Let me tell you about mental health issues. I’m not talking about the kind of issues that are visible, or the kind of issues that cause alarm with your friends and family. Like many disabilities a lot of mental health issues can be invisible. Millions of people suffer daily with what seem to them to be relatively minor mental health issues. Issues that cause them problems with relationships. Issues that cause them anxiety. Issues that don’t allow them to appreciate their own self-worth. Issues that in isolation don’t really appear anything to be concerned about....
My mood felt better than yesterday, but sunshine tends to have that effect. I knew I was heading towards home, and I was determined to enjoy the day. It wasn't long before people started appearing in laybys to wish me well. Some people flagged me down, to talk to me, but for others I rode on past, with an attempt at a cheery wave. ack on track, I started looking for a cafe for some breakfast, and I was in the mood for a full English to see me on my way. Soon I came across a lovely cafe by a river...
I knew I needed to make sure that I didn’t scrimp on my sleep on this trip, but despite being on the road for over 16 hours, and riding almost 200 miles the day before, I was wide awake when I arrived at my hotel room. I scattered my belongings around the room, thought about my day,
In part 2 of my blog on mental health stories, I am reminded that even though cycling can be the most socially distanced of sports, there is something about it which can also bring people together. My Lejogle journey somehow did just that. I started the ride with just a few friends, family and audaxers having any real interest in my journey. But by the end hundreds, possible thousands were watching my 'dot' and encouraging me to the finish, regardless of whether I had passed my target time or not. They were fastinated with my struggle through the weather, through sleep deprivation, and the inevitable pain in the butt that I developed early on.
Whenever you want to attempt something pretty epic, it's generally a good idea to have some kind of plan. And like a good Cub Scout it helps to always be prepared.
How do you get your head around the idea of being able to cycle 1800 miles in 10 days?
It's quite simple - you dont!
You can't really. You can get your head around the idea of a long ride, and even several long rides. But one single ride from the bottom to the top of the country and back again? That's a lot to process. Especially when you don't have a great track record time wise.