Warning - may cause a good mood

Training ride 25 – distance: 12.3 miles

Training ride 26 – distance: 11.3 miles

Training ride 27 – distance: 8.2 miles

Total training miles: 356.3 miles

Days left to challenge: 300

When I started this blog I said there may be some gaps and I see, with a pang of shame, it is two weeks since my last post. Some rides have been done and some more miles added but not enough. The explanation for the gap? A genuine reason and too many poor excuses…

The genuine reason was I managed to trap a nerve in my back which was painful and did stop me getting on the bike for a short while. The excuses? Even after my back was really in good enough shape a glance out of the window at the wind and rain saw me mentally calling on my ‘bad back’ excuse not to go and one day I even played the “I don’t have the the right cycling top” card. Pathetic really.

I find it strange how things that seem a regular part of my life can suddenly stop, sometimes forever and often for no apparent reason.  A good few years ago I regularly went to the gym. I generally enjoyed it and was most probably in the best shape of my life. Then one day I didn’t go and for whatever reason never went back again.  This summer I juiced every day for two months and loved it, felt fantastic and had oodles of energy. I’ve now not juiced for over 6 weeks – although every week I do say I will do so… (and I will – honest…)

I don’t think this pattern of behaviour is unique to me but it is a trait that I know I must personally fight against to make sure I complete this challenge – and it is, as I initially set out, one of my key reasons for doing the blog.

A fear of failure, while a powerful motivator, is not however the driving force that I want to push myself forward in the coming months and I was given a timely reminder via a friend on Facebook of one of the real reasons I have chosen to do a cycling challenge.

Rob Mabey, owner of the Regatta restaurant in Aldeburgh, works long and unsociable hours in the kitchen. A busy kitchen is a stressful environment to work in and Rob has told me that regularly getting out on his bike is his antidote and his saver of sanity.

It was therefore with almost perfect timing, as I sat looking out of the window at another drizzly day, that he shared a Facebook post from MapMyRide.

Warning: a bike ride may cause a good mood, increased energy levels, and an overall feeling of awesomeness. 

And he’s right. Rain or shine, warm or cold there is an exhilaration to getting out on the bike. Within minutes you can be enjoying Suffolk’s beautiful countryside and you always feel better once you’ve done it.

So with renewed vigour I once again commit myself to the task in hand. I shall look for opportunities to ride – rather than reasons not to – and continue to make sure I am fully prepared for next September.

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