As I ride over the finish line I am conscious that I can actually see where I started 909 miles ago, Lands End, Worcestershire. What was the point?
The point was that I had an opportunity, an opportunity not to be wasted.
We returned from our Lanzarote winter holiday feeling very well watered and fed. I was, at 18st 2lbs (115kg) almost back at my heaviest weight and pulling chest muscles at the mere thought of twisting or stretching. Time to do something … if only there was an opportunity.
Then, we closed and one week later, were furloughed. Couch to John O’Groats.
909 miles. The Course
Almost 2500 laps of a 0.39mile loop of our caravan site. One sharp corner requiring maximum concentration to avoid losing my Lanzarote sun tan sliding along Cotswold stone on my bum. Speed bumps hurled themselves at me every 10 seconds, just enough time to line up for the gaps. Thankfully – Flat.
909 miles. The Gear
This was the worst bit. All my gear was 100 miles away.
No padded shorts … that took some getting used to.
No lycra, not to show off my bulging muscles/fat, baggy t-shirts and nylon football shorts act as very good parachutes when the wind blows.
No clip-in shoes, not ideal as I had clip-in pedals, so my best casual shoes balanced on shiny pedals was sketchy at times, especially if I stood up.
No helmet, but my shiny head made for optimal aerodynamics.
Safety glasses and safety gloves finished my outfit.
The Bike. Let’s just say, not the one I had to sell to pay for our leaking roof repair. Selling out of a Crisis
909 miles. The Weather
It only rained once, I did ride that day but regretted it, only one pair of shoes remember. Otherwise, my only enemy was the wind, riding a loop meant I would be facing it every 30 seconds. Anything over 10mph can be hard work and during April and May it hardly ever dropped below that. I prayed for what a cyclist refers as a ‘float’ day, when the wind would be no more than 4mph … nobody listened.
909 miles. In Numbers
909 miles … obviously
16.5mph Average Speed
20miles – 59min 50sec – Fastest Day (The Final Day… Yes… a float day … Agony)
…and the big one
18st 2lb Starting Weight
15st 9lb Finish Weight (99.5kg)
16 kg Weight Loss – That’s almost the same as 8 x 2Ltr bottles of coke if you want to visualise it.
On the final day the BMI chart officially decreed me ‘overweight’ having been tagged ‘obese’ for the duration of the challenge. Another 3 stone and apparently I become ‘normal’.
For my sanity I am going to venture off site for some miles, I am utterly bored of this loop now. The tandem is due a few miles off site too. If at any point we can drive home to retrieve our kit that will be even better … my bum agrees.