“Cycle the Pyrenees,” he said, “you’ll be fine, just tap it out…”. And that’s how this madness all began.
On the 3rd June, eight, (but hopefully ten) cyclists are going to take on the Raid Pyrenean. Shelter are the beneficiaries of this madness, because I, and a number of others, believe wholeheartedly in their ambition to end homelessness. But seriously. At what point was 760km and 16,000metres of climbing a good idea? I’ve mapped it on Strava and there is no getting around the horrendous profile it throws out at the end. This is going to hurt. But on the plus side, I am going to be a size 6 by the time I’m finished.
But what is even more miraculous is that I am even in the position to comtemplate it. On the 7th August 2015 I managed to break every bone in my ankle, simply by tripping over my own foot. Yes I was ‘playing football’ with a child at the time, but the child was nowhere near me, and neither was the ball. Just classic Jen. The surgeon at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary told me I wouldn’t be running for at least a year after they popped in the plates and screws in to put it back together. I guffawed at this, of course I would be.
In reality though it took a second operation with the leading UK foot surgeon, one Mr James Calder of Fortius Clinic, London town, and over 40 hours of physiotherapy by the wonder that is Peter Lion at One Physiotherapy, Reading town, to get me upright and bendy again. I will forever be eternally grateful to them both and the system that enabled me to get my foot back. Equally though, I am eternally grateful to cycling for giving me a way to get active again, in lieu of running. I’ve been running competitively since I was 11 years old. Nothing amazing, but I did enjoy the sadistic qualities it offered and I was never a big team sports kind of person, which is surprising given I am really quite irritatingly sociable.
Anyway, I digress. Cycling has been a fantastic find for me and only become more so since the ankle and resultant stick leg (it is a lot less 'stick' like now thanks to Pete). I was back on it within weeks of the second operation and haven’t looked back since, upping the miles and effort made with each ride, and it has taken me to France, around the Lake District (that's the pic above with ever patient Robin, having just climbed the Honister Pass), up and over the Peaks and around the most gruelling Tour de Yorkshire course possible. It has carried me to work and back, to physio, sports massage and made me some wonderful friends. It has also enabled me to eat cake with not one ounce of guilt.
So here is my ode to the bicycle. Dolce and Ruby (they're my two bikes) thank you for being you and please, please, please help me get up those damn mountains come June.
Posted with the following keywords:
#bwveloraid, Shelter, Raid Pyrenean