My first day of the 500 started well with a 0100 call-out as the ship had blacked out. A call to the engineers the electrician and I was soon back in bed ready for my 0600 alarm call.

As this is the Ride to Redemption, I thought it best to see if it actually will be so I weighed myself:

So that’s 159lbs (I’m 5’9″ so not exactly a grimpeur) at the start and I guess the aim is to simply not gain any weight although losing some would be nice. We are blessed onboard with an excellent cook which is good for indulgence, obesity, gout and type two diabetes but not so much for health and fitness. Especially at this time of year, a massive amount of self-control will be required.

So, suitably unrefreshed I pedaled my way to my first 34.8km. It was, as expected an entirely unremarkable experience although not an unpleasant start to the day. Anything bike related is going to be worthwhile anyway isn’t it?

What I did learn was that despite being sold the most fantastically advanced phone in the shop, seriously; this one does everything (sales assistants words, not mine) it turns out that what it doesn’t do is time and date stamp photographs. This was going to be part of my evidence so I’m unsure of what to do now. I’m busy scanning apps for something suitable that can be uploaded to photobucket and then onto here but so far no such luck. However, I have an ingenious plan:

Yup, that’s a post-it note with the date and the session  number written on it in felt tip. As you can also see, I haven’t found the anti-shake function either but I’m sure that does exist. You can however, if you squint a bit and open your mind, see that it says 60 minutes and 34.8km. A solid start.

So, after work, I managed to get into the gym just before 1800 for my next session which was a double-header. In my excitement I forgot my special time/date stamp application system so instead I’ve had to improvise and I think everyone will concur that this is a good method:

I have to admit that at this point I was starting to feel it in my legs a bit – the combination of the last two evenings exploratory attempts should perhaps have been conducted earlier in the week, with a recovery day in between them and the start, but I thought that I might as well persevere and get the third hour done.  I’ve found a method that works for now so I’m sticking with it:

That’s with the anti-shake on. At this point I definitely had the wobbly legs and, if I was out on a ride, I’d be pretty close to a bonk by now. I’d never actually thought that I might need to take food into the gym with me but I think nutrition is something to consider for the future (if I continue with the two-hour efforts) as will be sufficient water and perhaps remembering to take a ‘comfort break’ between hours. There was a slightly fraught moment at the end when I almost relaxed too much.

As far as cycling goes, what I’ve done today and how I feel now is definitely comparable to a moderate to hard 60 – 80 miles on the road  perhaps slightly harder, especially with the saddle discomfort. So, that’s the first day of my pretend Festive 500 done with a total of 104.4 km in the musette.

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