Sum up your memories about the trip.

The C2C is an incredible way to support such a worthy charity without the need for intense training or extensive time off of work. You’ll meet people you never thought you’d meet, you’ll do things you didn’t think you could achieve and you’re seeing places you may never have visited. I achieved more in 3 days than I have in the rest of this year, and I say that in the most positive of ways.

What’s your favourite memory from your trip?

The segment passing the lakes on the last days had some incredible views. That and Jack falling off regularly because he couldn’t use clips!

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What is your age?

28

What made you want to ride your bike across the country?  

I wanted to help raise money for the charity which does so much to support my mum through all she goes through. On a personal note In 2017 I was diagnosed with arthritis – I had reached a stage of stabilisation with it and wanted to push my body and prove to myself that I could still do this.

Where do you live?

Exeter, Devon

What is your profession?

Building Surveyor

What routes/years did you ride with Bike the UK for MS?  

2018 – Sea to Sea

Do you have a connection to Multiple Sclerosis?

My mother was diagnosed in 2009 at the age of 44.

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Pre-trip

How much training did you do for your trip?

Minimal – I started training around 3 months prior but then pulled my groin and didn’t cycle again until 2 weeks before.

What was your cycling experience before signing up?

Social cycler – 20 milers or so.

Where did you find the most success fundraising?

Myself and 3 other of the cyclists organised a race night along with a friend who was doing a different cycle for another charity – that evening we raised over £1500.

What was your biggest challenge while fundraising, or something that didn’t work as well as you thought it might?

The awkwardness of re-asking those who said “yea I’ll sponsor you, come see me later”.

Embarking on any big trip can be intimidating. What was your biggest pre-trip worry?

That my body (mainly my knees) wouldn’t cope with the cycle.

How did you travel to and from the trip?

Myself and 3 others hired a car and drove up/back.

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Gear

Did you buy a bike for the trip, or was it a bike you already had?

I already had my bike – it’s an older model and not the lightest but it was something I was used to.

What is something you wish you had brought which you didn’t?

A pillow! Those church floors aren’t the comfiest.

What’s one thing you brought that you couldn’t have lived without?

Snack bars – they’re an essential!

What’s one thing you brought that you wish you hadn’t?

I packed pretty lightly so wouldn’t say there was anything I could have left – maybe a pair of jeans as it was incredible weather over that weekend.

Is there anything you spent a bit more money on that you were glad you did?

My helmet – it’s key to make sure you have something of comfort as it’s on your head for 6 hours a day.

Likewise, is there something you wish you’d spent more money on?

My cleats – I had plastic road clips and they’ve worn out at a rapid rate.

How much casual clothes (t-shirts, shorts, etc) did you bring?

Couple T-shirt’s, pair of shorts, pair of jeans and a jumper (plus underwear).

How many pairs of cycling shorts/tops did you bring?

2 of each plus the 1 extra top I got for raising the most precycle.

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Food

What was your favourite van snack?

Special K cereal bars.

How often would you go out to eat?

All our meals but was only for 3 days.

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On-the-bike

Did you prefer to ride alone or in a group?

A mix of both – sometimes its great to ride with your friends, having a laugh and enjoying yourself but at the same time it’s nice to be on your own taking in all the scenery and countryside.

What would you keep in your bike jersey pockets?

Snack bar, gel sachet and the go-pro!

Did you use a rack/saddle bag/handlebar bag?

A handlebar sack had my phone and wallet in and a seat sack had some emergency tools and a spare inner.

What type of tyres did you ride?

Gatorskin

How long did it take to learn to read the maps?

Not very long – the instructions were fairly accurate.

Riding on a flat terrain with a headwind, or climbing a mountain pass for miles. Which do you prefer?

The flat – but only because my granny gear isn’t great for the big climbs.

Would you rather be riding through cold rain or extreme heat?

The heat – hard rain can be painful!

What was the most physically challenging segment for you?

Hartside pass, but only because my knees gave in half way up (still got up there though!).

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Routine

Were you an early riser, or rolling out of camp late?

Early riser – get up and get going.

When you got to camp, the first thing you did was….

Took off my cleats!

It’s the evening and you’re out of your bike clothes, fed, and your tent is pitched. What are you doing to pass the time until you fell asleep?

…. Pub?

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Reflecting

Do you keep in touch with many of your teammates?

3 of the riders were friends from home and I ran into some at Bath Uni recently.

What was your favourite MS group meet up?

The group in Penrith after the first day were great, but everyone was really welcoming and friendly! 

Do you feel like you are more aware of the impact that MS has on the lives of those affected by it?

No – but I only say that because I’ve lived with it in my life for so long. I can see how it would enlighten those who have been fortunate enough not to experience the disease.

What was your biggest takeaway from the trip?

How much the money raised really does help the local groups in doing what they do.