Tag Archives: cycling

Follow Your Dream

I wonder if we all have dreams but some of us never realise them for one reason or another, a bit like bucket lists.  My husband Peter’s dream is to complete the challenge of cycling the whole length of England and Scotland alone, a challenge known by several names but he calls it LeJog.  Land’s End to John O’Groats, an approx 950 mile journey.  There are several routes but Peter is in the process of finalising his preferred route, it all comes down to stamina and strength of will to achieve this dream.  I will be logistics support in my small Skoda car!  An important responsible role but at least I am not on a bike!! I find the idea exciting but challenging and think lots of humour, as well as providing refreshments and a comfortable night’s sleep, to be part of my role.  The whole thing depends on an all clear for me in August from the Breast Clinic at my two-yearly check up. Peter also must be sure his health is up to the task too. On 4th September Peter will celebrate his 70th Birthday so this trip will be his personal fulfilment of a dream.  Many people undertake the journey but often in groups with lots of support.  My husband has always been a loner so why change the habit of many years.

Our recent trip to Cornwall was part of our research into the enterprise.  We checked out Land’s End (the start) but from a distance as it was £6 to go into the area around the famous signpost – more of that if we manage the trip.  Land’s End seems to be a theme park now but remains the iconic starting point for many such challenges.  My role is to book suitable overnight stays, meet up regularly to refresh Peter and be a general factotum.  I hope to use the time in between meetings to explore some of the areas we pass through.  I am not familiar with Scotland so am looking forward to new places, albeit fleeting visits.  I hope to update you all with our plans plus possibly raise money for a charity.  What I don’t want to do is put extra pressure on Peter.  I anticipate other challenges to be the weather, possible injuries and bike repairs so my little car will be a hub for all eventualities.  Communications may be a trial at times but we will overcome as the song says. Now Peter does daily training rides when he finishes work, usually 25 miles plus 80 mile rides most Saturdays and Sundays. Occasionally I persuade him to take a day off to recharge his batteries!  We have a family nickname OMIL for him (Old Man in Lycra!) based on a term MAMILS (Middle Aged Men in Lycra).  His outfits are quite distinctive but a necessary extra safety measure.

I realise I’ve not shared my dream, at the moment I just want him to succeed.  If any of you wish to share your dreams please do so.  I anticipate a couple of interesting months ahead! Watch this space!!

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Achluophobia, anyone?

This appears to be the year I chose to meet some of my fears head-on. I joined a boot camp for weight loss, traveled to New York by myself, and I’ve committed to a gondola ride (ugh! heights!).

Tomorrow, I get to see how I do with achluophobia (fear of darkness) and claustrophobia. The Cascade mountain range cuts a north-south swath through the middle of Washington State. The John Wayne Pioneer Trail bisects that mountain range, running east to west, following what used to be a railroad grade. Trains ran along this stretch from 1909 to 1980, after which it became a hiking, cycling, and horseback riding trail.

The trail is 116 miles of path used widely by cyclists. The only other option is the main highway over Snoqualmie Pass. In 2009, the trail was cut in half when a tunnel through the moutain was deemed unsafe. It took two years and about $700,000, but they refurbished the tunnel. It opened again this past month, connecting western and eastern Washington State for those who prefer non-motorized methods of travel.

The tunnel is 2.1 miles long with no lights (except the proverbial light at the end of it). Now, I sleep without the lights on at night. But going through a damp, dark, drippy tunnel like this sounds pretty spooky to me. So I’ve gathered the troops to make the trek with me. With kids and grandkids, we’ll total 6-7 people. We were originally going to hike it, but now we’ve commandeered enough bikes to cycle it. It’ll be about 6 miles round trip. We’re packing a picnic lunch to enjoy somewhere along the way (hopefully not in the middle of the tunnel).

Tonight I’ll be testing and re-testing our headlamps. And packing some extra batteries, just in case. Wish me luck! I’ll try to add some pictures after we get back.

Addendum: we’re home from the ride and it was GREAT! Only a touch of claustrophobia and some disorientation, but overall a very cool thing to do. Our 8 year old grandaughter took the lead and set a stiff riding pace through the tunnel. Here’s a couple pictures:

   Notice the dot off by itself the right of our grandaughter and son-in-law? THAT’S the light at the END of the tunnel. 🙂

posted by Laurie Ryan