ImageAs I have been told, I am bit behind the curve with my training for the 50km Stonehenge bike ride – but I think that this has been consistent for all my challenges (except chocolate making) which is the result of doing 12 challenges in 12 months …… it is all part of the experience! Last w/e I managed to get out on the bike Saturday & Sunday – both were rather wet events! I was cycling with the experts from Wessex Outdoor Training. On Saturday it rained consistently …. we cycled from Perham Down up onto Salisbury Plain. It took me a few hills to get to grips with all the gears, and learn to get the bike into the lowest gear early, then just gently plod up the slope. Gently plodding is not in my nature, but I soon learnt that this was far better than trying to keep the bike in a higher gear, overwork the legs & feel physically sick by the top of the hill! It was a very wet & muddy ride, but I have to admit it was great fun, and it felt good to blow away the cobwebs. We completed 9km, which was a steady start!

On Sunday the weather was much kinder. The sun was out and the temperatures were above 10 degrees. This time we approached the Plain from Tidworth, starting with a steady climb. I was rather wary of the graveled tracks, but they are quite compacted (tank traffic!), and again to my surprise I found I was really enjoying myself – there was a keen wind blowing, and it felt good to be outside & getting some strenuous physical exercise. I did a short off road run recently, and strained a calf muscle; the cycling provides a good workout whilst giving my leg chance to recover!

With all the recent heavy rains, the winter springs on Salisbury Plain have become quite wide & deep with a reasonable current. We had taken a diversion to try & avoid such river crossings, but due to navigator error, we ended up having to cross one! Despite a valiant attempt at cycling on water, the bikes had to be carried & Lanky Trev, being gallant provided a piggy back! I only got wet up to my ankles, as you can see others were not so lucky! The mileage for day 2 was 13km – still a way to go! The good news – I did not suffer on Monday, so I think I can push the mileage up quite considerably this week …. I don’t really have an option with 2 weeks to go!

I have been given a few ideas for future challenges – some of which I will definitely try and include, other suggestions like sitting my advanced driving test, and abseiling, I am still mulling over!

This w/e, as well as more time on the bike, I have my chocolate making challenge – which I think is more of a treat than a challenge, but I am sure I will learn some new skills!