After months of training and preparation, Mick our Site Manager, began his tough Land’s End to John O’Groats cycling challenge yesterday.
Mick stayed at a youth hostel the night before where he received a very welcoming, Cornish greeting. He met three university students, a brother and sister called Arthur and Francis, and another woman called Julia. They were very keen to find out a bit more about Mick’s challenge and they had a good laugh as they admitted while they were on a short bike ride to the beach the day before, they had to pull a car over and hitch a ride because the hills were too tiring!
6 – 7 days of gruelling cycling lies ahead of Mick and he started out at a fast pace, making quick time over the ‘rollercoaster’ hills of Cornwall. This was tougher than he anticipated and the realisation finally hit home of how hard this week is going to be.
Pushing through a diversion along the A30, Mick was taken slightly off his planned route and hit more hills. However, he kept a strong pace and powered through 137 miles, reaching his first checkpoint in Tiverton at around 6pm.
On the whole it was a good day and he is very positive, but the realisation of the physical challenge is now very apparent and Mick is aware that he may have pushed it a bit too hard on the first day. He said that he felt ‘like a coiled spring finally being released’ and the adrenaline took over as he pushed himself hard.
Mick came across a pub called the Smugglers Inn to take a quick pit-stop and refuel on his usual jacket potato with cheese and beans. While he was filling up on some well needed carbs, he was approached by a lady who had seen the logos of the charities on his cycling jersey. She had recently lost a loved one to breast cancer and was keen to donate £5 towards Mick’s cause. Two other men also got chatting to Mick and donated £5 each while he was at the pub. These gestures gave him a boost to continue his mission and plough on over the tough terrain.
A returning ‘niggle’ in his knee from one of his training rides caused some aggravation in the evening but it isn’t enough to dampen his spirits. Last night was a case of resting, eating, rubbing down his leg muscles and loosening off, making sure that he is ready for the second part of his challenge – Tiverton to Droitwich Spa.
Mick wanted to thank everyone for the support and donations that he has received in the build up to the event and assured us that he will not give up!
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