This September, a group of us are riding 220 miles in one day.
It's not an epic solution to save money on a train ticket. It's to take part in the third edition of Rapha's Manchester to London.
Whilst sitting at home (or wherever you are reading this), it can be quite difficult to comprehend the milage. It sounds like a long way but, similar to discussing a marathon without running one, the numbers are nothing but the made up meaning we give them.
The number '220' means more than just one gruelling day riding across British roads. Over the next few months, we'll be suffering and/or embracing our training fate. September 4th will only last 24 hours. But it will live with us every single day this summer; a constant background noise that haunts yet encourages. Empties yet fulfils.
From the training to the inevitable tantrums, here's eight ways the three musketeers (myself, Lorna and Kati) will be preparing:
1. Work it before work:
2. Weekend warriors:
Planning our weekends around two questions: where to go and how far to go (and unfortunately not referring to a night out).
3. Panic party:
Looking at our average speed and panicking together that we won't be fast enough to finish before the cut off.
4. Hillz skillz:
Having to replace 'that's enough' with 'lets do one more'. When human instincts tell us to avoid pain, we'll be riding towards it.
5. Testing, Testing:
Leaving nothing to chance, we'll be practicing eating a burrito out of our back pocket and deciding which jersey makes us look faster than we are.
6. Planning like a boss:
One of my favourite things to do. No day or morning will go to waste (unless it's planned to).
7. REIGNING IN RIDEZILLA:
After a long ride, your inner ridezilla can often appear to the ones closest to you. I'll be spending the summer trying to still be a good human, even when I'm grumpy.
8. NOT BEING SCARED OF COMMITMENT:
When you're riding to enjoy the sport, the choice to go a little easier has minimal repercussions. When the carrot of a huge challenge is dangling, you have to mentally commit to giving your all on every ride. That can sometimes be tiring before you've even got on your bike.
It's relatively simple to provide (or find) a guide on how to physically train for an endurance event. However, humans are sometimes emotional, irrational and over-thinkers. After signing up to an event, it's often those challenges that are overlooked. And unfortunately, self help guides aren't as easy to stick to.
We'd love your support to hit our combined charity aim of £1500. Not just for the huge challenge that is riding 220 miles on September 4th, but for the hours of battling both outside hills and inside demons. And (which may be the toughest of them all) for getting through the summer without punching Lorna and Kati when I'm hangry*.