The sun has been out, temperatures high and winds low – so it’s been an absolute joy to be out on the bike for our final week of training. A bit of commuting or early morning miles before work with the bigger miles over the weekend, as normal. Saturday saw us cycling 65 miles from Exeter out to Bampton and back, initially along well trodden roads to Tiverton before discovering new lanes, stopping at the Bridge House to relax and refuel in their fabulous sunny garden mid way. Having to think on our feet and re-route due to a closed road on the way home, just added to the adventure – and earned Sam the new nickname of Sam Nav – she’s getting good at coming up with alternative routes!

Sunday we did the first 20 miles of our 60 mile ride with our friends from the David Lloyd Cycling club, flying out through Clyst St Mary, over Woodbury Common to Budleigh Salterton before we then went our own way out to Honiton. Again, a bit of ‘making it up as we went along’ we found new hills, new lanes and new ways of piecing together bits of the area we already know. There’s something very fulfilling about that sort of bike adventure and we finished our training on a real high.

Now we’re essentially tapering, which is basically winding the activity right down to give our bodies a rest in preparation for our event. We’ll still ride but a fraction of the normal time and intensity – and I suppose it’s a good time to warn you that we might be somewhat grumpy or frustrated with all that pent up energy, should you bump into us in the next 10 days. This week we’ll probably ride 75 miles in total, rather than the 250-300 we’ve been doing of late – and next week will be much less…. maybe 20 miles if that.

It’s a really weird feeling to be in this phase which is all about keeping well, keeping activity low and now focusing on the detail of the event. Making sure we’ve got all we need for 9 days of riding and 9 nights of camping – and not going over the 16kg (+bike) weight limit we’ve been set. As I type I’m keeping one ear out for the postman as I’m expecting my race number and event instructions to arrive at any minute. Excited and a bit nervous – after almost a year of anticipation, planning and preparation….we’re almost there.

So now it’s time to clean/maintain the bikes, iron ‘name labels’ into clothes, go through the suggested kit list and make sure we’ve got everything and make good use of the extra time we’re going to have this week and next…

We say it every time we write but thank you again to all of you for your love, support, kind/motivating words, advice and donations. It means the world to have you all on this journey with us.

Love Sarah and Sam x