RBW's Bethan will be riding the length of Britain in September from Land's End to John O' Groats. She will be covering 969 miles in total over 9 gruelling days! With just six weeks to go, Beth shares how her training is coming along..
She is supporting two amazing causes, The Stroke Association and British Heart Foundation.
Please visit her JustGiving page if you would like to donate...
It's Summer! (Believe it or not in this rainy Welsh weather!)
It's been a couple of months now since I've shared by progress with you on my training journey to complete the Ride Across Britain this September, so I thought it was time for a little update. With just six short weeks to go until we set off from Land's End, the pressure is really on now.
We've had a bit of a mixed bag with the weather over summer, but have managed to get some great training rides in by taking part in sportives (non-competitive biking events). Having a sportive to aim towards definately keeps you motivated in your training, and having a set route encourages you to go the extra mile on the day, rather than wimping out or cutting the ride shorter if the weather is bad!
May brought with it the Wales Velothon, a 140km closed road sportive. It was a huge ride, jam-packed with thousands of cyclists taking part on completely closed roads. The route meant tackling some challenging climbs including The Tumble and Caerphilly Mountain. I took part as a team to raise awareness for local charity 2 Wish Upon A Star.
A complete contrast to the busy Velothon, Aberystwyth Cycle Festival Sportive was a quieter local event, taking in some breathtaking scenery. The commentator at the start line made us laugh from the outset, not to mention the friendly people at the feedstops. They were posted in the middle of nowhere wearing Welsh Flags and blasting out a bit of Tom Jones- hilarious! Also round that neck of the woods, we enjoyed Llandod Cycle Fest, organised by John Lloyd Racing Events. As well as yet more great views, the homemade cakes and tea and coffee at the feedstops were delicious! As with Aber Cycle Fest there is a lot more going on surrounding the sportive, including events for mountain bikers and families. A great day, despite the relentless rain!
Great views in Aber Cycle Fest
Soggy in the Elan Valley!
Just to mix it up a bit from the road, we've been on some mountain biking adventures too. This one was a 50 miler, which invloved getting lost, pushing up extremely steep unridable sections, having three punctures (Thank God for tubeless tyres!) and dehydration! Top tip people- never skimp on carrying enough water! This ride will forever go down in history as 'Beth's longest day!'. Nice view though...
In June Team 2Wish turned out in force to support Cardiff Rotary Club ride in aid of Prostate Cymru. Getting the miles in is made easy when you have this lot for company! Beer at the half way mark, boys?!
Not forgetting the ladies- my cycling buddy Sacha and I organised a women's only Rapha 100 kilometer (63 mile) bike ride on 17th July. We were just one small group of out of thousands of women worldwide who pledged to ride 100K on that day- brilliant! If you missed out this year ladies- be sure to make it your 2017 goal! Of course we were flying the 2Wish flag again, and a special mention deserves to go to the support crew behind the scenes who were there every step (pedal stroke!) of the way providing us with snacks, beverages, noisy support and even a spot of roadside lubing! Cycling really has brought our local community toegther and it is wonderful to see.
This week I completed a 100 mile ride which was a big confidence booster. The route took us over the Bwlch mountain, a speedy descent down to Afan Argoed, a rainy slog along the coast to Aberafan beach, Porthcawl, Llantwit Major, into Cardiff and back home again. I'm certainly no speedster- it took us eight hours in total in the saddle, but it's a step on the training road. Thank you to Stuart who has been a HUGE source of motivation and company in my training these last couple of months!
There's still a long way to go before I feel ready for Ride Across Britain. My focus now will be on putting together these long rides day after day, physically and mentally preparing myself for the challenge ahead. A little bit of sponsorship would go a long way to motivating me to keep on going. Here is my Justgiving page...
For more about the challange and the reasons I am supporting each charity see my previous blog posts.