Cyclo-therapy: '600 cyclists limp and hobble across a field in a zombie-like state as they head for dinner'

A A A

By the time you read this, I will – I hope – not even have looked at a bicycle for a week. I will not have been tempted to slip into my Lycra and head out for a long ride around Kent. I will not even have pedalled to work. Instead, I'll probably still be walking around like a cowboy after a particularly punishing session with some, well, cows. I'll explain.

As I type, I'm sitting in a small marquee waiting to be seen by a sports physio called Sue, who, I'm hoping, will do something about my knees. They're swollen and sore, which isn't that surprising because, over the past five days, I have cycled 575 miles from John O'Groats to Manchester, spending more than 30 hours in the saddle.

My journey doesn't end here, of course. As regular readers and followers of our new blog site will know, I'm taking part in the first Deloitte Ride Across Britain, a 1,000-mile journey over nine days from the northern tip of Scotland to Land's End in Cornwall.

Let me describe the scene on Day 5 of the ride, after a 112-mile leg from Ullswater in the Lake District. A grown man is writhing in pain as Sue tries to unstick his thigh muscles. Soon, I'll get the same treatment. Outside, 600 cyclists limp and hobble across a field, many in a zombie-like state as they head for dinner. Knees, Achilles tendons, necks, backs – everything hurts. There is sunburn, heat exhaustion and epic saddle-soreness.

But it's great – we're loving it. The sun is shining and people are smiling. The challenge is simple – get yourself from one end of Britain to the other while an amazing crew of tent pitchers, cooks and bike mechanics make sure you only have to worry about riding (and keeping yourself in one piece). On the way, we're meeting people and pain but also riding through some of the country's most beautiful landscapes – the Highlands and the Lake District among them. Sure, I've also groaned and grimmaced and, for a time last Monday, almost cried. But the eye-watering and thigh-chafing has been worth it to be part of something so epic.

By now, if you follow the blog, you'll know if I completed the course – and I'll be back here with an update. Just don't ask me to sit on a bike again for, what, another week? At least, I'd say.

simon.usborne@independent.co.uk or see independent.co.uk/cyclotherapy

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Environmental Adviser - Maternity Cover

£37040 - £43600 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's export credit agency a...

Recruitment Genius: CBM & Lubrication Technician

£25000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company provides a compreh...

Recruitment Genius: Care Worker - Residential Emergency Service

£16800 - £19500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Would you like to join an organ...

Recruitment Genius: Senior Landscaper

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: In the last five years this com...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones