Well at last we’ve started!
2014 was an Ironman, 2015 was Brighton Marathon and pretty much as soon as that was finished I was thinking what would 2016’s challenge be…
I wasn’t ready for another Ironman, then we sadly lost Mo 22.07.15, and the idea of cycling the length of the country took shape…
My preparation has been ok, I thought I was doing JOGLAND with some guys from Brighton up until July, but that trip didn’t get the numbers so in panic I found an alternative on-line. Peak-Tours have been great, they were full but on hearing my story and I already had money fundraised for the charity they took pity and accepted me on the trip….we’re a very diverse group of 26.
I was training well for JOGLAND which was a 10 day trip, psychologically my mindset wrongly changed when it became a 14 day trip and changes at work meant demands there were high but hopefully I have done enough…over 3000 training km anyway since January – time will tell.
This past week has been manic, working late, and trying to create a packing list, couple of training rides, bike phaff, etc. It was a relief to finally get in the car with Nikki – the time had finally come.
The weather on the drive down was a shocker…blowing, big rain, you could only think someone was looking out for us to avoid that as being Day 1.
Arriving in St Just we settled into our B&B and more phaffing ensued with kit!
Then to meet the group…first person we met is Peter who lives in Spain and from today’s ride would appear to be very strong. Then Neil & Mark, two passionate Welsh boys, great banter and lots of excitement! I was starting to feel at ease, there was a buzz in the room, lots of energy, lots of excitement, some great characters, beside the 1000 miles!! This was a really nice bunch of people.
Day one, dodgy Breakfast from the B&B, my 16 year old son cooks a far better Poached Eggs on toast. Roll call, check the tyres, and we all roll down to Lands End. Nikki drives.
Photos, banter, final briefing, big hugs from Nikki and yes, finally I’m on the bike and we’re registering the opening miles.
The day was broken down into quarters, brew stop, lunch stop, brew stop, finish.
First brew stop was at Marazion, a place I have many crazy memories from, Charlie Brown from Brighton Poly days was a lifeguard here, we all used to visit, camp, play, drink far too much – fond memories. It was a perfect stopping point, just 12 miles in but gave everyone an opportunity to fix rattles etc.
Of course I chose to ignore the slow flat, added more air, it’ll be fine.
It’s going flat for a reason dickhead.
The first 12 miles were better than expected, wind behind, not that much climbing, traffic was light and considerate and with the westerly myself and a couple of others cracked out a good pace.
The slow flat…..yes of course, rather than sort in the comfort and relative safety of the car park at Marazion I saved for the roadside! Brand new Gatorskins proved not as bullet proof as promoted with a thin piece of wire piercing tyre and inner tube. Anyway, no longer being quite the novice of 2013 wrestling with tyre levers, inner tubes and gas cannisters it was a fairly quick pit stop.
Fantastic morning with manageable climbs, great downhills, incredibly quiet and rural country lanes.
Lunch for me was two plates of pasta, perfect, at a pub with possibly one of the friendliest and loveliest landladies I’ve had the privilege to meet recently….it isn’t rocket science being nice, friendly, smiling, welcoming…this lady was a master, well done you – I don’t often do Google Reviews – but the B&B was about 2 at best, the lunch stop was 5*.
After lunch we continued with enthusiasm however despite what the profile suggests it seemed a day of two halves, or maybe that was just a bit of fatigue kicking in? Anyway the last 3km had a right bugger of a climb…guys spinning up with big 32s on the rear cassette looked to be enjoying my pain, the Giant standard 26 biggest gear doesn’t look so clever… ;(
So day one is complete, me & Nellie enjoyed the ride and the banter.
Day 2 is looking tough & the weather forecast isn’t the best…might get my head down early!