Our bags are pretty much packed, we’ve spent the week eating pasta, and now there’s nothing left to do but worry whether we’ve done enough training for what lies ahead.
It wasn’t until the evenings started getting a bit longer in the spring that we started taking our training seriously.
For me, a road bike beginner, it was a massive learning curve. I was petrified of downhills, avoided sharp corners, and after a close encounter with some wet tram lines, anything metal. Looking back, I realise how far I’ve come. I no longer avoid the steep hills – in fact I prefer uphills to down – corners aren’t a problem and I’ve realised how stupid it was to tackle the tram lines at an angle in a torrential downpour.
Training has been a huge commitment and juggling it with everything else has been difficult times. Weekends for the last several months have involved increasingly long bike rides. Our definition of what constitutes a ‘long’ bike ride has also changed. For me, I can remember being proud of my first 20-miler. That’s now ‘short’ on the official scale. 70, 80, 90 and 100 mile bike rides all count as ‘long’ or ‘very long’, and the more hills the better!
Between the three of us, we’ve cycled a colossal 7,168 miles/11,535 kilometres according to Strava. If we’d joined forces and gone in a straight line from London, we could have gone to some really far away places:
Rio de Janeiro for the Olympics – 9,528km
Johannesburg – 9,039km
Tokyo – 9,582km
Lima – 10,161 km.
Individually, we could have all gone to Athens (a mere 2,395km) – and carried on. And the keenest cyclist of the three of us (not me!) could have gone to Kuwait City.