rain, but it has been a windy ride most days!

Four weeks to go until the Marin Roughride, so I need to find and get up some hills in the next couple of weeks, but think I will give myself Saturday off!

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Thunder Run - Not Much Thunder

Saturday 25th saw me "racing" in the Thunder Run, a 10k "off road" event held at Catton Park. The 10 O`Clock start was preceeded by a heavy downpour which made for a slippy surface and just before the 1k mark I ended up face down, and after a slow rise to my feet a painful ankle as a result! My target, as "off road" was sub 1 hour, and after jogging the very nice route, having to walk some of the steeper down hills to protect my ankle, I finished in 56mins, so was quite happy!

The event was well organised and as part of the Enduro Six weekend was plenty happening, have a look at for some pictures.

Thursday, 23 April 2009


Great how good the sun makes you feel! even work feels a little easier!

As I write this, it is St Georges Day, quite apt as I find myself in a battle with the great Dragon that is Fund Raising!, I am currently in the middle of addressing letters far and wide and revisiting "old" friends as my figure needs a good boost. A few ideas I had haven't proven to be "goers" so back to the drawing board.

Two days until the Thunder Run 10k at Catton Park, part of Pat Adams "Enduro 6" weekend, which sees lots of Mountain Biking as well as the run, the venue is just of the A38 between Burton & Lichfield, start time 10.30am on Saturday if you need a laugh!

(oh, Unicycle - still not managed even a revolution!)

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Onwards & Upwards

What a great weekend, good weather and generally a "goodie". Good Friday saw me "cave in" to my daughters birthday request - we now have a puppy -I must be mad!, managed a good run though. Saturday was family day and also first "ride" on Lidl`s finest unicycle - this is going to be fun. Sunday saw a gang of six walk up and around Kinder Scout a great walk and really nice day, but as busy as I had seen it in years.
Monday, up and out on Mountain Bike and a couple of hours "hills" on Cannock Chase, must take camera next week as guessing the Bluebells will be out in force, after ride and puppy training a quick unicycle lesson - still going nowhere - then to allotment.

Hope your weekend was as good!

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Spring has Sprung

Hello, two weeks since my last update, where did they go! Seams not had time to do much....... Parties, Gigs, Allotment..........the list goes on, but have managed to get more cycling in and hoefully can use the Easter break to kick start both the training and more importantly the fund raising as still a way to go.

Monday, 30 March 2009


Hello, a quick update. Two weeks on from the 1/2 marathon and looking to get running again as this week just under 4 weeks until the 10k, uping the cycle distance / time and have ventured out with the a local Triathlon Club on their Sunday ride. (oh, in two weeks put on 4lbs)

Fundraising has slowed up a bit so need to spend some time getting this back on track, as (only) just over 1/5 so far.

Anyways the light nights are upon us which will make us feel a lot better no doubt!

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Stafford 1/2 Marathon

15th March 2009 - Stafford 1/2 Marathon 2.03.26
Missed my "sub" 2 hour target, but took 6 mins off last years time. Here I am in my "home made" BHF / AFC shirt which is very RED! This was at about the 2 mile mark and feeling not too bad!
As a race, very well organised and lots of support, even one guy offering Free Cider!, with a warm day to boot. The event ended on a sad note though which puts my 3.26 over time in perspective. After just finishing a 47 year old man suffered a heart attack (I dont know full details so sorry if I have got this wrong) and died later in hospital, am sure all thoughts with his family and friends. As with Steve, and so many others, taken before time and leaving such sadness..................... so live today like its your last, have no regrets, after all, the saddest words? "if only I`d......................."

Thursday, 12 March 2009


A quickie - the online sponsorship, which I thought was very simple, you pick my name from a list, and then away you went with card details etc........... ARRGHH.. they have changed it and the option to select the person you wish to sponsor (ME) appears near the end, after you have entered your card details etc -

Names are selected from -


I would like to support - (select from dropdown box) Simon Miller

Not half as user friendly in my humble view!, CAF claim this is better system?

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Hearts First Walk - Calke Abbey

Sunday 1st March and the BHF "Hearts First" walk with Rachel, Helen and "gang". Rachel is my late friends wife, Helen Godmother to the his twins, Matthew & Samuel, and out of all my events planned I thought this could be the hardest from a emotional point of view, but with smiles warmed by the sun I shouldnt have worried. The gang of six set off (after a small delay for press photos) in the snake of 750 people there as we were, in a small way to remember and be thankful, for those who we have lost, but more importantly for those we still have.

(I hope she dosn`t mind me saying) but Rachel continues with such strengh and courage, I know supported by June, Helen and all of Steve`s family, but she deserves all the good luck in the world now and I hope among your own daily stress and strife you can spare a thought and send it her way.

The walk, 10 miles in three hours, which we were all pleased with and we have to thank all concerned with a well run event.

Please see link -

The following link is part of the walk we did -

This week in history - 1st - The Bank 0f England Nationalised - 1946, 2nd - First test flight of Concorde - 1969, 2nd - Jon Bon Jove born - 1962, 3rd - Oil discovered in Saudi Arabia - 1938, 7th -The BBC News broadcast in colour for the first time - 1968.

Monday, 23 February 2009

More Running..........

More running, well jogging!, last weeks 2 hour 10min off road effort was great fun actually, if some what tough. I worked out with my "map skills" approx 14 miles so am hopefull my "Sub" 2 hour "1/2" is on target - 1 hour 59mins 59secs counts in my book! I keep teeling myself that all the running is a good platform for the cycling to come, which I hope to start in earnest this week (?) The sponsorship appears to have a hit a wall so will be reviewing my tactics on this front in a hope to kick start the £`s (in fact i sponsored more than I got sponsored last week!)

Sinai artical in March issue of National Geographic -

This week in history - 26th - Bank of England issues first £1.00 note - 1797, 26th - Barings Bank Collapes (Nick Leeson) - 1995, 27th - The British Labour Party founded - 1900.

Thursday, 12 February 2009


Thanks to Warren Bailey for his continued support of my fundraising. Founder of ZipVit, ( a supplier of Vitamins, Minerals and Sports Nutrition, Warren, along with wife Veronica, is no stranger to Charity Events, as a past participant of Race the Sun and a London to Paris cycle (in support of Action Medical Research, for who he has raised many £1000.00`s) I think he understands both the physical effort and that required to raise the sponsorship. .

2009 is an exciting year for ZipVit as they are sponsors of the CERVELO cycling team who riders inculde Olympic Gold Medal winners - Kirstin Armstrong & Brett Lancaster along with the winner of the 2008 TOUR DE FRANCE Carlos Sastre (pictured) and British riders Daniel Fleeman, Daniel Lloyd, Emma Pooley (2nd 2008 Olympics), Jeremy Hunt & Roger Hammod (Bristish Champion)..

SO if you need any Vitamins, Minerals or Sports Nutrition, can I ask that you take a look at the website - youll be in good company!

Monday, 9 February 2009

Suitable desert training - NOT!

So, a cycle ride through the Sinai, Egypt, hot, sweaty, dusty, dry......... the images roll on, so training at the moment with more layers than your average "pass the parcel" parcel hardly seams appropriate with fingers so cold that I am sure I have frost bite, but two hours "off road" in the white stuff yesterday was, I have to say, great fun and I want be too sad if we get some more to play in!
Thanks to all who have sponsored thus far, I will update the list as I get the statement from AFC.

(oh, the photo is from Italy a little while ago!)

This week in history - 8th - Mary Queen of Scots executed - 1575, 11th - Nelson Mandela is freed after 27 years - 1990, 12th - Lady Jane Grey beheaded - 1554.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Cold Run

Oh, its cold, its snowing................ "come on you`ll soon be back" that little voice says, 2 hours 10minutes later I do indeed "crawl" back!, feeling a little uneasy, then I reviewed my "fuel" intake for the day - 2 wheatabix, two slices of toast, a bit of chocolate - no wonder I was flagging a bit, must remember to have a bit more on board next time!
1st February the year is already flying by and the list of events is getting closer, 28 days until the 10 mile Heart Foundation Walk at Calke Abbey, 42 days until the Stafford 1/2, 83 days until Thunder Run 10k, 133 days until Roughride and 279 until Sinai Ride.
This week in History - 2nd - Sky TV plc launched - 1989, 4th - Facebook the social networking site is founded - 2004, 5th - Royal Greenwich Observatory begin boardcasting the hourly time signals, the BBC "pips" -1924, 6th - Munich Air Disaster 8 Man. Utd. Players lost 1958.

Monday, 26 January 2009

The bikes back.................

Not that it had ever gone away!, but as the "main" event is a cycling one I thought it time to get back in the saddle, so gear all set Friday night, lights charged and alarm set bright and early, had`t figure on a frost though, so I have to admit it was a slightly shorter ride than planned - roll on next weekend.

This week in History - 27th - The Doors release their debut Album - 1967, 31st - Guy Faukes executed - 1606, 31st - Family Guy debut show - 1999.

Friday, 16 January 2009

and so it goes on................

Week three, Training going ok so far and the sponsorship has started to drift in - thank you.

It appears that a local "off road" 10k - the Thunder Run at Catton Park - is also for the British Heart Foundation, so it may be I have another event to fit in, will keep you posted!

This week in History - 19th The last Beetle leaves VW`s Emden plant - 1978, 20th - English Parliment holds its first meeting in the Houses of Parliment - 1265, 22nd - Apollo 5 lifts off - 1968.

Monday, 12 January 2009

so it begins

So as at 11th January I have 9 weeks until the Stafford 1/2, and can currently drag my 11 stone 10lbs frame at a steady jog for 45mins - I have a lot to do!

Last years time was 2 hours 8 mins. I really would like to get under 2 hours, between me and that - just hard work I guess.
This week in History - 12th National Trust is founded in 1895, 15th - Elizabeth 1 is crowned Queen in 1559

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Sinai Cycle

Hi, your here so I guess you have donated, or are about to!

In November 2009 I am to take part in a fund raising event to help the British Heart Foundation (along with the other charities HEART UK, echo, & Cardiac Risk in the Young)
The event is a 420km cycle in Sinai, with a little trek (4-5 hours)up Mt. Sinai its self thrown in for good measure! "Trek day" includes a 115km cycle - guess that's long a day then!

In the past I have taken part in other "Charity Treks" - Nepal, Peru and Morocco were my fund raising has totalled some £6,000. I also help on Charity Events in the UK - for Regain "Snowdon Challenge" and for Action Research "Race the Sun", events which raise in excess of £75,000 each.

In the past I have done events because "they where there", this time I feel compelled after the loss of my friend Steve Goacher and it is for him that I am to undertake the challenge.

During the year I am to take part in other (Training ?) events -

1st March - 10mile BHF walk at Calke Park
15th March - Stafford 1/2 Marathon
25th April - Thunder Run 10k - Catton Park
14th June - the Marin Rough Ride - off road Cycle in Wales some 75km/7,000ft.
7 - 15th November - Sinai Cycle
My challenge - quite clear - yours? my fundraising target is £2500.00 so, I am asking quite nicely, your challenge is to donate! easily done through at
Simlpy scroll to my name from the list, under "to support" and follow instructions, or a good old fashioned cheque - any donation no matter how small (or large) will be gratefully accepted and I thank you in antcipation.

so keep an eye on the blog where I will try and keep you updated with my progress (or lack of it!) and also my fund raising totals.