The unknowns

I am well aware that perfect preparation doesn’t necessarily result in perfect execution.  There are always the unknowns to deal with, the surprises, and the factors that are just out of our hands.

In my opinion, worrying about the unknowns is a waste of energy irrespective of whether they’re known or unknown!

As far as physical training for the Euro City Cycle is concerned I think I’ve done just about everything that could have been expected of me.  I’ve slowly built up my mileage and, while I haven’t done four days of 70+ miles in a row, I have done multiple consecutive days of cycling and tried to keep the intensity up by including some decent hills.

Even so, it’ll be interesting to see how my body physically reacts to the four days of activity.  What is clear to me is that I need to do what I can to ensure the unknowns don’t add to the physical stress of the event.  Simple things like sleeping in different places every night, “foreign” food, sharing a room and, possibly, a change in climate all have the potential to have an impact.

To be honest, a change in climate would be very welcome right now.  The past couple of days have felt like winter’s returned to the North East of Scotland.  On this morning’s ride I was concerned that the numbness in my feet was due to the cold… what temperature does it need to be to run the risk of frostbite?

During the event it’s going to be really important for me to remember why I’m doing it.  I need to give myself every chance of successfully completing it by looking after myself.

In the past I would have been comfortable getting by on adrenalin, I would have burned the candle at both ends without any concerns.  Those days finally caught up with me and I’ve had my wings clipped somewhat.

So, I’ll leave any shenanigans to other members of the party.  I’m going to look after myself and try to minimise the unknowns.  I know they’re going to be a factor, I just want to make sure they’re not self-inflicted!


As an early example of potential curveballs, a rumour has started that on the first evening of the ride, before boarding the ferry we will have access to a room to “shower and freshen up” for a total of 8 minutes each.  While this has the potential to be an issue for some, I’m going to practice my bathroom drill over the next week or so to make sure I’m fully prepared! 😉


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