Well, where to start? I suppose the first question is Why? I get asked why a lot.
Why do you cycle to work? Why do you go cycling at the weekend when you cycle to work everyday? Why do you have a ginger beard when your hair is brown? To which the obvious answers are: Because it's the best way of getting to work, Because I enjoy cycling and It isn't, it's ruddy brown*.
I suppose the more relevant question to this blog is "Why are you cycling from Land's End to John O'Groats?" and again, the main reason is because I enjoy cycling. I can't quite remember when I decided I was going to cycle LEJoG but I know there must have been a point when me being a normal, everyday cyclist changed to me wanting to cycle 900 miles in a week. I'm just not sure how it happened.
It began last October when I was having a think about my cycling goals for 2012. It had been over a year since I decided to do the Tour of Britain Stoke Tour Ride in September 2010 and got back into road cycling. I had been cycling regularly with my local cycling club, the Manchester Wheelers, for about 10 months and knew I wanted to take my cycling further.
The obvious route for me to take was racing; the only problem was I'd never raced and my results in the Wheelers time trials didn't suggest I had much raw speed to build from. I regularly got passed by riders starting one, two and sometimes three minutes behind me. On one glorious occasion I actually got overtaken by some other cyclists out on an evening training ride!
Still, a solid winter of training would mean that, come Spring, I would stand a chance of racing and not embarrassing myself. There were two reasons why this didn't happen: 1 - I got knocked off my newly built winter training bike in November and 2 - I lost the motivation to slog myself through a high intensity training regime for something that I might not have a particular talent, or indeed liking, for.
Over the next two months, in the time I wasn't spending trying to get money out of the insurance company for a new road bike, I decided that LEJoG was to be my goal for 2012. The 130 miles I had done for the 2011 version of the Stoke Tour Ride had given me a thirst for long distance cycling, I just needed a reason to get out there and do the miles. And what better reason than training for a ride going from one end of the country to the other? That is assuming Scotland is still part of Britain when I come to doing the ride in May of course!
All of which hopefully answers the Why LEJoG question. Next time: Why RoadPeace?
*Ok, it's ginger.