Inshallah this blog finds you in the best of health and highest Imaan. Ameen
This week's training involved having a go at a long ride of 70 miles around the various towns/cities in the Midlands. Alhamdulillah, we had all but one brother participate in the ride. A couple of brothers train separately due to their work patterns/commitments. It was important that all riders participated in this ride as the organisers were keen to see that everyone is able to manage with the mileage and that training is going well for all involved.
We set off at 6.15 am (though we should have started at 5.30 but due to some sleepy brother (ahem!) we got delayed!) and headed over to Leamington. Just before entering Leamington we headed for Cubbington. On reaching Cubbington we headed to Rugby. At this point we had the first incident of the day whereby one brother was cycling up a hill and a car came very close and ended up knocking its side mirror into the brother. Alhamdulillah the brother managed to maintain his balance but his elbow was not feeling great from that point onwards. Though the driver drove on as though nothing happened, they did come back after a few mins. It was a middle aged couple and they felt pretty bad over what had happened and said they couldn't stop due to traffic so had to find a place to turn around further ahead. They also gave a charitable donation of £30 Alhamdulillah. Though it was the lady that grabbed her husband's wallet and forced the money out of him...he seemed less eager to dig out his wallet!! We thanked them for coming back and checking and for the donation and carried on.
A few miles on and the second incident of the day. Another brother who had recently volunteered to do the event had got leg cramps which began to restrict his riding ability particularly on hills. Mashallah he had managed to cover 40 miles though the last few miles he was in pain. Whilst he was determined to continue we made mashwarrah (consultation with the whole group) to determine the best course of action. We decided that for his safety and to ensure no further injury occurs that he head home and rest and come along next weekend. We arranged for a pick up. Once we had dispatched the brother we moved on towards Rugby. The group pace had been slow till now, we were averaging around 8 mph when we should have been at around 10 mph.
Once we hit the centre of Rugby we headed over to Leicester (Fosse Way). At this point some of the brothers felt the pace was a bit much and that it should be slowed down...not something I was going to argue about! I felt the effect of going fast to Rugby further on as I was becoming quite tired and fatigued. Bear in mind most of the group have not ever done a 70 mile ride. We pulled over and had a fuel up break.
The Lesson learnt here is that we needed to start and maintain a steady pace of 10 mph and not go fast early on!
Once fully fuelled we carried on towards Leicester and the famous Bumble Bee Lane which has one of the best down hills I have been on. Of course we had to climb back up that hill to meet up so that was not pleasant! This is where a third incident occurred. The brother who had been hit by the car went to cycle up the hill and both his legs cramped up. This meant both me and him were walking up the hill. I was very fatigued by this point and did not want to risk getting a leg cramp as had happened to me on the 40 mile ride a few weeks back. Anyways we got to the top of the hill and had a picnic in the sun. We all stretched out and had a good laugh.
After a good rest (and for me a mini siesta!!) we headed back to Coventry (around 12-13 miles from there. Whilst cycling back the pace issue cropped up again where one of the brother felt that it was too fast and the group was splitting up . We reconvened and nominated a lead rider to keep a steady pace and made it back to Coventry for about 3.15 in the afternoon.
Alhamdulillah a good tough ride but with some important lessons learnt!
I'll end with a request for your duas that the group is able to successfully train up and succeed in this event. Ameen.