My blog entries so far have been fairly minimal, so I feel it’s time to introduce myself properly and get blogging for real! It’s now just under two months until we pack up our lycra, load up the van and head down to Land’s End to start our epic quest across the country, united as friends, as men, as explorers, cyclists, athletes, philanthropists, bloggers and photographers. That’s two months of hard work, increased training, buying the last bits of kit we’ll need, finalising route and accommodation details, and worrying about whether I can actually cycle 90 miles a day for 11 days.
I’m spurred on by the passion of my fellow riders, by their superior fitness and the desire not to be the last up every hill and the first to pull over for a rest. I’m driven by the need to make up for my appalling lack of sport and exercise in recent years, encouraged by the new muscles that are appearing in my legs, and relieved that the hills I cycle regularly get less painful every time. I’m delighted to actually be enjoying the cycling, glad every time I get back on the bike, and shocked at my body getting twitchy on days when I don’t exercise. I’m annoyed when I’m overtaken and grin like an idiot when I go racing past a school kid on a BMX. I used to think cycling 20 miles was a mission, now I eat 20 miles for breakfast.
But my legs ache after just 4 days of fairly short rides, and I fear the unknown effects this ride will have on my body and my mind. I ride alongside (or normally behind) Loughborough trained athletes and keen cyclists, who talk of “pushing your body to the limit.” I don’t think it’ll take much pushing to reach my limit. And what about my mind, can I ignore “the wall” or listen to my body saying “Stop! Eat!”
Mostly though, I’m spurred on by the man who, besides Jesus, has changed my life and impacted me more than anyone else, one of my absolute heroes, a Ugandan pastor called Aloysious Luswatta, and the beautiful orphans he and his family care for. Every mile I cycle, every pound I can raise, is making a difference to these kids’ lives. It’s giving them a home, medical care, enabling them to live in a family, where they can be safe and be loved.
Maybe next year I’ll cycle down to Uganda to see them, any takers?