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One of the greatest pleasures of cycling is that you get out into the open countryside and see things that you didn’t even know existed. I am discovering areas of outstanding beauty on my own doorstep.

Then, there is the opportunity to go out to other parts of the country to take part in organised rides, which in turn gives you a chance to visit areas you have never been to before. I have lived in the East Midlands for 37 years and have never been to Lincoln which with its castle and cathedral is a city of outstanding culture and beauty. This weekend I am going to put the ghost of Lincoln to rest as I am off there to take part in a sportive this Saturday. This is part of the Lincoln weekend festival of cycling. On Sunday the 2015 British Cycling National Road Race is taking place when elite and international riders like Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish will be involved. With the Tour de France starting the following weekend the possibility of wearing the elite champion’s jersey in that famous race will be hotly contested.

We are using this occasion to stay overnight in Lincoln and visit the cathedral and castle. Val, who rarely goes out without her sketch pad is hoping to get some illustrations going whilst I am out riding on Saturday. We are lucky to get accommodation right in the centre of the city through Airbnb.com who we have used on many occasions in the past and have always had wonderful experiences.

The nascent Shepshed Cycling Club had its second outing last Sunday and are already planning the next ride. We were in London last weekend and visited the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. We have such lovely memories of the London 2012 Olympic Games and it was great being in the same place again. The Olympic Park has left a lasting legacy for the people of Stratford in particular and London in general. The way the area has been redeveloped and altered for various community activities has been exemplary. In addition to all this the park has been landscaped with wild flowers and is buzzing with bees and butterflies. Its a haven for wildlife in a large city.

Iconic view of the Olympic Stadium with the ArcelorMitttal Orbit sculpture designed by Anish Kapoor in the background. Fantastic wildflower landscape.

Iconic view of the Olympic Stadium with the ArcelorMitttal Orbit sculpture designed by Anish Kapoor in the background. Fantastic wildflower landscape taken from Instagram feed @noordinarypark. Please follow this feed for some more amazing pictures.

London always has been special and I am very much looking forward to my next visit when I shall be riding in the Ride London Surrey 100 in August. I did this route last year when hurricane Bertha struck and the route had to be curtailed to 84 miles, taking out the legendary Box and Leith Hills. You may say I have unfinished business!

My training for the Alpine Challenge is going extremely well with miles and miles of cycling clocked up week in and week out. I have three big rides coming up in consecutive weeks – after this Saturdays’s 75mile Lincoln Sportive is the 88 mile group ride in south and eastern parts of the county and the following weekend an 85 mile sportive around Leicestershire. As I have said before training is going up several notches and from now onwards there is no hiding place! 73 days to go.

Thanks once again to all the lovely people for their massive sponsorship which is going so well. For others who wish to sponsor me please do so on


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or if you prefer to donate via your mobile text GURU67 to 70070 with an £amount varying from £1 to £10 – as simple as that! What a wonderful way to support vital cancer research in the University Hospitals of Leicester.

More next week – and I bet it will be all about Lincoln and Lincolnshire!