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A bike next to the car

Parking Permission

Whilst the allocated bays in the Merrion Centre car park are mostly filled with Motability vehicles and Blue Badge owners the space next to my Ford Grand Tourneo Connect is now often occupied by my hand cycle.

I’m not sure if it requires parking permission or if it’s likely to incur a fine during my lunch time training sessions but needless to say it was a very public experience when I set up my hand cycle on its static trainer last week for the first time. In the past I have only ever used my hand cycle at lunch times in a private car park where the only onlookers were my work colleagues. However, with the London marathon approaching all too quickly and limited time to train I was forced to set up shop in this very public space in Leeds city centre.

It’s a rather blustery open space on the second floor by the lift core but I managed to find a protected slot next to my car. I have never thought of the Tourneo Connect as a wind break but it does an admirable job.

Within a few minutes I was able to take my hand cycle from the boot and set it up on the trainer alongside my car, tuck my work trousers into my socks (not my best ever look but needs must), jump on and start pedalling. Time is very limited within an hour lunch break so I was restricted to a maximum of half an hour in the saddle. Making best use of the time I started with a 5 minute warm up followed by 3 sets of intervals, each over a 5 minute period, finishing with another 5 minute cool down. As the third 40 second burst of speed began I could already feel my shoulders burning and this pretty much continued for the whole of the 15 minutes whilst I cranked the pedals with my arms, hitting speeds as high as 32mph.

With just 2 months to go until the marathon in April I need to fit in any training I possibly can. With a busy schedule at work and several business development events in the evenings and my twins on a weekend it’s not always easy to find time to train. So I have to try and get some miles under my belt any way I can.

Hopefully come April 22nd I will have covered enough distance and speed work so that I can once again take to the streets of London and keep pace with my training partner Tiaan Bosch. Our aim is to beat last years’ time of 1 hr 55 minutes as we cover the 26.2 mile course through the often windy street of London. Perhaps I should set my hand cycle up in the face of the wind at lunch times to prepare me for the gusts around the base of Canary Wharf towers.

Then come the summer months you may see the Grand Tourneo Connect parked along the stunning coast lines of Great Britain shielding me from the wind as I take a well-earned break from work and training. Failing that I’ll have a classic striped wind break packed in the boot to avoid getting sand in my sandwiches!