VIDEO BIKE BLOG: Sunday morning into the ‘headwind’

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 second blog ‘welcomes’ a new man to the team...

It’s been a trying two weeks for our latest recruit Alex Etches.

After embarrassing himself by revealing that he missed his first training session to watch Taylor Swift, Woodhouse’s finest has been sweating it out both in the gym and out on the road.

Alex is already well used to riding on two wheels, it’s just that it’s usually an engine-powered motorbike and the Isle of Man TT that tickles his interest.

He’s soon come to realise that slogging up a hill through sheer pedal power is a lot more strenuous - and time-consuming - than flying up at over 100 miles per hour.

First up we challenged him to take on the 30-minute climb challenge in the gym, moving up from level three to level 17 and back down again. The words coming out of his mouth at the halfway point are unrepeatable, but he did pretty well.

Then, last weekend it was a 27.5-mile circular route from Mansfield out on the A60 to the Seven Mile pub, then up onto the A614, across to Rufford and then back, via the bottom side of Edwinstowe, into town.

Lucikly for him, we picked last Sunday, which was the first time for a couple of weeks it had not been blowing a gale. Even so, it didn’t stop him complaining about a non-existent headwind coming back into Clipstone... if only he’d been out in the stiff breeze the day before!

At least Alex has made Richard Candlin (Cando) feel better, who’s won an immediate promotion after previously being labelled as the ‘biking amateur’ of the group.

Still, we’re thankful to Alex for stepping into the breach after Peter Charles regained his sanity and decided he would be rather spend his time looking after his daughter than looking at our misshapen backsides as part of our cycle train.

And there’s no doubt the big man’s making progress, which is all well and good really, given the trip is going to be 200 miles-plus in all. Being stuck by the roadside on the other side of the English Channel in what could be boiling heat come May is no-one’s idea of fun.

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