September 22, 2016

Day 21 done, I’ve a week left to ride a bike!!! Tough few days coming up, some are shorter but they’re quite hilly! I need to stay injury free and ensure I cycle into NY in SEVEN days!

Today I’ve decided to do a Q & A……


What do you think about when you’re on the bike?

When I first started all I thought about is quitting, now I’m a bit further on I think about the end a lot! I find that being on a bike is the perfect place to think, especially if I’m riding in silence with my aids out. I’ve reviewed every aspect of my life multiple times in the 160+ hours I’ve spent on that saddle.


What’s the RV like?

It’s very homely and I’m very happy with it. I could have saved a few grand with a smaller one but I wouldn’t like to have anything smaller than this, it’s a good size. Naturally I’m very happy with the master bedroom, Rob’s probably happy with his bunk bed too. I’m not too sure about the other two smaller beds, I have to dodge feet sticking out of the ends each morning, they are bigger than the bed! The bathroom is small but it’s got a shower and toilet, you need a gas mask to enter tho. The living area is a decent size and great on the nights! The front cockpit is awesome and very spacious, I think the lads like driving about!


What do you do on a night?

Initially we were in bed quite early, but as the ride has progressed they’re getting later and later. Common nights now include BBQ’s, Poker, Monopoly and beer (although I’m not drinking too much myself, yet).


What do you eat?

This is extremely varied as it’s often hard to find restaurants that will sell anything other than deep fried stuff. During the day it depends what we have in the van. I try to have at least 3 meals a day with foods such as bars, gels and fruit in-between. A typical lunch is pasta, sausage and veg, or perhaps just a  plate of boiled veg with seasoning. I try eat lots on the night, anything I can get my hands on, so that my body can turn it into energy ready for the next day.


Why do you still look fat?

Ha! Although possessing relatively good fitness levels, I wasn’t in all that good shape before. My biggest regret over this past year is not eating well, but it was tough enough to find time for everything and that was was my one weakness. In addition, I am eating a lot here! Literally stuffing my face with cake, crackers and biscuits all day long. I eat 5000+  calories every day, easy. When I get back I’m dieting, honest!


What’s that thing you wear on your chest?

It’s a heart rate monitor. I can tell a lot about my body from my readings as I know what it should be most of the time, for example if I’m climbing. If it’s not right, say it’s not coming down quick enough after a climb, there’s an issue and I might need to eat more or whatever. Although my HR has been amazingly low throughout this process. Some rides have been an average of 100BPM which is ridiculously low to cycle 100+ miles. However my HR is always low when I’m fatigued, so it’s a bit of an illusion!


What animals have you seen?

Mostly mosquitoes, in our van. I’ve seen a huge amount of roadkill and it absolutely stinks, beavers, snakes, racoons, birds, deers and many others I couldn’t identify. Rob and Chris removed a “biting spider” from our air con unit this morning. I’ve also seen some beautiful horses, deer, tortoise, hares and my fave has to be the Golden Eagle! I also thought I saw a bear in Walmart, but it was Rob.


Favorite state (not based on how easy the cycling was)?

This is a tough question as I’ve seen some unbelievable things in almost all the states. I think for me, the most memorable was Nevada. It’s hard to imagine riding through a desert and it’s even harder to believe your eyes when you approach huge towns in the middle of nowhere. You can see for miles, and the views on top of the climbs are sensational, even if it’s all dry land! It was also the hardest state to cycle, so far!


What does your bum look like after all of this riding?! / On scale of 1-100 how sore is your butt ??

I was going to post a photo but thought better of it!

If I’m honest this has been far better than expected. I have lubed it up nicely 3 times a day – I’ve got through about 5 pots of the stuff – and it’s holding up really well. Don’t get me wrong it’s still sore, I’ve a few bites and spots and they rub a lot but the pain is manageable. In the second week I had to wear a dirty kit for two consecutive days as I had none fresh, this was not nice and I started to get some bad saddle sores, they hurt me for two days but have since cleared up.


Are you tired? / What part of your body hurts the most?

Hmmmm as I said in yesterday’s post, I am tired but I’ve been tired and in pain for so long you just get used to it! Some days I’m worse than others, it depends if I ate well and how difficult the previous days ride was. I get a lot of aches and pains but they generally fade out after a while. I get a lot of cramps, especially in my shoulder. It was with me for 4 hours today, that’s not pleasant. My hamstrings pull a lot and my right ankle hurts at around the 6/7 hour mark. When it’s hot my feet swell and that hurts too, I bathe it in ice every 3 hours or so, such a good feeling! I was moaning, and worried, about everything in the first week but your body – and mind – adapts to it.


Would you do something on this scale again?

Hmmm I thought a lot about this when I’m riding. My main aim throughout this process was to follow in my father’s footsteps and cycle across America for charity, I wanted to raise 10k and make him proud in the process. It was never really about me, I could have done something at home but I wanted to do what he did 20 years ago….

With that in mind I’m not sure I would. It’s consumed 13 months of my life and although it’s absolutely awesome and will change my outlook on life, I have missed out on, and sacrificed, lots of stuff during that period. You see a lot of people who get “the bug” once they do an endurance event, but unless I can integrate it into my life a little easier I’m not sure I would be willing to dedicate that much time again. Not right now in my life, when I feel the time could be invested better elsewhere. I wouldn’t really be willing to do half and half either, it has to be all or nothing.

I have thought about ways in which I can keep Ride For The Child living without me punishing myself though. Only ideas at the moment, but watch this space!


Can you log into my strava account & ride the remaining days as me?

Absolutely, we’re looking at a donation of around £1 per mile. By next Weds you will have roughly 600 miles and around 20,000ft of elevation. A sound investment!


Have the Americans embraced bobs? Is it true there is a cult of bobs?

Robert a.k.a Bobsy (RV support manager) has taken America by storm. They have warmed to him like butter to toast. I will finish this post of with a collection of classic Bobsy ones liners!

Why don’t u take her to that Henry’s bar?
Oh no sorry not Henry’s, its Oscars innit?
(When talking about Olivers bar, St. Thomas Street)

Its not the man with the hammer is the hammer with the ma..
No thats wrong, its not the man driving the nail its the hammer tha…
Oh f%*k it
(When trying to recite the famous quote ‘A workman doesn’t blame his tools’)

Oh Stacy don’t be hasty!
(After hearing two entirely different songs and getting mixed up)

Big Ben has 5 clockfaces. One on the top for people on the London Eye
(Needs no explanation)

Come on Steve, How many Scandinavian women live in Brazil?
(After been told the Scandinavian women in Riga are hot)

I can hear them now Danny, wedding bells are SINGING
(When tryin to suggest that Wedding Bells are RINGING)

I tell ya what Steve, if thats a quarter of a pound,
then i weigh 2 stone
(Bobs not happy with Macdonalds portions)

Don’t worry son, i will be in attendance.
Am working till 4 so the night should go ‘smooth as a whistle’
(Bobs assures me all will be ok)

Bobs: Smooth as a whistle is a saying!
Me:No its not there is clean as a whistle and sweet as a nut.
Bobs: Oh well i’ve fu&^ed up again then haven’t i?
(Bobs accepts he’s not the brightest spark)

Joe: Are u out tonght Bobs?
Bobs: Ha, is the pope Jewish?!
Joe: Erm, no
Bobs: Oh, erm, well, yea ,yea i am going out.
(Just when u think Bobs has lost his touch)



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