Endure or Enjoy?

Training for the Bike to Barcelona challenge has been ongoing throughout the winter period. Now, with only four months to go, it’s time to ramp up the duration, the distances, the frequency and hopefully, the fun.

Last week, in addition to indoor training, I cycled 40km through the gorgeous Gloucestershire countryside on a beautiful, near spring day. It was great to be cycling outdoors again. The pace was slow but steady and it did include ascents up Cleeve Hill from both sides. A long stop at Hayle’s Fruit Farm Cafe refuelled, refreshed, rested and revived us at the half way point and contributed to a thoroughly enjoyable ride.

Despite enjoying the ride and despite taking it slowly, I returned home absolutely exhausted, went straight to bed and barely surfaced for the following 16 hours, unable to do anything else.

There is at times, an overwhelming fatigue associated with Parkinson’s but it’s too easy to blame Parkinson’s for everything. This fatigue was almost certainly, in part at least, the result of this being one of only a handful of outdoor cycles in recent weeks. With noticeably more concentration required on the busy roads than on the safety of an indoor trainer and a significantly longer distance, the result was a tiredness I haven’t experienced following an indoor training session.

The ride and the ensuing tiredness did however serve to highlight just how much fitter I need to be and how much more stamina will be required by June to do an average of 106km/day for 16 days for the Bike to Barcelona challenge plus the additional 250km ‘warm up’ from Cheltenham to Brighton.

Image Source: jonnyachesonart.com

I was a little more encouraged this week, when, in addition to indoor training, a 51km outdoor round trip to the Ashleworth Hub, required only a couple of hours sleep before I could return to usual activities. Progress in a week but still a very far cry from being bike fit for Barcelona.

Our group leader commented this week that he has never heard anyone say they trained too hard for a cycle challenge, so I’m focussing on a desire to get fit enough to enjoy the Bike to Barcelona challenge. I’m working on the hypothesis that every mile spent in training will be a more enjoyable mile completed during the challenge.

Equipped with a training plan, a personal trainer, a new bike and another four months to train, there is no excuse not to get fit enough to enjoy, not simply endure, the Bike to Barcelona challenge.

1 thought on “Endure or Enjoy?”

  1. Lovely to have you here and very important the weather has been fantastic. Next week will also be different to you. Look forward to seeing how the Brighton – Barcelona goes. Go girl go, you can do it no pressure this time. Remember how much you are loved, keep safe and pedalling! Mum xx


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