Let’s get pedalling

Simon Clark puts me through my paces during my lactate assessment. Picture: Allan Hutchings (141062-944)
Simon Clark puts me through my paces during my lactate assessment. Picture: Allan Hutchings (141062-944)
Abbie Manley leads her Hargroves Ridley Montezuma's team-mate Amy Perryman through a corner at the Swanmore Motocross Track. Picture: Neil Marshall (171339-131)

Fareham Wheelers dream of national service

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I am genuinely excited about what tomorrow will bring.

No, I haven’t lost the plot. This isn’t me engaging in a bit of self-talk ahead of the main event.

For the first time since I signed up for this challenge early in the year, I am thrilled at the prospect.

All week I have been desperate to make those first few turns of the cranks and get pedalling towards that 205-mile target.

Don’t get me wrong, I know the circumnavigation of the South Downs – to raise awareness of the Droxford-based Association for Glycogen Storage Disease (AGSD-UK) and honour endurance legend Tommy Godwin – is going to be tough.

There will be times when my legs scream with pain or simply refuse to do everything I ask of them.

But I am ready to embrace whatever the ride throws at me.

Over the past eight weeks or so I have attempted to bring all the trials and tribulations of my training to you on these pages.

From lactate profiling with Simon Clark of Cycling Performance Science IN-MOTION to my first century.

From taming the voices in my head with the help of University of Portsmouth lecturer and sport psychologist Chris Wagstaff to nutrition hints from Procycling’s Jamie Wilkins and tackling the Dorset & Somerset Air Ambulance’s Coast 2 Coast sportive with my close pal Lewis Stripp.

You have been there every step of the way with me.

As you read this, I will be busily making rice cakes and all manner of other goodies ready for a 5am start in Buriton.

Yes, that’s right, I said 5am!

So spare a thought for me tomorrow morning as you tuck into your breakfast in bed or sip a nice strong coffee in the sunshine.

And make sure you tune in next Saturday to find out how I got on.

But for now there is only one thing to say: Bring it on!