Sum up your memories about the trip.

I highly recommend the Bike the UK for MS JOGLE ride to others. Fantastic cycling, an experienced support team, and the opportunity to meet and talk with numerous MS groups really puts a face on the terrible disease that is MS make this a memorable two week adventure.

What’s your favourite memory from your trip?

The seven or eight times I commented to Sara that this is why we love cycling– beautiful vistas, great cycling weather, minimal traffic, and challenging hills with great down-hill cruising.

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What is your age?

56

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

I like to pedal for a purpose and really enjoy bike touring with my wife.

Where do you live?

Houston, Texas  USA

What is your profession?

Retired. Formerly Geophysicist with 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?

Family friend has MS.

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Pre-trip

How much training did you do for your trip?

Nothing special, but we lead fairly active lives. I would strongly recommend that you don’t assume that you can cycle yourself into shape on this ride though because of hills through-out the ride.

What was your cycling experience before signing up?

Have done 3 multi-week tours ranging from 4.5 to 9 weeks.

Where did you find the most success fundraising?

Not a big focus for us. I put a notice out on facebook, but typically provide 95% of funding. Chevron retiree matching program provides matching funds up to $3000/year.

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

Logistics of taking a tandem overseas and having a problem after assembling it.

How did you travel to and from the trip?

Flew from Houston to Glasgow, train to Inverness, John O’Groat’s Bike Transport to John O’Groats. Found out later that it would have been considerably cheaper to take the bus from Inverness to John O’Groats.

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Gear

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

Already had the Co-motion.

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

Bike Computer for navigation was great.

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

Did not use our backpack stove.

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

3 pairs.

What type of camping gear did you bring? 

3" air mattress, tent, backpacking stove, mess kit, light-weight sleeping bag.

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Food

What was your favourite van snack?

Granola bars.

How often would you go out to eat?

About 1/3 of the time.

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

Rice or pasta with beans or pasta sauce to cover.

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

Depends on weather. rain gear, dry gear, food.

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On-the-bike

Did you prefer to ride alone or in a group?

Tandems struggle a bit to stay with singles, since they are typically slower on up-hills and faster on descents.

What would you keep in your bike jersey pockets?

Granola bars, phone.

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

Yes, highly recommend it on JOGLE. 18-20 mph on speedy tandem!

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

That was stoker’s job.

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

Riding down hill with a tailwind.

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

Cold rain.

What was the most physically challenging segment for you?

Dartmoor day was a challenge because strong rain on long hilly course.

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Routine

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

Left with others when van was ready to roll.

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

Relax

How often would you do laundry?

Laundromat every 4-5 days with sink washing when needed.

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?

Hanging with others.

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?

Plenty to see and do in Bath. We also were able to meet up with friends who were holidaying in the UK.

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Reflecting

Do you keep in touch with many of your teammates?

Through Facebook.

What was your favourite MS group meet up?

Those that fed us well! 😉

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

Definitely. A highlight of the trip was definitely meeting up with MS groups on just about every other day.

What was your biggest takeaway from the trip?

The effects of MS are unique to each one that has it.