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Coming back from holiday there is so much to catch up with and then there is a small matter of relearning the daily routine. In addition to that I have gone back to work – now before anyone gets an urge to scream, it’s only one day a week. I shall do this until the end of the year giving the new person adequate time to learn my tricks.

I have been back on my bike with gusto and it feels like I never had a break. So the training is on schedule. In addition to my own training I went along to Tylers in Loughborough to help them with their challenge in store of riding from John O’Groats to Land’s End – 1310km. I had a slot of one hour – my other motive was to do an hour’s cycling to mark Bradley Wiggin’s attempt on the hour record on Sunday 7 June. All his fans up and down the country and from around the world are doing this. I managed 31.7 km in an hour and I have been told it is impressive for a 66 year old! I have no bench mark to go on – so the only thing to do is to improve on it! Another challenge for another day.

The Tyler’s challenge is in aid of Junior a 22 year old born with cerebral palsy who needs urgent surgery to enable him to walk. Unfortunately this is not available in the UK so the fund raising is designed to raise enough money to get him to the USA for this surgery. You can click on this and read more about Junior’s Journey.

Riding in Tylers Department Store

Riding in Tylers Department Store

My cycling is coming along well and I am pleased that I went out last Sunday in spite of the fact that it was wet, with gale force winds and a drop in temperature of only 11C – from 15C when I set out. Next Sunday we have another group ride – about 75 miles and this time north east of the county of Leicestershire with a few serious hill climbs included.

I am also trying to promote an important research project at Loughborough University – can you help?

Dr Steve Faulkner from the Leicester-Loughborough Biomedical Research Unit based at Loughborough University is conducting a study to determine the effects of both exercise and passive heating on glucose control in both normal weight and overweight individuals. The study involves a number of visits to the university during which time you’ll receive a full health check, fitness testing and have access to some of the latest information on exercise, diet and lifestyle changes that you may be able to make in your daily life. If you’re interested in taking part, live in the area and would like more information, please contact Steve via email at S.Faulkner2@lboro.ac.uk and he’ll send you some further information.

My weight loss seems to have slowed down as I am getting nearer to my target. My current weight is 176 pounds and that means that since December last year I have lost 21 pounds and now have only another 7 to go before I ride out for my Alpine challenge. I already feel better and more lively. What I am really pleased about is the number of people who feel inspired by what I am doing and want not only to lose weight but get more active. As mentioned in a previous blog there is a groundswell of interest in Shepshed to start a cycling club and we already have our inaugural ride pencilled in for Sunday 14 June at 9.30.

In the media there have been a lot of articles about health and as usual it is difficult to separate fact from fiction! Here are some interesting articles from a more trusted source:

Reports on the importance of exercise in pregnancy

http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/jun/02/pregnant-women-exercise-cut-risk-diabetes-says-study

A 92 year old woman runs a marathon – there is a lot of hope for us oldies

http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2015/jun/01/harriette-thompson-92-oldest-woman-complete-marathon-san-diego

Latest research that looks quite promising in terms of new cancer treatments

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/jun/01/immunotherapy-the-big-new-hope-for-cancer-treatment

Finally a very thought provoking article that puts all these latest advances into perspective

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jun/02/doctor-cancer-patients-cure

All the more reason that we all must redouble our efforts and continue to support cancer research. Research is very expensive and we can either leave it to multinationals who cherry pick the most profitable lines or support academics in our universities and hospitals who will have a more holistic approach.

Since Val’s’ uterine and breast cancer we have been very impressed by our local centre of excellence in cancer research – University Hospitals of Leicester and we are determined to support Hope Against Cancer – this is our way of putting something back into the system,not only to thank the wonderful people in the NHS who took us through a very difficult journey but also to help improve treatments and outcome for future patients.

This is where my challenge to ride 360 miles from Geneva to Milan (climbing 17,000 ft in the process) comes in. If you would like to support me please go to

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/hopesitalianjob

Every pound helps!

And finally I shall leave you with an image of my hero – Sir Bradley Wiggins – the kid from Kilburn!

Bradl - talking about the challenge of Siggins!

Brad talking about the Geneva to Milan challenge of  his number one fan Siggins!