Matt Canty's Writing Place

Training and Sponsorship Update

April 03, 2012

Hi everyone. First and foremost a big thanks to all those who have donated so far.

And that so far is £316 – and a thanks to Joe Hyames, Tom Diff, Bryan Sadler, Rachel (&Fred?) Binley, Ruth and Nigel, Phil and Paula, Beau’s Mum!, My Mum, Elaine and Alan, Ian and Sharon, Ken and Scott.

Together you have got me 12% of the way there, in 11 donations… so about 91.6 more and I’ll be there. A note to those who are planning to donate but waiting till whenever, I do need to have £1350 raised by March 12th, so if you could get it in before then that would be great. Smile


My Cycling Progress

Bike, Clothes, Gym/Yoga, Rides, Pre big-ride big rides.

Obviously a few things have had to change in order for me to be ready to do this. However my training is starting to be something which I just enjoy doing anyway, and I do what I can at the most unsociable of hours. Before that, equipment…


There are some essential pieces of equipment required for a challenge such as this, the first of which is a bike. A bike is a two wheeled transportation device with a metal bit in the middle and some bars which you hold, and a bit you turn around. In fact, my bike is quite similar to the one described in this Java tutorial. Enough of generic bikes, this is mine!


Alright I know its not the best picture, but as you can see it fits the bill. It is much faster than my previous Trek Mountain Bike and so far has kept on going. It is a Alterations to date are removal of front mud guard (rattled), front and rear lights, new chain and gear set, inner tubes, kevlar protection for the inner tubes and general going over at a bike shop. Still to come on the bike is a rear rack and pennier and clip-in pedals, to be sorted at each pay-day from now.

Also for Christmas my dad got me a Garmin GPS speedometer. It is a brilliant thing, allowing me (and you) to see my exact turns, speeds, climbs and lunch breaks.


I have also had to buy a new wardrobe which comes at some kind of cost, but more damagingly, my appearance and street credibility – but it doesn’t arf work! So that is cycling shorts (yep those ones cyclists wear), cycling jacket (wind/waterproof), winter gloves (for the winter) and a helmet (the other option is literally suicide in London). And I think I’ll be needed some !winter gloves (not winter gloves), cleated cycling shoes and water-proof shoe covers before the big day.


The gym. Its a bit of a step for me this one. Never really thought I’d ever join one, but needs must. I go to one of a chain called Pure Gym at their Kennington gym. Its a good deal actually, and no contract which I like. If you want to join use this referral code ABE4B7 – I might win a holiday. So I’ve been visiting this place on my way to work two or three times a week and have started finding a neat 30-45 minute routine based on articles I have found on the net – in particular this one. Its meant I have had to get to grips with Squats, Leg Press, Leg Extension and few other things. I use this time just for strength – spinning and rowing bores the tits off me.

The yoga started when I arrived in London, but since starting this I have found essential in keeping my legs from becoming too stiff to train. Its also helping to build up that all essential core and probably helps keep away the stiff back I could get from sitting at work all day – work is good by the way thanks. Plus I can stand on me ‘ead which is always fun.


Actually being out on the bike is considered the most important part of training for all the obvious reasons. I have been out to Richmond Park four times so far, once before Christmas, riding (in order) 27, 42, 53 and 54 miles. I must note that the day after each ride I would have happily gone out again to ride, but as yet have not had the opportunity. Also on all but the 42 mile ride, I could have carried on had the park not closed because of the sun being terribly predictable and setting! On the 42 miler my legs killed, probably due to the epic Christmas boozing. The more recent ones however I just had to come in.

Here are the links to my Garmin GPS files – only 53 and 54, as I didn’t have the device prior to these rides:

Jan 21st, 52.94 miles, 4 hours 10 minutes total

Jan 29th, 54.79 miles, 4 hours 30 minutes total

Know I’ve got a lot more to do, but I’m quite happy that these rides haven’t completely exhausted me. I have some back to back weekend rides pencilled in and some other things which are…

Pre big-ride big rides

Yes, MORE big rides are very soon to be booked. I have found out that as I am enrolled on the Lands’ End to John O’Groats I can get a discount on entering other UK rides and do not need to raise the extra sponsorship for the individual rides. So it looks like I’m going to be doing three one hundred mile rides before the biggie. I’d say doing two of these at the least will be essential to gaining a psychological understanding of the distances involved. More on that in my next post.


I hope you enjoyed reading what I have written for you. Please visit the links below. Finally, here is a picture of a numpty.



I am Matt Canty, an engineer of varying titles who helps tech companies run reliable and fault-tolerant software platforms. Just send me an email:

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