Some of you may already know that I didn’t get to complete the Coast to Coast last month. Despite much anticipation, a huge amount of excitement and a 5 hour drive to get to our destination…
10 miles in and an old knee injury started to flare up. The truth is – it was harder than I’d expected and I just wasn’t mentally prepared which made the physical aspect 100% harder.
I’d just like to say a flipping WELL DONE to my group who raised thousands of pounds for Sound Sense: Keven Meredith, Phil Drinkwater, Julie Moore, Rob Meredith, Sarah and Eddie Drummond. And a special thank you to Rik Bocking for putting up with me snapping at him occasionally and my emotional outbursts. I think he was mildly amused. Lol.
My energy was high when we got to the cold but quaint town of Whitehaven – we dipped our back wheels into the sea, posed for some pictures and off we went.
Right from the start, my biggest realisation is that I had the wrong tyres for my adventures. Trekking or road tyres would have been an appropriate fit rather than my 27.5 mtb ones. Just to give you an idea… for every pedal a road bike does, a mountain bike of my size (and my fitness) has to pedal around 3/4 times just to keep up.
The 30 miles that I did ride from Whitehaven to Keswick albeit brutally hard were beautifully. It was very much uphill but the downhill bits were extremely rewarding – I clocked up 40 mph at one point! I did get to see some stunning views of the lakes, the weather was mostly sunny and it was nice to chat to fellow bikers. My group were lovely and showed their concern for me but I was conscious that I was keeping them behind. I think my decision to go back was a well- informed one.
I’ve discovered that 30 miles doesn’t really peak my fitness when it’s on flat to moderately bumpy road. However when it comes to sharp inclines going on for miles with a dodgy knee-I’m useless! ‘Windlatter’ mentally broke me and my knee (not literally) and it was at this point I knew once I’d got to Keswick, a plan home was needed!!!
From what I seen of Keswick, it was lovely and friendly. Surrounded by a dramatic backdrop and Northern friendly chatter- what more could you ask for? I even got a free cocktail off one of the new little bars which was having an opening that evening. I don’t drink but the alcohol numbed my knee… I’ll be back for a holiday that’s for sure.
Thankfully, Kevin Meredith, the Coast to Coast organiser had contacts for an emergency pick up service. Brian the owner came to get us that night and took us to Penrith to collect our bags and back to New Castle where we’d left the car. He was a star and it only cost £150. Not like the train which would have cost around double or more!
After a 4 hour drive back I flopped into bed at 2am and woke up the next morning feeling entirely deflated if I’m honest. I’ve been training quite a bit over the past year and it’s been so rewarding to see my fitness improve. It was soul destroying (at the time) to see that my fitness was just not good enough nor had my body held out well from previous accidents on the Llandegla and Coed Y Brenin trails.
Still onward I go.
It’s only the beginning….
On reflection…. I’m quite frankly over it. I didn’t let anyone down or me. You helped me to raise £350 for a good cause (THANK YOU) and I came out of it, with a new sense of determination.
I accept that I’m human and I’ve my limits, limits which can be stretched if you’ve the right prep, equipment and mental strength. I’m working on all of those. I did learn quite a few things about myself during those 30 miles.
a) Mental chatter if not silenced can take over
b) I prefer trails and get much more enjoyment out of technical riding
I know that I will do the C2C again but I’m considering the Welsh one because it’s closer to me…
So my friends, that’s an end of a chapter but a beginning of another. I did conquer something recently which I’m super proud of but that’s a blog for another day.
Have you had any similar experiences of not achieving something you’ve wanted to do but, came out of it much wiser? I’d love to know!