On June 21, I’ll be joining the Pixel Inspiration team on a 400 mile charity bike ride from London to Paris in support of Prevent Breast Cancer.
When I was first asked to take part, my reaction was: “Of course I’ll do it, it’s for a great cause.” I wasn’t really thinking straight at the time.
Of course, it is for a great cause. Prevent Breast Cancer charity do amazing work to fight a disease that has touched the life of virtually everyone in the UK. I’m very happy to raise money for them.
However, reality kicked in soon after my acceptance. Four hundred miles? What the hell was I thinking? Probably the longest distance I’d traveled previously on a bike was 30 miles. And that was only because I got horribly lost and couldn’t walk for a week afterwards. Four hundred miles is slightly longer than that. I could possibly die.
Then I realised that this was a challenge I had to do. And it would be an interesting experiment to see how much it could actually hurt.
So far, training is going okay. Currently I’m doing a couple of 30 mile rides during the week and then 50+miles at the weekend when my husband comes along with me. He’s completed some closed road events in the past so knows what he’s talking about. I wish I was him. It’s really difficult to get him to stop for food on route as he just wants to power on to the end.
The upside of all this training is that I’ve got to see some fabulous Cheshire countryside. There are villages you’d never normally visit unless you know someone there or there’s a good pub.
The traffic so far has been fine. The majority of drivers give you a wide berth. If you don’t hug the kerb then they have to pay attention and ensure they don’t hit anyone in the opposite direction.
Of course the other great thing about training is that it really burns up the calories. It’s a licence to eat or drink without getting fat. Those Cheshire pubs are going to get hit hard.
One of the biggest things so far has been the expense of buying the right clothes. Alas, this isn’t the early twentieth century when a long distance cyclist would happily head out in a pair of plus fours, a crisp, white shirt and a jaunty looking cap.
The modern cycling woman needs lycra. And lots of it. One thing I don’t want to be doing every night on my way to France is washing out sweaty sports gear. Instead, I plan to have a nice meal, maybe a good glug of wine and then head for bed, hoping the body regenerates like Doctor Who in time for the repeated marathon next day.
I’m starting to accustomise to the pain which seems to be centred around the bottom region. It’s been suggested that I should liberally apply Ibuprofen gel at the start of every day to ease my aches. However, the chap who suggested this cycled across Holland which is as flat as a billiard table, I’m not sure his suggestions actually have any worth. It’s also amusing to note that the women’s anti-chafing cream is called ‘Hoo-Hah’. That’s the noise I usually make when chafing occurs.
So, June 21 is approaching fast and I’m getting a little nervous, but also very excited about the adventure ahead. If you want to support our team on our epic journey then your donations would be more than welcome. Go to our Just Giving page and support our Prevent Breast Cancer effort at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Pixel-Inspiration
We’d be very grateful for anything you can give.