In 2019, Past Master Jeremy Blanford completed the gruelling 150 mile coast-to-coast cycle ride from Seascale in Cumbria, to Whitby on the North Yorkshire coast in 15 hours. This year, he hoped to participate in the 100-mile Prudential RideLondon cycle ride.
Although the event has been cancelled, not even the Covid-19 restrictions will stop him and on 16 August, Jeremy intends to cycle 100 miles around the lanes of East Sussex and Kent to raise funds for the Royal Society for Blind Children, the Cordwainer Charity of the year 2020-2021. Jeremy has been training all year and recounts the highs and lows of lockdown cycling.
For the first time ever I managed to train right through the winter. Usually I put my bike away at the end of October and dust it down at the beginning of March. But this year I managed to ride at least twice a week, even though we had one of the wettest winters on record.
Come March, with the change of the hour, I increased it up to three times a week and then we had lockdown. Wow – the roads emptied and they say traffic was down to numbers similar to the 1950s, which meant I could stick to the main roads with no fear of being killed. In our rural neighbourhood the side roads are like cattle tracks, so if you are not hit by a car you are liable to be injured by the craters created by the weather.
I have nearly a dozen cycling routes ranging from 15 miles to 54 miles. All of them take in some of the steepest hills I can find, but I must say nothing as bad as the two mountain passes we had last year in the Coast to Coast ride! Now the traffic is nearly back to normal I am back on the lanes, so when anybody is slightly irritated by a weaving cyclist please remember he is not out on his first ride – he is trying to avoid the potholes!
Why am I a reluctant cyclist? Well, fundamentally I am bone idle, so going out on the bike is a huge effort, but when I am out, I quite enjoy it and when I return home I feel fantastic! So hear’s hoping the 16th August is a fine sunny day with no wind from any direction!
Please sponsor Jeremy via the Cordwainers JustGiving page.