No pain no gain… well I definately have the pain part!

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So today I started my first day of training on an actual bike, and as I sit here now I have to say I think death seems like a preferable option. Who knew I could hurt and ache this much!

I bet you are wondering just how exactly I could start my training without a bike. Well, that is all down to the VERY lovely people at Rimbard Manor. Not only are they offering Dan and I a few nights stay in their glorious manor house, giving us the perfect end site to what I am sure will definitely be an interesting journey, they have also donated a bike to me as they were so concerned that I was supposed to be starting my training and still had no bike! However, practicality raised its ugly little head and how exactly would they give a bike to me when they lived in another country. So instead they sent me £120! So bike shopping I went!

The challenge I found was that it would not be possible to get a good quality hybrid bike for that kind of money, I was even told by one store that they best I could hope for with that money was a BSO (Bike shaped object). You can imagine my despair. I was starting to think this whole adventure was either about to come tumbling down before it had ever truly started, or would have to be postponed for a bit until I could afford the £300-£400 I was being quoted.

But it would seem persistence pays off, and in stepped the wonderful Blackburn Cycle & Scooter Center. Not only were they more helpful than any other person I had talked to, they also offered me an amazing deal! They would drop the price of a bike to £150! I was gobsmacked, seriously I could have hugged the guy. Thankfully I was speaking to him over the phone and so he was saved that embarrassment! They also agreed to allow filming in the store and to be interviewed, so you can all see me buying my bike on the documentary.

So at 3pm when I finished work at the funeral service (Yes do actually work at a funeral service) Dan and I set off for the bike shop! The staff were amazingly helpful, and I have a brilliant bike which they fully set up for me and tested it was working and made sure the seat etc were all the right height for me. Though there was mention that the 5 inch stilettos I was wearing may not be suitable bike riding attire!  (Pictures to come when I can move again and can get up to reach my camera!)

Blackburn Cycle & Scooter Center also kindly offered me 25% off any accessories I would need, so I am now also the proud owner of a helmet, lights, panniers, and a gel seat!

When we got back to my little house I wanted to test my bike straight away, despite the massive time gap since I last rode a bike I was hoping it would come back to me, after all the saying is ‘just like riding a bike’. I would love to tell you it did, but I would be lying! That first hour was gruelling! I don’t think Dan has heard so many squeals and strange noises in all his life!

I couldn’t remember about gears or how to change them, I struggled getting on and off without stumbling. When I went fast I panicked and had to slow down, and when I went slow I wobbled all over the place, and more often than not I had to stop completely. Then there was passing other bikes. Well, that’s just a whole other story in itself! Thank goodness there were no cars at this stage as we were solely riding along the canal!

But as much as I tried to put it off, roads and cars had to happen. I don’t think my heart has ever beat so fast! I was too scared to even attempt any noise, but the look on my face must have been priceless!!

It did become easier, well the fear, knowing the bike and the coping with speed got easier, the more I rode however the harder the hills got and the more my muscles ached.

So here’s the bit where I tell you how many miles we did. You are probably thinking after all my moaning I have just done, I probably did loads of miles today. Sorry to disappoint you all, all I have ridden has been 14  miles, only a 5th of what our daily target will be! I have to say though I am so proud of me and feel I have come along really far today after all it is only my first day on a bike!

So all that is left to say is thank you so much to out anonymous donator, seeing that when I logged on this morning made me smile no end and made me realise all my hard work is worth it! If you would like to follow in their very kind footstep please go to www.virginmoneygiving.com/r2rchallenge where you can read our mission statement and help support our very crazy efforts and help the NSPCC.

Thank you so much for all the support that you are giving us!

Nikki xx

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