VIDEO BIKE BLOG: Hills and hailstones - Derbyshire style

A team of local novice cyclists are shedding their excesses by training to cycle from London to Paris in two days during May in aid of Parkinson’s. Their fourth blog explains the ‘delights’ of riding through hail showers.

Two months in and the cycling is getting a bit more serious now. It shows we must be progressing after something of a laboured start.

The foreboding skies: out on the bike in Derbyshire.

The foreboding skies: out on the bike in Derbyshire.

Mind you, some better equipment definitely helps the cause and, now we’re all on road bikes, it’s increased the pace dramatically.

Richard Candlin’s reaction to first getting on a racer after lugging around on a mountain bike was simple: “This is cheating!”

Needless to say, he was soon forking out for his own model after the briefest of trials and his legs are already thanking him for that particular outlay.

Alex Etches has also joined in ‘the fun’, but initially went a bit more old school with his ride, purchasing a second hand Raleigh from what we’re guessing is from the mid-1980s, making it comfortably older than him!

With a bit of work instigated by team-mate and ‘mechanic’ Andy Charles, it looked as good as new and fit for purpose, yet he still then went out and bought a new bike instead. There’s just no pleasing some...

It’s not just the road bikes and increasingly long distances (we’re getting up to the 40 to 50 mile mark quite regularly now) that tell the story of our improvement, but the weather tales too.

Previously, we seemed able to nip out in between the showers but, in the last couple of weeks, our team seems to have an uncanny penchant for attracting the rain and hail.

Whether it’s been a trip out to Crich, or on the flatter roads up around Clowne and Creswell, trying to pedal and steer with a load of hailstones smacking into the face has been a challenge. Still, we’ll probably soon be moaning that we are too hot!

Training routines between the five of us have been somewhat disparate of late, mainly due to the fact that, like everyone else, we lead pretty busy lives.

It would be great to stop work and never go away for a break, but that simply isn’t going to happen in the real world.

As a consequence, getting in the saddle has to be packed in whenever it can at different times of the day and contrasting days of the week.

Richard Eldridge, for instance, has just seen the firm he works for taken over and he has been responsible for building much of a new website, leaving his options limited in the short-term.

Others (I’m talking about myself here) have less of an excuse, but struggle to get out of bed in a morning, making afternoon training all the more appealing...

One thing that is in all our favour now is the clocks going forward an hour. The extra light at night gives the opportunity to get a few evening runs in the bank.

It beats looking at the same wall in the gym, that’s for sure.

Follow this link to sponsor the team: