12 days to go

Self doubt overcome with an email

With only 12 days left to the beginning of our 2019 adventure and 5 days left of training; preparations are hotting up. On Monday we managed a short bike ride (33 miles, it was meant to be 30 but a diversion increased our distance). Our bodies are still recovering from being 8 hours behind BST for a couple of weeks and we felt we needed to take it relatively easy.

The scorching weather last week made us realise that we didn’t want  conditions to be too hot for our ride in August. The deluge which dropped yesterday made us realise we didn’t want it to be wet. We set off today with a WSW wind of 18mph gusting 35mph. This made us realise we didn’t want it to be windy. So if anyone has a contact in the met office could you please request the following – a mid-day temperature of 21 degrees, no rain (or very light showers if it really has to rain) and a steady gentle northerly breeze of 5mph.

The wind (along with no cycling for 3 weeks before Monday) meant that today’s training ride was a challenge, particularly as the first 7 miles were directly into the wind. Patrick’s chicken legs and my thighs struggled with small hills as we pushed into the wind and I began to be overcome by self doubt. Our daily distances on the actual ride would be more than 85 miles, we’d completed one training ride of 65 miles and not cycled the day before or after. Time is running out. Rubes and Roberto are booked into the bike hospital in Newbury for Big Dave’s expertise and TLC next Tuesday to make sure they’re in fine fettle when we set off from Newcastle. Now is not the time to wear ourselves out completely as we need to be in a good state when we start the ride. We’ve 3 more training rides scheduled and I’m worrying that we should be further advanced and fitter. Patrick’s got a much more laid back and positive attitude – “we’ll do whatever we need to do when we’re on the challenge”. As I cycled along today I began to think  how I was going to deal with the pain of the long distance cycling. We don’t consider ourselves ‘proper cyclists’. We’re a couple of leisure cyclists who don the lycra and do our best.

When we arrived home Patrick read out an email he’d received from a friend whose sister had been diagnosed with breast cancer at the end of last year. “My sister has had great news with regard to her cancer. The chemo has done its job, and there is no sign on any cancer remaining. She has had a mastectomy and a breast reduction on the other one to even things out, and she is doing really well. So all the money you, and others like you, raise for Cancer Research is paying off. Thank you! 

The self doubt has been cast out, there are more positive things to focus on. Temporary aching thighs are a small price to pay to improve cancer outcomes. Onwards! 

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