I did manage to get all the way down to Lands End last week. I followed the whole length of the A30 on my bicycle.
One of the things you find when you spend hour after hour cycling is that it’s not so much the physical exertion that matters, but the mental willingness to just do nothing but cycle for hours. It’s something you hear with long distance runners, they enter a zone where the focus is on the next step. I can’t say I’m in the league of a pro athlete, but when yet another big hill stretches out in front of you and after an enjoyable ride in gear 21, it’s down to gear 1 for a walking-pace struggle uphill, I know how they feel.
Running a marathon or riding long distance is one of those things that is enjoyable before you do it – because of the anticipation – and enjoyable to recall afterwards. There is a strong sense of achievement. But the actual time spent doing it is full of pain and discomfort…!
I wasn’t even doing this ride for charity, it was just to get out of London for a few days on my bike, so it was sometimes hard to push on. When I cycle in London, it is rarely beyond 10 miles – you can get from the suburbs into town in usually less than that, but when cycling across country, it’s always 20-more-miles-before-taking-a-break!
Anyway, if I do another long distance ride, I’ll probably arrange to meet some people along the way, perhaps organise it on Twitter, so people can join for a chat and ride for 10 miles or so before they head home…