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It’s been a bit of a while since my last post, but in truth I’ve just been uneventfully spending time in the saddle, churning out the miles, working on my ridiculous tan lines, and finding out there’s only so many times you can say “went for a ride today” without becoming repetitive – too late I hear you cry. Over the last few months I seem to have settled into a routine of 3 big weeks (200 miles plus), followed by a less intense week which, along with a couple of sports massages have helped the recovery process, seem to have stopped the cramp I was suffering from a couple of months ago, and I now feel as physically prepared as I’ll ever be.

Having now hit my total 2013 mileage already this year, I’ve got to admit that preparing for this ride has taken over my life more than I expected (getting up at 4:30 last Sunday morning for a tortuous 50 mile time trial has to be the low point). My Mrs has always accepted that I get these little obsessions that occupy my attention from time to time, but I think even she’s surprised at how much I’ve thrown myself at cycling this year. I totally understand why she’s already thoroughly fed up with this ride though – sharing holidays with my bike, the constant washing of sweaty bib knickers, never having a family breakfast anymore as I’m always out early in the morning, and so on. Although most of my miles have been done commuting, and I’ve tried to keep weekend riding to just one day, it’s nevertheless been a pretty selfish year but Mrs M has been very tolerant and I’m sure that if it wasn’t the case I wouldn’t be feeling half as ready as I am now. In a way it’ll be a shame that she won’t be there at the finish as it’s been as much a part of her life over the last 7 months as it has been mine (plus I probably owe her a holiday!).

I’m also pretty certain that our 3 year old thinks I’m a professional cyclist as he only ever sees me wearing lycra (he woke early one weekend and said “Daddy’s going to work again” as I slipped out the door for yet another ride – boy is he going to be disappointed when he finds out I’m an accountant). That said, it’s been nice watching him really get into his balance bike over the last few weeks. He’s never really paid it much attention until recently, or had the necessary co-ordination, but after (sort of) helping me clean my bikes one evening he wanted to race me round the garden and that seems to have sparked his interest, which is quite timely seeing as he’s starting to get a little heavy for his pull along trailer – we did a Guernsey Bicycle Group summer ride last week and I was sweating buckets by the time we finished the gentle 1 hour trundle! He even managed to ‘ride’ to the local park, do a couple of laps, have an obligatory coffee and cake stop (well, milk shake for him), then ride home last weekend. Given that’s over 4 miles in total, I was fairly impressed, although it still wasn’t enough for him to go to sleep at a reasonable time that night! I’m really hoping Santa brings him his first proper bike this Christmas, although as he seems to have inherited my ridiculously short legs he’s got a fair bit of growing to do first before any of the one’s I’ve Santa has seen fit him.

When I set up this blog, I said (rather tongue-in-cheek) that, even I didn’t manage to get to John O’Groats, if it encourages just one person to get on a bike then I’ll have made the world a better place (why does every sporting event have to create a ‘legacy’ nowadays?). Although our boy was never really going to have a choice other than be in to cycling, the number of people I’ve bumped into who said that they’ve read my blog and felt motivated to get on their bike again after ‘x’ number of years has actually been quite humbling. Not only that, but my brother has even gone out and bought himself a flash new road bike, so I’m now planning a little detour on the way up to Scotland as I don’t want to waste an opportunity to torture him with a few sprints and hill reps!