It was here the beginning of the cycle, I had all the gear and no idea. I was the only person whose bike didn’t touch the floor when it was on the rack, had a hybrid instead of a road bike and had avoided the clip in shoes.
Day 1 –
We had been advised this day would be the hardest – how hard it was I was not expecting. To 90% of the people on attendance of the cycle it wasn’t very hilly and keeping a strong 16mph was no an issue – for me however, I felt like I was cycling up mountains and struggling to maintain a strong 11mph. This was probably the moment when I realised my 20 miles max distance of training was some what lacking what it should have been.
Thankfully we had no rain, as expected – this was a bonus, not that it would have made much difference to visibility while I was crying from about 45 miles in.
Day 2 –
New day, and I felt slightly better than the day before – it can’t be worse than the first day. We were over the water and the sun was shining. Hardly any hills which was a bonus, but again I just wasn’t fast enough to stay with the pack – that’s okay, anyone that knows me knows that I like to do things in my own time. At first, I could see them ahead then the roads started getting a bit windy and I couldn’t see them anymore. How hard can it be to follow orange signs as I approached a city that I’ve never been too? Apparently for me, very difficult. I ended up getting lost about 3 times, then finding my way again – the 4th time I wasn’t so lucky. After having a very thorough few hours exploring the city I wondered why I hadn’t found the feed stop – it was meant to be 20 miles in and according to Strava I had done 21 miles. At this point, seeing McDonalds (which I didn’t stop in) I thought it would be okay to call the organisers – turns out I had done the mileage just 5 miles out from everyone else.
So, I sat and waited to be collected (I couldn’t be trusted not to get lost again) and put back on the route with everyone else. The afternoon went without a hitch, we got to cycle around a massive nature reserve and along the canals which me and Leon stopped at any chance we could to take photos.
Day 3 –
The longest but flattest day, cycling wise should be easy but mentally incredibly boring. I could deal with boring, I had prepared for this event and downloaded films onto my phone so that I could listen to them on the way. Unfortunately the wind didn’t want to make this an easy day for us; so we tackled a head wind ALL DAY – I am surprised that we didn’t end up cycling backwards.
At the lunch stop the mechanic had a little look at my bike to give it a little TLC before heading off again (it was new and hadn’t had much usage previous to this event) only to find out that for 2.5 day I had been cycling with my breaks on. I wont name any names, but the person that had last put my front wheel on had bashed the disk, so it was rubbing constantly.
Nothing like making things harder than they need to be.
Day 4 –
The last day, I couldn’t be more thankful that it was here. I had lost all feeling in my bum (still haven’t got it back and I’ve been home over a week). The wind was a bit better than the previous day and I wasn’t cycling with my breaks on – so it felt easier, maybe it’s because I knew that the finishing line was approaching. This whole journey, I had done well not falling off my bike – until 6 miles from the finishing line; my shin is a lovely shade on purple with a lovely cut on it.
I couldn’t have been happier to make it to the finishing line and get a well-deserved beer. It was probably the hardest thing that I have ever done, but I am tempted to do it again.
Please do laugh at my expense and sponsor this amazing cause. I promised blood, sweat and tears; which I delivered on all of those.
This is an amazing cause, and there is still time to sponsor.
To sponsor Annie please click the following link.. https://www.action.org.uk/sponsor/annielloyd