|The Big Bike Ride - Day 8
Is it a good thing to have a hill as soon as you start cycling? I can confirm through personal experience that the answer is a big fat NO. A two mile hill straight out of Pangbourne nearly finished me off before I‘d even started! It was this hill that started me thinking along the 50 mile ride. I began to consider something that I’ve called the 'resilience well'.
Today was a lesson in resilience. You would think that by day 8 we’d be super fit. However today the legs complained vociferously. This first hill out of Pangbourne was a huge challenge on tired legs. I hate to get off and push, so regardless of how slow I go, I endeavour to cycle every hill. Today, as we started up a hill from Pangbourne, I felt an angst inside me. My legs felt so leaden I could barely push the pedals. I was worried that today the hills might beat me.
A journey of the mind
We always knew when we started this journey that we would be greatly challenged both physically and mentally. I realise that unless we are being pushed, we will never know what resources (both physical and mental) that we have. It’s when we start to feel doubt or the mind starts to question - that’s when we are tested the most.
The well of resilience
I think resilience is like a well. When the going gets tough we can dip a bucket into it. We put tough experiences into this ‘resilience well’ from which we can draw strength from in the future.
The hardest day for me was day 2. I nearly cried when I got to Weymouth; the hills had been so tough. That experience goes into my ‘resilience well’. So when I started to feel tested on the bike ride today I said to myself, “Is this as tough as day 2?” It’s always reassuring to know I can dip into this 'resilience well' like this.
We have made it to Luton and we’re sitting in a humid hotel room, with washing gently steaming around us. Today we’ve seen stunning countryside, we’ve passed by the Chilterns and we’ve had a coffee stop at Watlington. We’ve been through miles of unspoilt countryside and ended up on the outskirts of a busy city. Fingers crossed our legs will work better tomorrow!
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