Sarah’s week

Having banged out 292 training miles this week I’m feeling more confident about the Ride Across Britain event and my ability to keep getting back on the bike to ride consecutive days. Whilst that’s still less than a third of what we’ll ride in 9 days in September it’s a good confidence boost. It’s been my biggest week ever, more miles than when I rode London to Paris a few years ago.

I’ve started commuting to work here and there and even used my bike to get to a couple of meetings this week. I’m pretty sure it was quicker than driving, given the traffic in the area due to the County Show. I was pretty touched when one of the Directors I was meeting this week wore his running kit to our business meeting, to show some solidarity. I wish I’d taken a picture of us in our shorts, outside in the sun, talking about serious subjects like recruitment and long term goals.

It’s amazing how the miles add up, I’d ridden about 80 miles before the back to back century rides we had planned for the weekend. With great weather, excellent coffee stops and good routes I was on a real high. I particularly loved Sunday as I really love the climbs and views from Ide, just outside of Exeter, up to Whiddon Down and really enjoy riding through North Devon back to Crediton before heading back to Exmouth. I’m less ‘himotional’ these days – a new word I’ve made up to describe how emotional I used to get about big climbs. We do so many now I rarely let them phase me like I used to. Good job given the utter bastard of a hill Sam had incorporated into that day’s ride. At mile 80 it was a pretty unwelcome sight….but hey… we laughed afterwards.

One of my highlights was us racing the last 2 miles of Sunday’s ride, back to my house, after riding 200 miles over the weekend. Testimony to our fitness and how competitive we are too, there was no way I was going to let her get away from me. We managed to bag a couple of Strava cups as a result and finished as we always do, happy.

New kit seems to be holding up. New shorts, shoes and pedals are a joy and riding feels way more comfortable than it did a few weeks ago. Thank goodness.

I’m so relieved that all our fundraising events are now over – they’ve been such fun but the organising is a huge task and stressful. The last event was charity speed dating, held in conjunction with PI Society, in Topsham in the week. It was such a great night, £345 raised for our fundraising pot and a good time had by all…..I think there’s even some budding romances! I hear that there have been a few dates taking a place as a result, which makes me happy.

I’m swimming round the Scilly Isles this weekend and so a bit of a break from big bike miles – it’s big swim miles instead! 10 miles to be precise 😊

Sam’s week
The previous week had been our rest week and for once I actually reigned back the training and felt recharge. New kit had arrived, so I was excited to trial it. I also knew that it was time to crank up the miles and ride more often, even if it was a few extra miles commuting to work. Less car time, more bike time.

I felt great being back on the bike on Monday and racked up some great miles with training, commuting and even a quick 4 miles at lunchtime. I racked up more miles on Tuesday, but my gear cable snapped and left me grinding up the hills, my lower back felt that! But a beautiful evening ahead, so the winter bike came out and a rare cycle with the husband and a pitstop at Turf Locks for a pint and nachos. Perfect!

The bike was fixed by the guys at The Bike Shed within 24 hours, so an appointment for my nails to be done in Exmouth on Thursday, was a great reason to hop back on the bike to get my training/beauty fix. I even had my nails in colours to match the bike! My weekly mileage was over 100 and I felt great. Couldn’t wait for the weekend.

I hadn’t seen Sarah for ages, so being back out with her at the weekend meant we could properly catch up. A great route on Saturday which we had ridden a month before and I could feel how much stronger I was. A highlight of the ride for me, was when we were climbing Coombe Hill and a deer jumped out and ran across in front of us. Very special moment in such a peaceful and tranquil setting, simply stunning!

A new route on Sunday. New roads which we flew down, but then had to get back up, so there was a lot of climbing. But I loved it! A couple of harsh hills to climb before reaching pit stop 2 and finding it closed!!! I was gutted, and felt so bad as I had suggested it. No choice but to crack on and we did this in style, by hitting Radden Hill. I hadn’t realised how long and steep it was! At least 20% incline in places, I thought Sarah would kill me. But we both just dug in and got up it, and actually secretly enjoyed it. I’m already thinking about when I can head back and have another go! (not sure Sarah has similar plans 😊)

Dropping into the Thorverton Arms, the new owners were so kind and even though their kitchen had closed, they rustled up some beef sandwiches which were lush. My favourite part of the week was sat outside that pub, with us discussing the day’s route and ‘that hill’. I was proper belly laughing, the sun was shining, I had finally got some food and all was well with the world again! 327 miles was my final count for the week, the most I have ever covered and a speedy race to the finish line just proved my level of bike fitness has improved, long may it continue!