We still find it hard to believe that more than a year has passed since we completed our LEJOG ride, but enough people ask us “What’s next?” that we’re starting to think about what our next challenge should be.
Boo remembers how she felt when she first experienced the joys of velodrome riding so it won’t be a surprise to anyone that she has taken full advantage of the opening of the Derby Velodrome to make monthly visits for training sessions.
She doesn’t seem to have lost any of the joy or excitement of riding on a velodrome track and is enjoying sharing the experience with her Stratford Juniors friends.
Mark also responded to the visit to the Manchester Velodrome by promising to complete his track accreditation. He was set to do so until he had an accident on the Kenilworth Greenway. Breaking his thumb, and needing an overnight in hospital to pin the bone, has had an impact on his cycling summer.
The good news is that he has worked on his physio and is heading back to full use of his thumb and the pair of them are back on their bikes, and on Double Trouble. Boo has utilised the non-cycling time to work on one of her other loves – paddling, and we have even adapted the tandem roof rack to transport her kayak ‘Dyno’.
Weekends for cycling as a pair are proving harder to find in the diary as Boo is now a Sea Scout and thoroughly enjoying learning to sail and preparing for camp.
She is also keen to gain some badges and quickly identified the Cyclist badge as one to work towards. Mark is happy to support this aim as she has had to take more responsibility for her bike mechanics, which is quite timely as they have been building her latest bike. Another challenge the badge sets is to plan and ride a 25 mile ride. Last year when preparing for our LEJOG ride we talked about riding the Coast-to-Coast route from Workington to Whitley Bay as a training ride but timings meant we never quite managed it. Mark’s broken thumb has prevented them from riding any sportives of similar organised rides so we’ve decided to go for the Coast to Coast ride this summer.
Originally Mark suggested they could complete the 140(ish) miles over two days on Double Trouble but Boo is determined to ride on her own bike (that she has named Charlie). After much debate, and a realistic look at the diary, we have decided to take three days to complete the route as Boo hasn’t ridden more than 40 miles in one day on her own bike. In order to complete her scout badge Boo is responsible for planning at least one day of the route.
Just before Christmas we attended a Sustrans ‘Long Distance Cycling’ evening when we were inspired to look a little further afield for our next big challenge. After much discussion we have agreed that we will target a route following the River Rhine from source to sea. This will take us through 4 countries over 765 miles. Since it isn’t anywhere near the distance we rode last year we are considering leaving Double Trouble at home and riding on our own individual bikes. We will make the final decision on this whilst completing the Coast to Coast ride later this summer. Whatever we decide, Boo would like to use the River Rhine challenge to raise funds for the new HQ her scouts are planning to build 2nd Warwick New HQ. We’ll update you soon with our new training plans. Meanwhile we’ll keep preparing to ride across Britain via the Lake District and Pennines.