Tag Archive for cycling charity challenges

Ops Manager Jo’s Rajasthan Cycle Diary, Day 7 !

The final 100km cycle from Ranthambore to Jaipur via Bhanderej took us through two days of new scenery and continued surprise for how unique this cycle really is. Venturing into parts of Rajasthan where the kids are running from their schools to the side of the road shouting ‘white man’ and ‘crazy’! Tourists in these parts just do not exist.

After a night Glamping, ‘another’ early rise for our Tiger safari in Ranthambhore National Park. With only 33 Tigers in a 1334 sq km of wild jungle scrub we knew that the chance of sighting the Tigers would be an exclusive one. With one sighting in Five we had a good chance but unfortunately for us footprints were as close as we were going to get.  This however was fine for all of us as we witnessed the courting walk of two antelope and were surrounded by deer, wild Boar and the chance to cruise around in a safari truck for a few hours before putting ourselves back on the bikes.

I have to say one of the highlights of the Challenge is the food, and that includes the packed lunches. The  food is delicious and there’s lots of it, but then the calories burnt on the cycle justifies the amount you can eat. With lunch on the bus we are transferred a short distance to the start of the cycle today where our amazing support team, Matt, Vineet, Naveen, Raju, Baba (our mechanic) and Bhola are waiting for us.

We soon discover that the Safari has made us a little sluggish and its taking some time to get the legs working. After 45km of better roads than yesterday’s Sahara Cycle, we cycle into the grounds of the Maharajas Palace. With a few more aches and pains today we have some real troopers; Sue has been an inspiration to us all this week, Moyra pushing through with an earache that’s taking its toll and Kate who’s knee is progressively being a pain. Vineet is going the extra mile and offers to push Kate up the hill which she declines and so seeing as the offer is out there, I choose to take it up instead(after all why not – Kate you missed out there !!.) Tonight sees many retire to their beds fairly early in preparation for the final days Challenge and evening Celebrations.

All raring to go after a good nights’ sleep for our final days Cycle we set off and within an hour we are starting to see some different scenery. With the sight of rolling hills we are a little apprehensive that we may have to cycle one of these but soon discover that the few days we have had with hills previously, we’ve dropped our gears and pushed through it. We are however relieved to know that we are cycling between the hills and enter a lush tropical environment where the roads are quiet and palm trees line the route with monkeys and cows lurking. We suddenly feel like we are cycling through a tropical paradise for our final 10km leg to the finish line. As we regroup for our finale km cycle we hear drums and clapping and as we approach up over the hill we are welcomed by Sian and Vasante and a team of drummers at the finishing line in Jaipur.

We celebrate at lunch with some relieved it’s over, others sad its come to an end, but  all proud of  what we have accomplished this week. Feasting once again on delicious food and a well-deserved beer we relax and reflect on the week. The afternoon brings shopping for some and a snooze and freshen up for others before we come to the end of our week with our last night dinner and dance. Six days cycling and 430km has flown by leaving us with new friends and lifelong memories. What an incredible experience of India. Thank You to Sian and the team for their Support and each individual in the group for being  team players and supporting each other through the challenge including the jokers (you know who you are ) who kept spirits high and continued to hide pieces of my bicycle at each break stop. You should all be very proud of yourselves.

You can also find out more about the challenge she is embarking on – The Rajasthan Tiger Challenge! – by clicking here. To see more information about the array of amazing challenges we have, please visit our website at www.charitychallenge.com. To keep up to date on all our challenge news, please subscribe to this blog. You can also enter your email address into the adjacent box to subscribe to our mailing list.

Ops Manager Jo’s Rajasthan Cycle Diary, Day 6!

Another early rise to head off just as the sun rises, although today we have a slightly warmer start to the day. Leaving from the Maharajas Palace, Matt picks up the pace from yesterday so we have a chance to warm up, and then throws us in at the deep end to ease the tenderness of our bodies form the day before. With Raju supporting the back of the group, he finds that on today’s cycle more of us seem to stay back and chat with him…maybe due to his charming personality, or perhaps it’s because  of yesterday gruelling ride taking its toll on our bodies and energy levels.

A busy start again through Karauli.  Today’s eye captures the excitement of the trucks with their colours and decorations. After our first snack break we hit some road works which had dumped the whole of the Sahara desert on our Rajasthan route! 20kms of cycling through soft deep sand was an unexpected experience. As the thighs start to burn, we slip and slide and the chatting comes to a halt as our concentration grows

10 hours in, and the afternoon becomes slightly more manageable on the road, we reach our Hotel in preparation for our Ranthambore Tiger Safari tomorrow morning. Another 5.30 am start for us – ouch! But maybe we will spot some Tigers?? Check tomorrow to find out…

So To hear more updates from Jo in India, stay tuned to this blog! Whilst she’s out in country, you can get in touch and follow Jo via her twitter feed at @jojowarren82

you can also find out more about the challenge she is embarking on – The Rajasthan Tiger Challenge! – by clicking here. To see more information about the array of amazing challenges we have, please visit our website at www.charitychallenge.com. To keep up to date on all our challenge news, please subscribe to this blog. You can also enter your email address into the adjacent box to subscribe to our mailing list.

Ops Manager Jo’s Rajasthan Cycle Diary, Day 5!

We finally arrived after our long haul 113km cycle at Hotel Bhanwarvilas Palace; the most magnificent Maharajas Palace. We checked in and checked out all the rooms with awe. A quick massage for some and sitting by the fire in the courtyard with the Maharajas Son reflecting on the day. 

Cycling from Keoladeo National Park to Karauli is where we really saw it all! With only 5 punctures and an eventful day for Caroline as seemingly events come in threes, a near miss with a moped, two punctures and to top it all off a locked wheel taking Rick out as locals were mesmerised by his bright orange top coming tumbling down! The experience today I have to say was a once in a lifetime. The mix of scenery and experiences on the road just kept on changing.

We set off as the sun rose at 6.30am to a cool crisp ride up a quiet road (as really who is up at 6.30?!). We really became thankful for being here in December. The evenings may be cool but the days are beautiful, fresh with a warm sun.

We soon  approached the first village to a run of kids high fiving as we cycle by, shouting ‘ta ta’, ’ta ta’ (bye bye) and busloads of school children  waving and taking pictures on their mobile phones(yes mobile phones).  Averaging 22km an hour yesterday, today after 3 hours of cycling, we have knocked that down to 18km as the roads turn from sand to rough tarmac, busy villages and plenty of road hog as well as buffalos and lazy dogs. Pot holes and then random speed bumps are also situated too frequently for our liking. Although India on the roads is chaos it’s an organised chaos and the vehicles, people and animals move at a crawl. So the need for speed bumps just beats me!! To overcome this, Vineet teaches us the bunny hop  – well tries to teach us, as we are not doing too well at it, but we still have 3 days to go to practise to ease the rest of the challenge.

With Camels to the right and buffalo with the indian flag painted on their horns to the right, the hours fly by, village after village with colours, people, music, tuc tucs, ‘hellos’ after hellos’ just makes time fly until we hit our 78km mark after a 5 hour ride in a quaint clearing in the grounds of a temple. We park our bikes and stop for a much needed lunch as we turn to see 10’s of people crawling out the woodwork to innocently watch the ‘aliens’ sitting near their land. Their faces express ‘who are these people?’, ‘ what are they doing?’. “Tum Kaha Ja Rahe Ho?” which means ‘where are you going’ as we jump up and back on our bikes to head off to complete the reminder of our 113km day.

As we stop for a water fill and snack in the middle of nowhere, within 5 minutes we find ourselves surrounded by children and teenagers. Where have they come from??! I go off for the toilet and return to find my saddle has disappeared from my bike. If they think I’m cycling with no saddle they have another thing coming! So we have a joker in the group but no volunteers. Sometimes when something is right under your nose you don’t spot it, so I later rather than sooner discover it is sitting on top of the support truck, but still with no volunteers to who was the culprit…….Rick!!
As I’m searching for my seat I turn around and Laura is surrounded by children analysing her ‘heinz bake beans t- shirt’. From here on during the day no matter where we are we can spot Rick with his orange and Laura with her Heinz baked bean tshirt…winner of the fashion statement of the week so far!

So heading off we cycle past a lush oasis, such a contrast from the dusty off the beaten tracks we have been cycling so far. Our final 45km leg after lunch challenged us with an undulating terrain and our last leg of a steep climb dropping our gear to its lowest. We start to descend but we are still pushing hard in a low gear as Rachel states ‘this road is covered in treacle!’ Out later discussions of why we were cycling downhill but it still being so tough was due to an optical illusion, treacle on the roads or some sort of gravity force!!! Or were we just all tired!

To hear more updates from Jo in India, stay tuned to this blog! Whilst she’s out in country, you can also get in touch and follow Jo via her twitter feed at @jojowarren82

you can also find out more about the challenge she is embarking on – The Rajasthan Tiger Challenge! – by clicking here. To see more information about the array of amazing challenges we have, please visit our website at www.charitychallenge.com. To keep up to date on all our challenge news, please subscribe to this blog. You can also enter your email address into the adjacent box to subscribe to our mailing list.

10 top training tips for cycling

1. Get up an hour earlier and go out for a quick cycle in the morning before work.

2. If you can cycle to work, do so. If you get to work by public transport, get off a stop or two earlier than usual, so that you can cycle some distance each day. If you drive, park further away than usual, get the cycle out of the car and cycle the rest of the distance to work.

3. Cross training such as swimming, squash, badminton, running, walking and any other sport will also help get you prepared.

4. Joining a leisure centre is a good idea as the local fitness instructors may well be able to design a programme specifically for you using the many different cycle trainers in gyms. Most good gyms have exercise bikes and leg resistance trainers.

5. Book onto a regular spinning class and / or circuit training class to improve your leg strength and stamina.

6. Book weekends away with the family or friends to some mountainous region in the UK to experience cycling on different road surfaces with different gradients and in a mountain environment to test out all your equipment.

7. Book onto the Pre-Expedition Training Weekends in Snowdonia run by Expedition Wise.

8. Turbo trainers are very good, although quite expensive to buy – try out e-bay.  They come in to their own in the long winter months as they enable you to train indoors on a “real” bike.  It will keep you fit and get you used to the shape of your bike. Fluid turbo trainers are quieter if noise is a problem in your household and changing the tyres to road tyres will help if you are using a mountain bike.

9. Use your lunchtimes to take regular brisk walks or cycle around your work area.

10. You should make the time to cycle on some consecutive long days as on the training schedule.  It is the accumulation of cycling day after day that really tests you on expedition.

Click here to check out all our cycle challenges. For more challenge tips, stay tuned to this blog series (by clicking the orange RSS button). If you’d like to receive up-to-date news on our latest challenges, promotions and developments, please enter your name and email address into the adjacent box.

These notes were compiled by Brian Jackson, BA (Hons) in Sport, Health and Physical Education, who operates a series of Pre-Expedition Training Weekends for both trekking and cycling charity challenges. See www.charitychallenge.com for more information.