I and a group of 7 friends are attempting to cycle from Land’s End to John O’Groats over a 906 mile route that takes in the highest road in the UK (in the Cairngorms). We aim to do this over 10 consecutive days in May, with the longest day being 107 miles! Believe it or not, when we arrive in Carlisle on night 5, we will only be half way! Scotland is much bigger than many think.
This will require 6 – 8 hours of cycling a day plus stops (for lots of food – we’ll be burning an extra 5000 calories a day!). So every day will be long and tough. There is a total of 27500ft of climbing and when we go over the Cairngorms there is 5000ft of climbing in one day. I’ve been training hard and at least once a fortnight I have been attempting to get in a long ride (at least 80 miles), but the thought of doing more than that every day for 10 days is pretty daunting.
Currently, I have a problem with the cycling equivalent of “hitting the wall” and what the cycling fraternity calls “the bonk”! This is where your muscles get totally depleted of glycogen (the form that sugars are stored in the muscles) and regardless how willing the mind is, your legs just stop working. This has been affecting me after about 4 – 5 hours of cycling and appears to be regardless of how much food I’ve managed to eat (Chip butties and bara brith are clearly not enough!). It makes the last hour or two of cycling pretty unpleasant. And the advice from my more experienced friends? Eat even more! Or as one friend said “just man up”! I prefer the former.
Anyway, if you feel inclined to reward my suffering, I’m raising money for the Junior Diabetes Research Federation (JDRF). The charity supports research into the illness and it has provided lots of helpful support to my 3 year old niece and family. She suffers from the condition, also known as Type 1 diabetes and requires 4 insulin injections and 4 blood tests every day.