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Antony Capon

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Cycling 100 miles over the 2012 Olympic course for Bloodwise (formerly Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research) because I survived! And I want others too.

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  • Event: Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 2014, 10 Aug 2014

Bloodwise (formerly Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research)

We fund research and provide support to improve blood cancer patients' lives

Charity Registration No. 216032

Story

The big one (Ride London) 10th August 2014.

Got up at about 3:30 am and left home to ride to the Stratford Olympic park at 6:15. When I arrived I was invited to join onto the back of an earlier setting-off waive of riders who had estimated a faster time than I had. So I started earlier at 6:55 am.

The first 10 mins was rather slow, but then I was able to change onto my big chainring and the pace lifted. 5 mins later it started to rain for the first time. However, passing though the Limehouse Link (tunnel) was rather like passing through a warm hairdryer and we soon dried out, to be rained on again when we emerged into the open.

The route then took us along Embankment, past Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament and over one of the West London bridges. Down through SW London and into Richmond Park (I saw many “Pony-Tails” but no dear), then into Surrey. Once into Surrey the weather deteriorated and the rain was at time torrential (described by the organisers as “Biblical”). At times I was struggling to see as the rain was so heavy and combined with the darkness caused by the cloud cover, those of us (not me) riding black bikes in a black strip were something of a danger to themselves and others (Team SKY should rethink their kit). I gave thanks for my red and white bike, multi-coloured kit and bright-white rain Gillet (bought the previous day when I accepted the weather forecast was likely to be right and former hurricane Bertha would assault us.

The organisers had cut short the route by 14 miles due to the weather and “flash-flooding”, even so I still rode through 3 deeply flooded sections. The shortened route cut out both Box and Leif hills, which I was looking forward to riding as they were to be the most challenging part of the excursion.

As the fastest riders had been started first the effect was to thin-out the line of riders and by 40 miles I was riding from one group of riders to the group ahead. Other riders were also passing me, so I conclude that I actually started with a group of riders of a similar fitness level.

At around 75 miles I had a caffeine-loaded gel and it did exactly what it said on the packet! I was suddenly riding much more strongly at over 20 mph, all the way to the finish where I was happy to finish strongly, having ridden around Parliament Square, past Buckingham Palace and onto the Mall.

My time: 4 Hours, 31 Mins & 45 Seconds at an average speed of 19.1 mph.

PS. A very big thank you to all my Sponsors. Together were have raised about £750.00 and the charity has raised in excess of £200,000.

Epic Ride No.5

The aim was a 90 mile plus ride on Saturday the 19th July 2014. The weather forecast was lousy with rain forecast all morning and into the afternoon. Still, with only 3 weeks to the big “Ride London” this was not a ride I could have very easily delayed.

I started out about 7:00 am (not yet raining) and had a very easy first 20 mins. I rode up Toot-hill, then up to the “Rodings”. At Hatfeild Heath my map showed the A1060 as proceeding straight-on. It doesn’t! Ended-up in Sawbridgeworth, so headed north and got as far as Little Hallingbury, where I punctured! Fixed the puncture under the surreal gaze of a bicycle painted white and mounted 4 foot off the ground sporting a sign which read “Pot hole done. Tour-De-France come on down.” By this time I had been rained on 3 times, so the display of a happy resident (having had the pot-holes in his road filled) was a little light relief.

Having replaced the inner-tube, I then spent 10 mins pumping and hoping I could achieve 100 PSI with a mini-pump. I usually set my rear tyre to 120 PSI. It was going to be a long ride with soft badly-rolling tyre! (later, back at home, I found I achieved 95 PSI, not too bad).

Heading North I passed through Bishops Stortford and avoiding the M11 continued on towards Cambridge. At the 45 mile distance mark, I found myself on the E1/10 (a time trial 10 mile course, south of Cambridge), on which I have spent many a gruelling 25 mins racing, prior to 2010, so I continued on to the turn-around at the Stump Cross R-A-B at 50.3 miles.

Riding back my toes felt as if they were on fire (the temperature had been rising during the morning). At 75 miles I was running out of energy bars and so I took my one and only, caffeine loaded, energy gel. It did what it said on the packet, 10-15 mins later I was spinning the pedals faster and applying more power. Don’t get me wrong, the riding was still hard, but I was up-to-it.

Final numbers; Distance 94.38 miles (I found the right route home); Average speed: 15.5 mph; Max speed: 35.9 mph and time (riding): 6:04:04.

Epic ride No.3 Spring Bank holiday, I set out to ride to Tiptree a round distance of 70 plus miles. Only I got lost both ways! I estimate I rode 85-90 miles and got back as far as Ingatestone, when I called Jenny to come-and-rescue-me, as after 50 or so miles my right eye began to dry-out. I only called Jenny after I concluded I was more likely to crash than not. I was having real problems keeping either eye open! Time to buy some eye lubricant. Although the ride started and finished in the rain and my riding partner never turned-up (he doesn't ride in the rain), it was a good ride and well within my capabilities and the coffee at the Tiptree Jam factory was very welcome.

Epic ride No.2 I rode to Thaxted (round trip 66.6 miles) Saturday 3rd May. I rode well, but very tired! 175 miles this week, a big distance for me even before the time I fell ill.

Easter A good weekend, covered 130 miles.

15-04-14 Jenny and I are now back from a week in Bridport (Dorset). We both had colds during part of the holiday. I still got to ride 94 miles of “Hill Repeats” in 3 days along the coast road between Bridport and Weymouth, parallel to Chisel beach. The road goes either up or down. No real flat sections. The 4th day I rode 2.5 miles to the start of a 5 mile long hill; rode the hill and swooped back. The hill was a 1 in 16.5 and felt so much easier than the hill repeats!

30-03-14 Its now 8:40 am (BST). The day of the club Reliability Ride. I am very much looking forward to it. A chance to see who has eaten too much Christmas Pudding!

8:30 pm. The bad new is that no-one ate too much over Christmas! The ride was really good but where was the wet, windy, cold/icy conditions, usually reserved for "Reliability" riding? It was a lovely day and just good to ride for 3:38 at a modest 14.8 mph and in good company. Here's looking forward to the Friday Night 10 TT series.

Hello, as you may know I was diagnosed with acute leukaemia at the beginning of 2010 and since this time I have received a lot of treatment at St. Barts and Queens (and latterly at Guys for a related condition).

 I now consider myself "healed" and I think it appropriate that I should do something to contribute to others. My family have variously contributed toward the hospital charities and now its my turn and I wish to raise money for research. So I am riding for the leukaemia and lymphoma research charity. When I signed-up for the charity one of the first questions asked was "Are you riding in memory of someone?" The answer is an emphatic "No!" In truth, I am riding as a Celebration of LifeSo when you donate, give a sum that inspires you to join one-of-the-many who are striving to fight back against all cancers.

 

My Basic Training plan  At the start of December 2013, I came off steroids (non-anaerobic) and rapidly put on 4 kilos, followed by a further 2 this year. With the weight came gains in strength and endurance and so I have been able to ride more, faster and further. The Club’s (Becontree Wheelers CC) Friday night 10 mile Time Trial series starts in early April and I intend to ride as much as I can which will give me speed and power. Once a month I am going to ride an extra-long distance and increase it by, hopefully, 10 miles each month: starting with the club’s Reliability ride of 50 miles this coming Sunday 30 March.

Bike Fit In preparation for training and the event itself I thought I'd get myself a "bike fit." I attended the London bike show in February where there were 4 bike fit stands. I was particularly impressed with the Retul-3D motion capture system. I contacted Stuart Webster at the Uni’ of Essex (Colchester), told him of my recent past medical history and asked a bike fit would be appropriate for me. Thankfully-Yes. I have set out my report in the photos (before and after pictures to follow). Although relatively small adjustments were made they have added-up and produced a significant effect:-

1.     By rolling the bars backwards, the brake hoods were raised which has resulted in a much more comfortable hand hold. This was important to me to combat the effect of GVHD on my hand wrist joints.

2.     It took Stuart a little while to figure-out why my ankles were asymmetric to each other, especially after he had me off the bike measuring my limb lengths, feet lengths and their orientation. The problem was the cleats too far forward (I thought I had cleats set perfectly: ball of foot directly above pedal axial-but No! I was about 10mm out) and as a result I was not sitting square on the saddle.

3.     The saddle was lowed and pushed forward both by 5mm.           I had expected the overall effect to put me into a more upright position, but it is clearly seen from the before and after photos, I actually ended up in a lower position. You will see that my elbows are significantly more flexed than before.

So far I have noticed the following:-

       i.          Hands and wrists much more comfortable.

      ii.          My cadence is typically higher with a little more "Ankleing".

     iii.          My output, before I have the concentrate upon maintaining it, is circa 5 watts higher.

     iv.          Having applied some of the above bike-fit adjustments to my TT bike, the pedalling felt very smooth.

      v.          I can only feel the difference in saddle position when I think about it.

(I am writing this only 9 days following the bike fit)

Note for Becontree Wheelers CC members. Stuart has offered to give a £20.00 discount to club members if they book a bike fit with him, so the cost will be £150.00. (I had the fit with-in 1 week of booking). If you’re interested please contact Stuart  at WWW.humanperformanceunit.co.uk. I now wish I’d had a fitting years earlier.

For those who want to know (this is not for every-one: caution advised) I have endured:-·      

                Leukaemia (x2)

·       4 intensive chemo therapy courses

·       2 bone marrow transplants

·       4 operations

·       Several severe lung infections to include pneumonia

·       Around a total of 5 to 6 months in hospital

·       CMV virus

·       4 chemo therapy injections directly into my spine

· Circa 15 Bone Marrow Biopsies

3 Skin Biopsies

·       Graft versus Host Disease

      ·      And a punctured lung 

 

Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.

Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving – they’ll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they’ll send your money directly to the charity. So it’s the most efficient way to donate – saving time and cutting costs for the charity.

Thank you so much.

Tony

Photos

5
  • All done
  • Not how I'll be riding on the day! +3

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