It feels like endurance cycling is having a moment. Whereas once riding across entire countries at a time was the preserve of a committed few on the fringe, now cyclists clamour for places in events such as the Transcontinental Race, a non-stop self-supported ultra-distance bike race across Europe and Rapha’s Manchester to London.
Whereas racing might not be everyone’s cup of tea, many of us relish a challenge on two wheels and that’s where events such as hilly sportives and long distance events come in. Not wanting to be left out of the action, I’ve signed up for Deloitte’s Ride Across Britain, a 969-mile cycle from Land’s End to John O’ Groats.
Ridden over nine consecutive days, the event will be one of the biggest challenges I’ve ever undertaken. We’ll begin with 7000 feet of climbing through rugged Devon and Cornwall before pedalling up to the Forest of Dean. The Peak District and its rolling green pastures come next, before Manchester ship canal and finally Scotland’s majestic highlands. We’ll see the best of the UK from our saddles before enjoying a hearty meal and cosying up in a tent each night; heaven indeed.