Last Sunday (May 12th 2013), I rode my first "big" challenge as part of the preparation for Death Valley.
The Ride for Ryder is an event hosted by Sue Ryder and started at the Nettlebed Hospice. This is the hospice I am raising money for.
In my last update, I mentioned I was looking for a sub 5 hour time for this event. As you can see below, it was 4 hours 20 minutes. Unfortunately that's a bit misleading as it was 4h20m of cycling time. In addition, I had to stop for rests and food, and a puncture.
Taking all of these into consideration, my official time was 4 hours 51 minutes and 23 seconds, so I was really pleased with that. The puncture did cost me 20 minutes (I had some issues with the replacement inner tube and needed the cycle mechanic to help me), but for someone who not so long ago was doing no exercise, I was most impressed with this achievement. It wasn't a race, but I did come in position 67 of the 113 people who did (and finished) the longest route.
The ride organisation was really excellent, everything went to plan and I think the event (which attracted over 250 riders) raised a lot of money for the hospice.
The next challenge in the lead up to the main event in Death Valley is the Birmingham to Oxford cycle ride in July. It is marketed as 77 miles, but I think the route is more like 74. I'm wanting a sub 7 hour time for this (I will need lots more rests and a long stop for lunch on that one). If I can do this, I will be well on the way of being fit enough for November.