Sept 13th 2015. 25 mile cycle. First time up the Crow Road (oof)

It’s been a busy week and I haven’t quite managed to catch my breath since the exertions of last weekend. On Wednesday night we hosted a careers evening at the Beatson for around 70 school children and I spoke to them about the work we do in terms of clinical trials and new drug development – it was great to see how interested, and indeed excited they were to hear about it. On Thursday night I attended the Beatson Ambassadors’ Event and had the privilege of meeting Commonwealth Games silver medallist in the hurdles for Team Scotland, Eilidh Childs, who gave an inspiring talk about her life as an elite athlete and the pressures of competing at a world level – somewhat put my sporting endeavours into perspective.

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At dawn on Friday I caught a very early train to Manchester where I was attending a two-day conference about the treatment of urological malignancies with fellow uro-oncologists from around the UK and finally got back last night. As a result, I barely saw the rest of the family this week, let alone had time to get out for any practise.

So today, lovely Ross came back over and took me over to the Campsies for a cycle. We had talked about going up the Crow Road when we were between Glasgow and Edinburgh last week and he promised to take me. We cheated a bit by putting the bikes on the car and driving to Strathblane but then we cycled from there to Lennoxtown, then up the famous Crow Road, a popular destination for every cyclist I know. Well if I’m honest I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I made it up without stopping (at one point a very smug driver coming down the hill I’m sure actually laughed at me) and nearly cuddled Ross when he said we were allowed a wee rest for a drink at the car park (actually I would have cuddled him if I’d had enough energy to get off my bike). However, I then nearly hit him when, on hearing me say how pleased I was that I’d got to the top without stopping, he laughed and said we were only half way. Again, this was not possible due to lack of available energy, so I swore instead.

But the view I had to admit was really lovely. I should have taken a photo but I was too busy looking for the teashop and oxygen points (disappointingly there were neither) and then before I knew it we were back on the road. We did then make it to the actual top (not so much of a view there) and managed to get a wee selfie on our way down, albeit 200 yards further down than planned as stopping down that hill in the rain took an awful lot longer than I thought it would. And the cycle then back through Fintry and Killearn was lovely. We hadn’t taken any food with us but we were fully sustained by the 14000 flies we each swallowed on our way. Ooh and I have finally used the ‘other’ gear. I was a bit scared of this before, but I used it today and it has I think contributed to me now reaching the heady heights of 26 miles an hour. I can say this with some confidence as I used my new Garmin watch today for the first time. Still trying to sync it to everything (this may take a number of weeks it seems) but I have managed to collect some information from our ride.

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I touched on this before but none of this would have been possible without the massively kind donation of the brilliant bike that I am using. It is so obvious now on these longer cycles (especially last weekend and then on the hill of death today), so Jenny – a huge thank you again for lending it to me. I am getting quite attached to it now despite our tentative beginning.

And finally a last wee plea for donations. We are actually getting much closer to our target, thanks to lots of donating already, and also thanks to an unbelievably generous donation this weekend (A and M – FAR too much but so appreciated – huge thank you!!), but if anyone else reading this fancies giving us anything we would be tremendously grateful, as always. Link is in the blogroll.

It’s 11 days until we set off and we have 180 miles to cycle in 3 days. So far my entire training totals 148 miles in 2 months. Eek.

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