Sum up your memories about the trip.
I had such a great time, riding with amazing people and travelling through some of the most beautiful parts of the country. By meeting MS groups along the way, you can see the impact you are making which makes the experience even more rewarding. Would definitely recommend Bike the UK for MS to anyone!
What’s your favourite memory from your trip?
Such a hard question as there were so many amazing times! Riding alongside Loch Ness, through Cheddar Gorge and over Kirkstone Pass were a few of the many highlights.
What is your age?
What made you want to ride your bike across the country?
I love cycling and wanted to take part in a challenge while raising money for a good cause.
Where do you live?
What is your profession?
Student studying Biomedical Science.
What routes/years did you ride with Bike the UK for MS?
Do you have a connection to Multiple Sclerosis?
No direct correction but met many people throughout the trip who had been affected by MS and since have been made aware of many others.
How much training did you do for your trip?
Prior to the trip I cycling 3-4 times a week, averaging about 120 miles a week.
What was your cycling experience before signing up?
I am part of the university triathlon club and so cycled regularly prior to the trip.
Where did you find the most success fundraising?
Telling all my friends and family about the challenge I was setting myself. Everyone was extremely generous, especially when they realised how far we were cycling.
What was your biggest challenge while fundraising, or something that didn’t work as well as you thought it might?
I didn’t have much difficultly fundraising as the website makes it really simple for people to donate.
Embarking on any big trip can be intimidating. What was your biggest pre-trip worry?
I wasn’t too worried about the actual trip, probably my biggest worry was actually getting to John O’Groats as I had lots of connecting trains to catch. But on the first train I got, I met two other guys who were also on the trip and got chatting and all was fine!
How did you travel to and from the trip?
I got the train to John O’Groats which was fine but if you do get the train, make sure you make bike reservations as some of the smaller trains in Scotland have limits to the number of bikes they can take. And my family picked me up from Land’s End as they came to watch the finish.
Did you buy a bike for the trip, or was it a bike you already had?
I used my road bike which I already had.
What’s one thing you brought that you couldn’t have lived without?
My Garmin bike computer – life saver – we would have got so lost without it.
What’s one thing you brought that you wish you hadn’t?
A pillow, a bag full of clothes just isn’t the same!
Is there anything you spent a bit more money on that you were glad you did?
I’m glad a bought a 2 man tent for myself as it meant I had more space for all my stuff when I was camping and felt less cramped.
How much casual clothes (t-shirts, shorts, etc) did you bring?
I packed a pair of leggings and shorts, couple of T-shirts, hoodie and coat – just comfy clothes that I could wear in the evenings.
How many pairs of cycling shorts/bibs did you bring?
I had 2 pairs of shorts and one pair of padded leggings.
What type of camping gear did you bring?
I brought a 2 man tent, so I had plenty of space for all my stuff, sleeping mat, sleeping bag and pillow.
What was your favourite van snack?
Yogurt coated rice cakes!
How often would you go out to eat?
We ate out a few times when we didn’t have a kitchen to cook in.
Would you cook at camp often? If so, what was your favourite recipe?
I cooked myself most nights; baked sweet potatoes with beans and lots of cheese were a regular staple!
What did you put in your day cubby (in the rest stop van)?
In terms of food I had bananas, rice cakes, bananas, cereal bars and popcorn. Also had spare clothes to put on at rest stops in case I got cold and waterproofs/arm warmers and gloves that I could put on if needed. Also flip flops were a must to let your feet breath!
Did you prefer to ride alone or in a group?
In a group, it made the hard miles go quickly and there was always someone to chat too and make you laugh.
What would you keep in your bike jersey pockets?
Bananas and sesame snaps, map, phone, pump.
Did you use a rack/saddle bag/handlebar bag?
I had a saddle bag containing two spare inner tubes, tyre levers and cleat covers.
What type of tyres did you ride?
Did you use a bike computer? What was your normal pace?
Yes, I used my Garmin Edge Explorer which was a lifesaver, meaning we could spend more time enjoying the ride instead of getting lost. I would definitely recommend one for this ride! 12-13 mph.
How long did it take to learn to read the maps?
Luckily with my Garmin, I didn’t need to use the maps.
Riding on a flat terrain with a headwind, or climbing a mountain pass for miles. Which do you prefer?
Climbing a mountain pass, the views are always worth it!
Would you rather be riding through cold rain or extreme heat?
Cold rain any day, you get warm riding up hill!
What was the most physically challenging segment for you?
The second to last day, over Dartmoor and into Cornwall was very hilly and physically demanding.
Were you an early riser, or rolling out of camp late?
Early riser though we all left camp together most days.
When you got to camp, the first thing you did was….
Set up my sleeping mat and bag and made a cup of tea!
How often would you do laundry?
I watched my shorts every night, either in the sink with handwash or in a washing machine if there was one available.
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?
We played a lot of card games and chatted with the other members of the group.
On the rest day, did you prefer to go out and see what the town has to offer, or did you hang out, rest up, and relax?
We had a great day being tourists on our rest day and showed other members of our group around Bath and ate lots of good food of course!
Did you keep a journal or blog during the trip?
I made some notes each day during the trip and since the trip I have made a scrapbook containing photos, maps and memories from the trip.
Do you keep in touch with many of your teammates?
I ride regularly with the other rides from Bath but sadly haven’t met up with the others since. Hopefully Bike Canada will be a reunion?!
What was your favourite MS group meet up?
Bath – had great fun playing on the adapted bikes and watching members with MS enjoying the fun too.
Do you feel like you are more aware of the impact that MS has on the lives of those affected by it?
Definitely! I learnt so much about the condition and about how it affected not only the patient but families and friends as well.
What was your biggest takeaway from the trip?
Cycling has certainly become my favourite way to travel, you are just swept along by the scenery you experience and people you meet and plus you can eat as much as you want!