The Final Countdown (cue 80's big-hair music)

10 days until I fly out, and this will probably be the last blog I do before I head off...

I'm fairly certain at this point that I haven't trained enough. We received the route details a couple of weeks ago, and the amount of climbing is immense. The hardest day (day 3, Monday 15th June) will see us cycling 130 miles, and doing the equivalent of cycling up and down Snowdon 3 times. The next day is the same distance, but "only" up and down Snowdon 2½ times. My training has been mainly in the Thames valley, and while I've been hitting the available hills, over 100 miles I struggle to fit a single Snowdon equivalent in (I've decided that "a Snowdon" is now a viable unit of vertical measurement).

The bike gets packed off on Sunday, and I've going through the kit-lists and doing some last minute orders. The provisional weather forecasts are out for Scotland, and currently they are favouring "chilly and wet", though I'll take more notice middle of next week, when predictions will become a little more accurate. I fly out Friday morning from Southampton (with a stop-over in Edinburgh before heading onto Wick), and should arrive in John O'Groats mid-afternoon.

I did my last race on Olympic Triathlon over in Norfolk. Predictably my swim and run were sub-par (29 minutes and 47 minutes respectively, bringing me in mid-field), with the bike leg dragging me up to a semi-respectable 54th overall out of 200. I clocked an average speed of 22.5mph on the bike over 25 miles, though the course was fairly flat. My next race is at the end of June,l and it's a sprint distance...once JOGLE is out of the way I intend to do some work on the running, which is pretty pants right now. I reckon there is 6 minutes to gain in the run, and a minute on the swim.

While I'm cycling down the country I won't have access to a PC, so will be attmepting to run updates from my phone. A group of the more geeky of us are on Twitter, and will be using the tag #RAB10 . There will also be personalised oens based on our numbers, so I will also be using #RAB10-208. Expect photos, whining about sore legs/bum/feet, and if I'm particularly cunning video (though don't expect it to be exciting!)

I'll be back in the land of the living on the evening of Monday 21st June...hopefully. So long as I don't die or something silly like that...


Kate, Felix and I will be there when you cross the finish line and I can't wait to see it! :)

brainwipe's picture

Nice one mate. As you're travelling mostly south, that must mean its downhill? :D

Have enlinkified your twitter tags for the bone idle (and yes, I include myself in that...)

byrn's picture

Cheers Byrn. I have just noticed my number is actually 193... I think 208 was another race number...I'm a numpty!

babychaos's picture

It seems the organisers (a company called Threshold) are still getting to grasps with the internet (though they are very good at event organisation, which is their primary mission in life). They were quite dismayed when a handful of us decided to get a Facebook group going (4 months before they got a blog up and running), and even more dismayed when one chap got Cracknell to tell a room full of people about it (they wanted to keep control of the community, so probably wanted to get a forum up and running a bit quicker).

About a month ago the riders decided on the Twitter tagging we'd be using (the #rab10-193 format above). Today we've been asked to "officially" use the tag #deloitteRAB. It's a bit long?

Anyhow, for those of you who want to laugh at our suffering next week, you can also check out #deloitteRAB, which may contain more official info (number of deaths, injuries, estimated damage costs etc etc)

babychaos's picture

Using Google Stalker I see Pete is now at Wick airport.

fish's picture

And a hub of entertainment it is as well...

babychaos's picture

I'm using Stalker too.

brainwipe's picture

What is his stalker id?

Nibbles's picture

Finished the first day. Tough conditions, very windy, but managed to get in a good pack. I died and dropped the group with 10 miles to go (stopped pedalling to get a drink, and lost 15 metres I couldn't pull back. Ended up finishing 6th, about a minute behind the lead pack.

Had a massage, shower and begun carbo-loading for tomorrow, going to take it a little gentler, as Day 3 is the biggie in terms of effort...

Official time is 6h 12 mins I think, but that includes pit stops.

Did I mention we caught and overtook an Olympic cyclist?

babychaos's picture

The plan to take an easy day hasn't really happened. We did the biggie yesterday...130 miles including the ascent of Glen Coe, and the equivalent of going up and down Snowden 3 times. Finished in a shade over 8 hours including stops, and about 7 hours 30 on the road. Though I won't know until the end, I'm probably in the top 10 amateurs, and currently about an hour ahead of Rebecca Romero, who has olympic gold medals to her name...

To say things are a little crazy and surreal here may be understating it slightly...

babychaos's picture

Fucking phenomenal. Have you stopped at any point and thought "OMG! I'm cycling then length of the fucking UK!"?

Proud of you, mate. And looking forward to cheering you across the finish!

brainwipe's picture

Back in the world of reception, just outside Manchester.

The plan to take it easy sort of went out of the window, and we did 130 miles yesterday into England at am average pace of about 18mph, and 112 miles today at a similar pace (including Kirkstone Pass, which is a big fucker of a ramp...)

More comically, I was first over the finish line today, after a marshal directed the lead pack (which I was just dropping off the back of) the wrong way. I was first to turn and sprint the 50 metres to the actual finish.

Tomorrow we have the mother of all hills, Long Mynd in Shropshire, after an 80 mile approach. Biggest test to date, and need to make sure that I rehydrate after spectacular sunburn today...

babychaos's picture

Good luck mate, you've made it this far, you can do it to the end, I'm sure.

brainwipe's picture

Long Mynd beat me...can't really compare it to anything local's both longer and steeper than anything in Berkshire. Maybe if I was fresh...

However, in related news, tomorrow I'm in a small pack cycling with Cracknell for a piece with the BBC. If you see something on the news about RAB I'm the one with red sleeves, and a massively sunburnt nose...

babychaos's picture

Ne'ermind, gives you something to beat next year.

We're just packing up and will be leaving for Cornwall shortly. See you at Land's End, Pete!

brainwipe's picture

Well, I'm done...currently in a tent near Lands End, trying to ignore my knees until the painkillers kick in.

It's been a fantastic, and thoroughly enjoyable experience. The camp, and entire ride has taken place in a bubble detached from's not been a day of the week, but Day 1, Day etc, and most conversation has revolved around hills, injuries and massages.

I'm getting the coach to Penzance in an hour, and then the train back to reality about 10.30. When I arrive in Reading I guess it will be Monday evening?

babychaos's picture