So, I’m pretty much a novice to this cycling malarkey. In April 2019 my partner was taking part in a sportive reasonably local to us (Etape Loch Ness); I got up early and held his hand for his brave 6am start. He is an avid cyclist and had completed the event twice before, so he was pretty confident of a decent completion time. There was certainly little doubt he would finish. Anyway, off he trotted and I returned to our bed for the night and tried to get some sleep in preparation for meeting ‘a spent him’ three hours later at the finish line.
When I got back into bed, I couldn’t stop thinking about the general feeling at the start line. The trepidation. The excitement. The calm. The fear in some cases. I then started to think of the finish line and the achievement of it all. It’s no Tour de France, but it’s 106km with around 1,200 metres of climbing, containing one entirely mammoth and gruesome climb, so not to be sniffed at.
I returned to my wrecked soldier and the atmosphere did not disappoint. There were tired but smiling humans as far as the eye could see. There were families enjoying their wives, husbands, parents, children’s achievements. Smiles. All. Round. No one sat around wishing they had stayed on the couch instead of completing it.
I didn’t know it then, but the seed was sown. In the August of that same year my new bike arrived. When the entries opened in October, I signed up for the 2020 Etape Loch Ness and so the adventure began.