Well its been 3 or so months since I finished my LeJog and I've had plenty of time to reflect. The most striking memories for me is the beautiful land and the amazing support from my friends and friends of friends. In the end we all raised £1,488.50 for Just Giving and roughly £700.00 for The Dom Pardey Trust - so thank you for that, and am not stopping here!
The next thing to mention I guess, is a question a few people have asked of: "So how hard was it"? And the first thing that springs to mind is the cumulative effects of long mile days on your body. I had done about as much training as I could fit in around quite long hours at work, and at the end of that I was quite capable of 100 mile days, but wasn't ready for 10 of them in a row! I think the only thing I could have done differently is plan some 3 day weekend rides. The training rides that paid of the most for me were the York - London ride and Calais to Paris as they got me into the rythym of riding back to back days, unsupported. So my advice to anyone doing the same is: Back to back long days in training...as many as possible!
During training, at my peak about a week before I started, I'd dropped 10kgs from when I started training in earnest in February. Sometime between then and a week after getting back I went up a couple of kgs but I was eating massive meals all through that period. On the ride itself I think the calorie count on the ride varied from about 4000 calories on the easiest days though to maybe 8000 on the 200km days. You have to eat small meals, constantly! For me lunchtime was the hardest, I hate setting out on a full stomach, so, lots of small high nutrient meals all day worked for me.
If you were mad enough to read this rubbish all the months back you might recall just weeks before I was due to set off on my LeJog, I found out I had this alarming crack in my frame:
At the time there wasn't enough time to go through Bianchi's warranty process, and I had less then 2 weeks to get a new bike and get used to it. Well, since getting back I finally managed to get this underway...and I must say hats off to Evans Cycles in Wandsworth...and Bianchi - they really went the extra mile for me to get this done before my current imminent departure (more on that shortly) and earlier this week: fresh back from the Bianchi workshops in Italy...a brand spanking NEW frame for Bianca!
It was an emotional renunion...so many miles on this bike! The process took about 6 weeks as the frame has to go back to the manufacturer for tests, but no questions were asked...or reason given for the fault.
So What Next
I'm relocating down under. Australia next week, and was therefor relieved (and surprised) to get this sorted in time. Once the bikes arrive its going to take a while to get "expedition fit" again, but I'm drooling at the open space and new scenery Australia offers. The next challenge I think will be Melbourne - Sydney. Not as far as LeJog actually...but it sounds impressive!
....Australia is an unfeasibly vast place and I am looking forward to what lays ahead.