I have been home for a few days with the family and have chance to take stock of our "Amazing Journey". So many things happened and so many beautiful sights, its hard to know where to start! The drive home was great, no traffic and we arrived home at 2.00pm. There were welcome home "you did it, congratulations" banners on their house which was great, wendy was waiting outside for Martin, and Rob and I waited in the car to give them the time that they both deserved. It was lumpy throat time and so natural to see. I wished i could be with Nats at that time but knew my time would come. A few of the neighbours came to congratulate us and we were awarded Medals that was a great touch. We all went into the back garden to chill and wait for Dad Mason to pick me up. About an hour later, the doorbell rang, so i opened the door, and who was there, Nats. It was such a lovely surprise and perfect to hold her again. Another lumpy throat moment!
So back to normality, what did i get from this trip apart from saddle sores!! Well, I have gained moments that i will never forget, i have gained an inner belief that i thought i had but i now KNOW. I also know that sometimes we have to tell our minds not to give up, even if our bodies want too. There were times where giving up was by far the easiest option, the mental and physical torture of Day 2 will live with me forever, however, the determination to carry on will also. A few people mentioned the Lance Armstrong quote "Pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever", this quote was on my mind often and i knew i had to live by it.
I also got a fresh sense of beauty of our country. Each day gave us beauty, some more than others but we truly have a stunning country. The weather was also fantastic which enabled us to see it in all its glory. We were very fortunate to only have an hours worth of rain, BUT, we did have 14 days worth of Wind in our face! It made the task a lot more difficult. The few occasions we had wind behind, it was pure bliss and our Average mph speed went up a lot. Day 8 was by far the hardest day for the wind and on occasions became dangerous, it was my worst day by far. On the flip side, my best day was Day 11. The spell from Rannoch Moor to Glencoe will forever be with me, the scenery, the cycling, it was perfect.
What will stay with me the most though is the time i was able to spend with my big Bruv. We had 14 days of laughs, songs and memories, we are very similar in most ways, he is more competitive than I and if there was a challenge in front of him, he would embrace it and genuinely smash it. I admire that. We never had a cross word with each other and just enjoyed being with each other. If there was a problem, we would overcome it together. Jobs a good un!
The togetherness of the family was great and everyone chipped in. This blog has been such a good idea, the comments we receieved helped very much and is something that we will always be able to look back on.
So in conclusion, would i do it again?..... No, we have done it the right way. Would i change anything?..... No, spot on, the route, weather etc. I would have had cycling tops made with our charity on and what we were doing, apart from that, no.
I feel i should thank a few people who made the trip what it was, Firstly Nats, for backing, supporting and allowing me to take the time to go and train, secondly Simon, for encouraging me every day and giving me genuine and of course sarcastic advice. Thirdly my family for all their constant support and love and lastly, Martin, for helping me and spending 2 great weeks together.
An Amazing Journey!!
Is thattt youuuuu Rabbbbbb!!??