Setting up and set backs

The idea to cycle the length of Europe came as a natural development I think. It was the obvious next step for us, as we had cycled Land’s End to John O’Groats, completed Wales North to South off-road and road tripped through the UK to go mountain biking in as many places as possible.

It was time to head back to the road.

Tom, James and I had been together on previous trips, but this time we thought it would be nice to share the pain with others. This is our first trip with Alec but he didn’t need much convincing!

Other than deciding that we were cycling from the north of Europe to the south, by February we hadn’t sorted anything. So while Tom and I were swanning it up backpacking in New Zealand, Alec and Jim (James) sorted our flights to Nordkapp. There’s nothing like planning a trip halfway through another one! With the momentum building, the choice of charities was made and the rest is still underway, including training…

Obviously to cycle 3600 miles you need to train and this hasn’t started well. After returning from New Zealand and Vietnam the stoke was high to crack back into riding and the first three weeks were a buzz, taking every opportunity to go for a ride, usually on our mountain bikes. During a shred (high energy ride) around the Forest of Dean, the one last run curse took hold and I injured my knee. Being surprised by how much it hurt, I followed the instructions to rest and I’ve been off the bike for 3 weeks.

James felt that he was being left out, as Hannah (our sister) has injured her ACL so decided to sprain his ankle trying a bar spin on a different bike. We’ve promised ourselves to take it easy with the mountain biking from now on and concentrate on getting the miles in.

Another difficulty for James and I is the slight problem of taking A level exams, fitting training around a packed revision schedule is hard but it does make you push yourself and enjoy those hours on the bike.

On the bright side, the planning is coming together and the stoke (excitement) is building. Just counting down the days…

SP


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