Sum up your memories about the trip.

It’s tough to limit my memories to just a few sentences, but the JOGLE 2018 trip exceeded my expectations at every turn. The route was beautiful: challenging at times but incredibly scenic, and I was pleasantly surprised by the road conditions. Bike the UK for MS is a well-organised group, and we had the right balance of hard work/accomplishing our goals and fun! We had a rider on our team that has MS, and her tenacity and spirit was an excellent example for all of us.  I hope to do another Bike the UK for MS ride (LEJOG?) sometime in the future.

What’s your favourite memory from your trip?

Cycling with our friends Jim & Jenni around Loch Ness and Ian in the Lake District and Kirkstone Pass.

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What is your age?

56

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

My husband and I enjoy pedalling for a purpose and having a reason to ride.  The route sounded intriguing, and the length of he trip was just right.

Where do you live?

Houston, Texas  USA

What is your profession?

Intercultural Consultant at Chevron

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

2018 – JOGLE – Bike the UK for MS

2018 – 1 week Northern Tier – Bike the US for MS

2016 – 10 days Southern Tier – Bike the US for MS

2016 – PAC Coast – Bike the US for MS

Do you have a connection to Multiple Sclerosis?

Friends & Co-Workers

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Pre-trip

How much training did you do for your trip?

The training I did was adequate.  It also helped to cross-train (running &swimming).

What was your cycling experience before signing up?

A few multi-week cycling trips and spin classes.

Where did you find the most success fundraising?

Our most successful fundraising came from friends & family members–especially those with a connection to MS– and Corporate Matching Funds.

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

The delay in receiving Matching Funds was a source of frustration and our biggest challenge.

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

My biggest pre-trip worry was that there might be a delay in our bike arriving or damage to it (flight from US to UK).

How did you travel to and from the trip?

We flew. I visited friends in the UK ahead of time, then took a train to Inverness, and Private Transport to the start at John O’Groats.

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Gear

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

We used the tandem bike we already had.

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

A better phone for communication.  I used a cheap track phone that received texts and could be used for emergencies, but I wish I had brought a smart phone or paid more on my phone plan for international calls and data.

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

It was great to have a Garmin for navigation, but also a comfortable, inflatable mattress. 

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

A cooking kit.  Most of what we needed (pots, pans, utensils) was available at the churches and community centers where we staying at.

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

A Garmin and good rain gear. 

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

I packed fairly light and pretty much stuck to the suggested number of items. 

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

I bought three pairs of cycling shorts and one pair of cycling capris

What type of camping gear did you bring? 

We brought a two-person tent, inflatable air mattresses, and light weight sleeping bags. 

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Food

What was your favourite van snack?

Crackers and jelly babies.

How often would you go out to eat?

Every third night or so.

Would you cook at camp often? If so, what was your favourite recipe?

We cooked at the churches and community centres where we staying at.  Our favourite meal was usually some type of soup/chili with rice. 

What did you put in your day cubby (in the rest stop van)?

Snacks, extra clothing (jacket, gloves).

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On-the-bike

Did you prefer to ride alone or in a group?

We usually rode the tandem by ourselves.

What would you keep in your bike jersey pockets?

I kept my phone, map, granola bar, sunglasses and sunscreen in my jersey pockets. 

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

We had a rear saddle bag, and a map holder/handlebar bag.

What type of tyres did you ride?

Not sure–have used gator skins on other rides.

Did you use a bike computer? What was your normal pace?

Yes, a Garmin. Approximately 18 mph.

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

Not long – I had used them on a previous MS rides.  I used to teach map reading skills. 

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

Mountain pass every time!!

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

Probably the cold rain.

What was the most physically challenging segment for you?

For me, Dartmoor was the most physically challenging because of the rain & cool temperatures.

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Routine

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

A fairly early riser.

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

First thing was to read the white board!  Next was to find a shower.

How often would you do laundry?

Approximately every 3-4 days.

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?

Checking e-mails and social media.

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?

A little of both.

Did you keep a journal or blog during the trip?

Not on this trip.

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Reflecting

Do you keep in touch with many of your teammates?

Yes, through social media.

What was your favourite MS group meet up?

It’s difficult to choose as they were all memorable, but I would say the MS Group in Bath and riding together on the adapted bikes.

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

I am definitely more aware of the impact of MS since participating in the Bike the UK for MS.

What was your biggest takeaway from the trip?

My biggest take away from the trip was the enjoyment of meeting up with MS Society Groups along the way.  I was truly inspired by those facing the challenges of MS and the way individuals who helped with their care.  It was the most connected to the designated charity that I have ever felt on a bike ride.