Unfortunately Matt, my paddling partner, has come down with a horrible bug that has filled his lungs with green slime and he is struggling to do any strenuous physical activity - 24 hours paddling in freezing conditions definately qualifies as strenuous In addition, the Thames is running very fast (have a look here - the numbers are cubic metres (i.e.tons) of water per second) , with red boards on all the locks indicating strong stream - and potentially dangerous conditions. So, we have pulled out of this weekend's race. It's a big disappointment, but we get to fight another day (or year). Matt and I will go and give them a hand on Saturday night as the crews go through some of the swirliest bits of the Thames.
With no more kayaking obligations for a while, I can concentrate on cycling, and preparing for the Tour De Force - starting in less then 3 months. Cycling has been limited by the weather and kayaking, but I'm still a fair bit fitter than I have been for a number of years.
The Tour de Force is being organised by the William Wates Memorial Trust. It funds charity projects in London & the South-East helping disadvantaged youngsters. It particularly relevant to me as trustee of Chiltern Lighthouse Mentoring. We have 25 mentors helping young people across Buckinghamshre, and we really need some funds to retain our Programme Co-ordinator - who keeps the whole thing running smoothly.