It has been a long time in the making, and tomorrow is the day. In under 24 hours time (18 hours 23 mins at time of writing), I will join 50+ other cyclists at St Christopher's Hospice in Sydenham, to begin a 350 mile, four day cycle to Amsterdam. Stopping off in Calais, Bruge, and Breda along the way, for some rest, refreshments, and recharge the batteries. The physical ones that is, no e-bikes here!
Bags are packed with what I think I will need, clothing, supplies, and some snacks, courtesy of Seachelles Bakehouse, bike is serviced and ready to go thanks to Finches in Forest Hill. So as far as bike, and prep goes, I am ready to go.
Mentally and physically however, well that is a slight other story. Physically my lungs are not back to 100% from a recent sniffle I had, so that is a bit of a challenge. Added to hayfever and high humidity, and physically I know I have to pace myself. Was never about getting there fast, but this is all the more reason to take it a bit easier. My power meter on the bike has decided it doesn't want to work now, so rather than watching the watts, I will have to watch the BPM's. Good thing I am familiar with doing that.
Mentally, well the past few weeks have not been kind, and recent conversations and interactions have not exactly done much to alleviate the nerves of being around so many strangers. My mindset at the moment is pretty much wanting to zone out, get each ride day done, and find my own space in the evenings. Hopefully that will change as the barriers drop as the miles go by. However I am being realistic about things, so got to keep it in mind. I am sure it will be OK whatever happens.
So, tomorrow I get up early, get ready, hop on the bike and go for a nice little chill out, leg stretch ride, before heading to St Christopher's, shake out the nerves and the cobwebs. From the morning I an doing a Social Media takeover on St Christopher's Twitter and Instagram accounts. I am also hoping to do a few little sessions on Facebook Live to keep the juices flowing, and show people their pennies were not donated in vain.
I think once we get moving, I am just going to slip into my usual quite relaxed feeling of riding. Looking forwards to getting over the hills on the way to Dover, as that will realistically be the hard work for the whole ride done. Again, just got to watch those BPM's and not over cook things.
Can you tell I am anxious yet? Already over thinking things. Will my phone battery last. Will the battery pack recharge fast enough to use daily? Will I be able to sleep ( I struggle at the best of times)? It is all going on in my head right now. So much so, that I am currently in the middle of a physical slump, exhausted. An hour on Zwift, nope, didn't wake me up. A walk to the shops, just made me realise how humid it is right now, and worried me more about riding in it. Just need to get the cogs on the bike spinning, to stop the ones in my head!!
Right, I better get back to the sofa, and worrying myself silly about riding a bike!!
Thanks for reading.
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For more info on my reasons for doing this etc, you can find info at www.snazy.co.uk/l2a
Once again, thanks for reading.
PS, as ever, thanks to everyone who has helped or donated in any way.