Sea to sea challenge is here - Jayne Secker

Well here we are at my last week of training … the sea to sea challenge is this coming weekend.

Thursday, 19th September 2019, 3:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th September 2019, 3:00 pm
Barhatch Lane near Cranleigh is famous in cycling circles.

I have been putting in the cycling miles when I can around work and family and I am feeling pretty smug that I have only fallen off three times so far.

Luckily, I have worked out the recurring problem. I keep getting distracted by the lovely view or unusual wildflowers – was that a corncockle?

It seems my hands tend to follow my eyes so I keep veering into hedgerows.

But nothing so far has been as bad as my two worse cycling experiences: cycling at full tilt into the front of a house chin first (don’t ask) and being pitched squarely onto my backside into a massive patch of nettles wearing only a summer frock and the briefest of briefs.

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So I am definitely getting better at staying upright which is progress – but I am a bit worried about my ability on hills.

A helpful friend asks if I have tried Barhatch Lane near Cranleigh. Apparently it’s quite famous in cycling circles for being a good tough climb.

After a bit of research I set off and attempt it full of hope, but after 20 minutes of steady climbing the final 1 in 20 gradient defeats me … as do the sprightly chaps in lycra who whizz past me. I feel a bit teary. How will I cope in The Lakes?

Luckily the team I will be cycling with seem a jolly sort with a real mixture of experience levels.

I am trying not to dwell on the fact they seem very keen to send each other pictures of their (bike) tyres. It suggests a level of engagement I have not quite reached so far. Talk of large breakfasts cheers me up though and after cycling for so may hours on my own it will be lovely to have the camaraderie of a group.

So, if you see a group of cyclists wearing brightly coloured Grace House vests careering towards you across the highways and byways of the North this weekend do give us a wave … and it would be smashing of you were able to donate to this excellent cause.