On Friday 17th June staff from Hattons will embark on a 3 day sponsored Coast to Coast bike ride to raise money for the Halton & St Helens branch of Headway- the brain injury association (charity no. 1025852). The 165 mile route will see them starting at St Bees Head near Whitehaven and take them through 3 National Parks, The Lake District, Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors before finishing at Robin Hoods Bay near Whitby.
The team taking part from Hattons consists of Matt Smith, David Merrills, Mark Cotson, Steve Hodkinson and Mike Denning and they will be keeping you up-to-date with how their training is progressing in the countdown to the challenge in this weekly training diary.
"Cyclists eat Bran Flakes, which are clearly a healthy kind of food. I know this because Chris Hoy tells me so on my TV. With this in mind, and fresh from a weekend in Cardiff on a Stag do where the relative delights of McDonalds and Subway were over indulged in, and with Shaley Brow still not conquered, I decided to try to overhaul my diet to see if this made me a better cyclist."
"This has involved eating plenty of salad every day for lunch, along with numerous pieces of fruit throughout the day. 5 a day has quickly turned into nearer 10 a day; the cost of shopping has gone through the roof; and my fiancé has spent hours preparing salads for me each morning before work; but has it worked?"
"Well, I can report that having done two 25 mile rides last week, Shaley Brow has still not been conquered. I do however feel tons fitter and healthier, and I have got further up "The Lump" than ever before."
"Perhaps that Chris Hoy knows a thing or two about cycling after all!"
"Following on from last week's efforts and the struggle that is Shaley Brow I felt that more training was definitely required so I attempted a ride around Salford, Bury and Bolton that had as many hills as possible. Sadly the weather had other ideas and I was caught in some rain where I felt that Noah was going to whizz past me on his Ark!! I learned quickly that day that soggy shorts and socks are not fun to ride a bike in!"
"Still, time waits for no man so my exploits at the weekend were quickly followed by a ride with Dave in which we again attempted the lump. On the approach my bike threw a wobbler and threw the chain off but that proved no problem for my new found mechanical skills and we took on the challenge. Disappointingly I didn't get as far up as the first time I tried! I think the lack of the bright eyed optimism and enthusiasm from my first attempt and the pies, cakes and crisps I'd based my diet on didn't help me."
"So this week I, like Dave, am going to listen to Mr Hoy and try some leaves and fruit in an effort to conquer what is quickly turning into our nemesis! Hopefully it will work and if not at least British Farming will be getting a welcome boost from the amount of fruit and veg we are packing away!"
"Thursday = windy and horrible
Friday = less windy and less horrible
Weekend – over consumption
Tuesday=finally conquered Shaley brow! 4-1 to the hill"
"Another week of fractured training due to other commitments lead to me missing out on the Thursday ride, only to find that the under 15s cricket match I was supposed to be umpiring was cancelled! I made up for the cancellation by sitting comfortably in my warm, dry house silently commiserating with those braving the conditions!"
"Given that I had not been out on the bike, I decided to ride the 7 or so miles from my home to Taylor Park on Sunday for the Steve Prescott Challenge. I was pleasantly surprised by how easily I managed the "out" leg, as it was the first time I had tackled a national speed limit road without a cycle path for protection. I was put back in my place however, when I felt that I was making good time, only to be breezed past by about 20 other cyclists on a morning club ride!"
"After an afternoon of dragon boating, rowing machines, tug of war and archery, I made my way back, feeling confident as I knew most of the return journey was short climbs followed by long downhills. Unfortunately, I had reckoned without the strong headwind, which, while making for better training conditions, didn't give me the easy ride home I had envisaged!"
"We're back on the bike again this week, so another attempt at Shaley Brow awaits us."
Come back next week to find out if anyone else manages to reach the top of Shaley Brow!