My last big ride for training which I hope is representative of what I will need to do on the JoGLE. No…take that back nothing is really representative, but what I am looking for is an improvement in my ability to climb hills with 10kg of extra weight in the panniers and recover quickly for the next one.

This was all about doing a trial run with all the kit, over two full days and around 70 to 80 miles per day. From today every ride I do will carry the whole weight to get the muscles used to carrying everything needed for the 13 day tour.

What an experience. I had to modify the route slightly from the round Berkshire official route to account for where I was staying over night. This trip had everything. Some high gradient hills, cold rain at the top of a very big hill, soggy shoes. Everything I need to contend with – sensible, without emotion and just “do the job” on the ride. This ride was a test for me and that’s being honest and human.

Who knows, I may not be ready for the JoGLE. But I have completed the training plan I put in place some months ago. All the big rides are now done, the heavy training is finished and I’m down to keeping the muscles moving with two weeks to go and watching the diet and eating a few more carbs. In the last few months I’ve ridden just shy of 1,400 miles and burned over 61k calories (this has significantly contributed to the loss of 1 stone in weight).

To any one who does this type of training regularly who is reading this, fantastic – for me its been the start of a new life to train like this, I am not a cyclist – I wanted to do something different and raise money for a good cause, to find the time to get out on the bike two to three times per week given a job that doesn’t allow a 9 to 5 and dedicate my life to something other than work its been an education of what can be done. So far its been more than worth it. If its enough training I don’t know, but I’ll approach the challenge with the same determination I had from day one. Go and do it, fear doesn’t play a part – do it anyway.

Big hills, baby swans, beautiful countryside, the Wilsthire border, Berskhire, Polo at Windsor – just a few things on this short ride that made me stop and take stock. What will I encounter on the 900+ mile over the length of the UK? What will make me take stock over the JoGLE?

The ride “will hurt” but its just pain and it will pass. There are more important things, I set a goal, people have put money behind me in achieving it in good faith. Now is not the time to dwell on pain, now is the time to get the job done. There are others in more pain…daily…for many hours, days and years. Those with MS suffer much more than I will on this ride and the support of everyone so far has been a tremendous motivator and I want it to be when I go the distance.

Nothing worth achieving was ever easy. For those with rapid progressive MS, every day is a marathon. They say a century is the cyclists marathon, I won’t be going quite that far every day but it is far enough that for 13 days I may be asking for some help creaming sensitive parts! 🙂

Every step, every movement is a challenge. This ride is about getting there, not about speed but about achieving a daily goal. Just doing what needs to be done. Please support me and the work of the MS Society do in support and in research. What I am doing is trivial compared to what I have seen of rapid progressive MS.

Round Berkshire Cycle Tour: Day 1 – 80.3 miles

Round Berkshire Cycle Tour: Day 2 – 71.9 miles

By Darren