Saturday, 28 June 2014

"Chain...get us up the mountain! (over and over)"

I know that Apple products won't play YouTube stuff right off the bat, which means all you see is a blank canvas below and miss out on a tune that you'll know pretty well'll have the same effect if you can hum Mac's 'The Chain' to yourself while you speed-read this nonsense.

With 12 (that's twelve, repeat twelve) days to go and counting, it's about time to dot the i's and cross the t's admin-wise. That includes replacing any suspect parts on the bike (excepting me) so as a result it now has a new chainset, chain and brake blocks. It is also about a pound lighter since it was washed, hah-hah!

Speaking of weight, at last some has left me...4 kgs, which is good news but I still want the scales to tell me that another 3 kgs  has departed, albeit on a short-term deal. (Note to the proprietors of The Ashiana and the Wesham Chippy: I know that you've had to issue a profits warning for Q2 and lay staff off but trust me...things are gonna pick-up big time in August!)

Hoping that this new chain & chainset are up to it. At least more so than me!

Another important part of the admin arrived from the organisers of the 'Club Des Cingles Du Mont-Ventoux': the bit of card that you carry with you during the challenge and get stamped at the bottom and top of the mountain so that you have some proof that you were actually stupid enough to attempt it! They even include a little plate that you attach to your bike just to mark you out as an imbecile, just in case it wasn't already obvious. Very thoughtful, those French...

Wanna end up with a fully stamped card!

In previous years there has usually been a team or event cycling jersey but since this challenge has a more 'select' demographic (read 'stupid'), I've gone down the budget route and had a couple of commemorative t-shirts knocked up, bit like wot that Stella McCartney sort would. This year's theme was 'basic & functional'. And 'cheap'.

'Ronseal' t-shirts. No muss, no fuss. And no style.
Rapha will be having sleepless nights once they see this fab gear.

Having said that, I did weaken and buy a cycling jersey from the Royal British Legion after seeing Suzanne Dando (one for the over 40s) model one: well, seemed a bit rude not to...

Possibly it'll look slightly more flattering on Ms D... 

Further adventures with social media continue in the vain hope of maybe getting some more donations in: this week the splendidly funny Omid Djalili was good enough to 'RT' or re-post my challenge to his 200,000 followers on Twitter. He also wished me luck, which was nice...

He was merciless about Lytham, hah-hah! Great live turn.

As with last week's promotion by cycling legend Jens Voight, this RT netted absolutely sod-all in the way of sponsorship. However, thanks to my work's internet site there were a few more donations from complete strangers which was tremendous to see, as well as some very generous wallet-openings from those who have given before. Massive thanks to everyone...the total for CRUK is £800 with the RBL at £450. Wow! I know there is more to come...

Here are a few photos of the speed-bump as taken by Andy back in 2011 when he completed three ascents of Ventoux in one day. He reckoned that was a Big let's double it!

We're looking at 85 miles at anything between 7-10%.

That all?

The long & winding, yeah get the idea.

Could be blowing a hooley on the way up.

But before any of that joy can be sampled, I have the small matter of getting there to deal with!

This'll be me all too soon enough. Oh dear.

So why all this nause? As if you didn't know, hah-hah-hah! Trying to raise funds for two brilliant causes, one of which is Cancer Research UK...

Same deal for ALL of the UK.

...and the other is the Royal British Legion. Coincidentally, today is Armed Forces Day 2014 which is a timely reminder of the debt that we owe to others who have given again and again.

Some famous types who have given their backing to Armed Forces Day 2014. Oh look, there's Vinny!

The links are just below and I will give £10 for every £50 that you do. Aside from that, there is one other thing that would help, if you can do it...please share this blog and/or the JG links with your pals/acquaintances/enemies.