In a build up over ten years, one doesn’t train for a circumnavigation over night, my events have gotten bigger and bigger. I didn’t decide ten years ago “I am going to race around the world”, I am a huge endurance athlete who loves nothing more than being on my bike and once one challenge was done, I sought events to top it (why could zi not just be normal and sit on a sofa?)
It started with organising weekends to cycle the length of the Thames or the circumference of the Isle of Wight, this moved onto riding the Etape, the first being the 2007 whopping 190km, 5 col, Foix to Loudenville. Two years later it was riding London to Paris and then a four day jaunt down to the Pyrenees to do the Etape, it was here, having completed 7 days of 180km days that I truly fell in love with long stage rides. It was also the place I met some of the most amazing cycling friends one could ask for.
Toughing out the 3,500km Giro course followed by the London to Paris two days later, was a bit nuts, I was absolutely cooked and when I arrived at the Gite to do the 2011 Etape finishing up Alpe du Huez, I was so exhausted that I could only sit and watch the boys go out on their bikes to warm up the fews days before the event. I thought, “I’ll just take this one easy”. Unfortunately I was in Pen 1 and when the gun went off, my competitive side kicked in, while I struggled on the slight gradients, I floated up the steep bits (I weighed nothing at this point). So getting 7th lady and 741 overall (out of 10,000) was a real bonus to a tough month in the saddle.
So in a build up to go and race around the world, (currently planning for 2015) I have knocked out a few events, there is a full day by day blow of the Giro route if you’re bored on a cold, wet weekend.