And this is just the training ride part 5 – Silloth to Greenhead 70.1 miles

*Donation Link*

Today is called lost and found… I lost route 72 a few times and ended up finding an extra ten miles en route. Ooops.

Route

I am also finding that the days are split between a morning which feels slow and unproductive followed by an afternoon which feels a bit more successful. This was probably exacerbated by the fact that the extra miles happened very early on, meaning that, over an hour into the ride, I still had more miles to go than I was meant to achieve in the whole day!

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And this is just the training ride Part 4 – Ravenglass to Silloth 51.3 miles

Yey! A rest day! Well… I did cycle just over fifty miles today but it really did feel like a rest. Hooray!

Route Day 1

What a difference a day makes! Despite staying up late to get a couple of blog posts sorted out, I had a great sleep and woke up feeling refreshed and still hungry! I’m conscious that my phone is stupid and I’m not getting any good pictures, so instead I am going to supplement the beautiful views with random pictures of me in the tent… sorry about that folks!

Yey! Cosy, dry tent and a good night's sleep!

Yey! Cosy, dry tent and a good night’s sleep!

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And this is just the training ride Part 3 – Borrowdale to Ravenglass 41.8 miles

*Donation Link*

At least it wasn’t raining. There. I managed to say something positive. There are so many other ways I wanted to start this post.

So…. It turns out that hiking does not an ideal rest day activity make. In fact, cycling 85 miles, camping and getting up to climb a hill or two especially after you fell of your bicycle, leaves your body in pieces so small that you worry no adhesive in the world will hold you together.

An ideal preparation for conquering your biggest ever day of climbing then… Ahh.

This is what is called a steep ascent

This is what is called a steep ascent

Yes. Today was a day of pure torture and, thinking it was supposed to be an ‘easy forty’ I didn’t psych myself up mentally for the challenge either.

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And this is just the training ride Part 2 – Scotland to Borrowdale 83.9 miles

*pictures tomorrow* *Donation Link*

So… My longest ever ride! 83.9 miles and two countries taken in. I have to say that it felt good and it was stunning. I felt slightly cheated out of those last 1.1 miles, though. I should have turned around and pedalled a little bit more, just to add up to that magical 85 miles!

So far, riding my bicycle for a long way has mostly been about eating. This morning was no exception and I managed to consume an unhealthy amount of carbohydrates before nimbly boarding my steed. Onwards, onwards and into the unknown!

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All the gear no idea – Bike fit tips and Course Recommendation

Okay, so mostly I still have no idea but, after my bicycle maintenance course, I am feeling much more confident with Peggy and understanding her needs. This even led me to spend about three hours cleaning her on Tuesday.

Peggy up on the stand getting some work done by lil' old me!

Peggy up on the stand getting some work done by lil’ old me!

I 100% recommend my course by Cycle Training UK. The instructor Paul and his co-pilot Cee-Cee were talented, patient and really dragged us through our paces. Those living in Ealing also get a massive subsidy. By the end of the day, I was absolutely exhausted but super keen to try out everything that I had learned.

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Brighton – Same Same but Different + #7

Now I know how my friends felt when they lost a football match. I could never understand how/why they would be so unchangeably glum and frustrated. Then my battery died mid Brighton ride – again! And now Strava says that my average speed was 8.8mph because it suddenly decided that it would just make up what happened at the end of the ride – incorporating my leisurely fish cake and chips and waste of time trip to the bathrooms on the pier into my active ‘moving time’. This is not a game any more people – what was the point in battling up that evil Beacon for the third time if I have no idea whether I am getting any better?!

Note how the gradient profile just stops abruptly. :'( wahhhhhh

Note how the gradient profile just stops abruptly. 😥 wahhhhhh

Okay, so really it doesn’t matter and I had a lovely day (and the little PB medals from earlier in the ride helped to cheer me up) but it did make me a little narky for a while. Now that I have washed away my monobrow of filth and discovered that I wasn’t just dirty, I actually have a tiny tan, I’m ready to write the blog.

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Paying it Forward

Whether it has been the sponsorship I have been given from friends, family and complete strangers or the advice and offers of accommodation, I have been on the receiving end of huge amounts of kindness and generosity. This week, I hit my first major fundraising target and through the second donation of Marie. I’m 10% of the way to my overall target and have now raised £0.20 for every single mile I will cycle. How exciting! Thank you all so much! Having reached this impressive total, I thought that it was about time to do some paying forward.

milestone

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The Kindness of Strangers

Wish I had a picture of me like this!  Obviously I wore a helmet :-)

Wish I had a picture of me like this! Obviously I wore a helmet 🙂

Precipitation – 100%
Money donated by random stranger – £10
Other crazy cyclists passed – 4 (all on the same stretch and then no more)
Oasts – 5
New words learned – 1 (Oast)
Dry patches – 0
Asthma problems – 0
Amount of money drying on the radiator – £10
Belief in the word ‘waterproof’ – 25% (the Ortliebs really did do a good job of keeping all the water in that had spilled out of my bottle the other day)
New favourite country pubs – 1
Hills – 0.5 (maybe?!)
Energy gels carried around for the past month and not consumed – 1
Intended miles – 47
Phone/Strava freakouts – 5
Recorded miles – 31
Warm jackets borrowed – 1
Regrets – 0

Minor discrepancies but close enough

Minor discrepancies but close enough

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