Category Archives: fundraising

Back in Dar: Training splits

After 16 hours or so in airports and planes I arrived back in Dar yesterday afternoon. I have spent all of 5 days here since October 28. It has been a bit of a long haul. Too many air miles. Too many dinners – I have gained 2.5kg. And not enough exercise. But I slept 9 hours last night and am now ready for the final stretch.

splitsI felt good when I got on the bike this morning. There was some snap in the legs. Maybe the stationary bike in Seoul was worth it after all. I did a shortish ride – just over 25 miles. The 5-mile splits were 18:05 (started well); 17:16 (felt good); 18:48 (still felt good but had to stop a few times in traffic); 18:16 (slowed a bit) and 18:52 (wound down a bit but still felt good). All in all I felt good and am happy that I now have a couple of weeks to get some more miles in.

Great to be back in Dar.

Don’t forget to donate to the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tanzania.

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One month to go

12 12 12

There is just one month to go until the Tour d’Afrique starts. And today is also this century’s last repeating date (I didn’t figure that out myself; it is all over the web today and I have taken it on faith). This is also the last day of my last business trip before the TdA starts. I fly home tonight. Can’t wait. Starting on Friday I will be back on the bike and will be able to put some miles on before I go to Cairo. Fantastic.

Almost there.

Don’t forget to donate to the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tanzania.

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Dr Julie Makani in Atlanta

Dr. Julie Makani, co-founder of the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tanzania,  is in Atlanta this week at the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting.

She is presenting a session where she will provide an overview of the challenges in delivering comprehensive care for SCD in Africa within the context of limited resources and high disease burden. She will discuss opportunities presented by high patient numbers and the steps taken by African investigators and their collaborators in promoting and performing SCD research in sub-Saharan Africa through the establishment of active regional research networks. Go to:

http://www.hematology.org/Meetings/Annual-Meeting/Program/3741.aspx#ID0E1QAG

Stationary bike?

stationary bike

The good news is that the hotel I am staying at in Seoul does have a gym. The bad news is that it is closed for renovations.  However, when I got to my room I found a little note in a drawer saying that a temporary gym had been set up on the 6th floor and that I was welcome. Well, sort of. I went there and found out there was an extra charge to use it. OK. There were a few stationary bikes there so why not. I got up on a bike and turned on the computer that ran it and started to pedal. Boy was in uncomfortable. I am not very tall but the seat was too low for me. I tried to raise it but it was as high as it would go. And the seat was about a foot wide. My ass may be big, but not not that big. Next to it was a different type of stationary bike – more of a recumbent. It had a a kind of bucket seat that looked like it been reclaimed from a 1960s Lada. The pedals looked like the rubber blocks you put on a kid’s bike when their legs are too short. I adjusted the seat as best I could, sat down and started to pedal. What a chore. I stuck it for half an hour then gave it up. I didn’t think I would need chamois cream for a stationary bicycle  in a posh hotel. Maybe I’ll try again tomorrow. Maybe not.

Don’t forget to donate to the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tanzania.

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Steady but no snap

pothole 2Same ride again this morning. Steady but still no real snap. I tried to ride a steady pace today. The last few days I have ridden the first three or four splits at a higher pace than the rest. The pace has faded towards the end. Today I set out a bit slower but maintained the pace. Splits were between 18:43 and 19:15. The quickest was the last. This gives me an average speed of around 25km/hr give or take. This route is relatively flat and at sea level. It is paved but the pavement is often crap – so potholes and lumpy bits. It is also in traffic, so some starts and stops and some idiot avoidance. The temperature was 28C when I started and 34C when I finished. It pays to get an early morning start. I expect the riding conditions are much easier than most of what we will get on the Tour. So still lots to do.

Don’t forget to donate to the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tanzania.

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Little by little

I did the same ride today as yesterday and felt a little bit better. Thursday my average speed for the whole ride was 24.0km/hr, on Friday it was 24.2km/hr, on Saturday it was 24.8km/hr and today it was 25.4km/hr. But my legs still feel leaden. They don’t yet have that snap back, that sense that they can go into overdrive when asked. I’ll get in one more ride tomorrow and then I am back on a plane and away for another 10 days. I’ll have to see if I can find a fitness centre in the hotel – something I’m not good at. Training, like so much else, depends on habit. At home that means I get up in the morning and go cycling when the sun comes up. I like to be outside. I have never been good at going to a gym and working out. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever done it.  Not a habit. I don’t really spin either. I don’t have a spinner at home. I bought one about fifteen years ago but didn’t use it much. And in one move or another it seems to have disappeared. Cycling is about getting up early and being outside. We’ll see what happens next week on the road. Maybe anxiety will override lack of habit.

Don’t forget to donate to the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tanzania.

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Another 200 metres per hour

blacksmithEvery little bit helps I guess. My ride today was similar to yesterday’s. But I managed to go another 200 metres per hour. Not much but moving in the right direction again. Hopefully I will get in a longer ride tomorrow and start pummeling the suet into shape.

Don’t forget to donate to the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tanzania.

ChipIn: Sickle Cell Foundation of Tanzania