Life’s a Climb, But the Views are Great 🚴🗻
You know you are in a great place mentally when you’re cycling up a 2,000 feet summit and thoroughly enjoying the experience.
In contrast, I can remember climbing up much smaller hills in Scotland during the Scottish tour and feeling considerably worse.
So why was I climbing up small hills in Scotland feeling very depressed and suicidal. Then climbing up bigger hills in England feeling euphoric and on top of the world?
I truly believe it’s all down to the mindset that I’ve now adopted.
A positive mindset.
Trying to see the positives in everything I now do.
Throughout Scotland I wasn’t on my A-game and wasn’t trying to be the best I can be.
I was trying to get around Scotland and hope that I could complete the challenge.
I wasn’t aiming to better myself, I wasn’t aiming to get fit and I wasn’t giving my all if I’m really honest.
I always knew in the back of my mind that I was going to have to come home after the Scotland tour and spend 4 weeks back home waiting to cycle the world.
I knew I’d go back to doing the things I’ve always done, leaving me feeling like I’ve always felt.
I’d be out drinking, not exercising, not looking after my diet and generally just struggling through each day.
But I knew once that was over I’d be out of Livingston for the considerable future and would be able to really apply myself and go all in on improving every area of my life.
In hindsight, I didn’t have to be out of Livingston to better myself or adopt a positive mindset.
But at the time I felt like I did.
So when I was cycling up hills in Scotland, I was thinking this is tough, this is so hard, why the hell am I doing this?
But yesterday cycling up that hill I felt a massive sense of personal improvement and achievement.
No matter how hard it is I know that with every additional mile pedalled I’m getting fitter, losing more weight and generally getting closer to my goal of cycling around the world.
I’m always trying to look for the positive no matter how bad the situation may appear on the face of it.
So this is exactly how I was feeling on day 4 of the world tour when I was cycling up through the Pennines to Darlington.
The night before I’d stayed with a great guy called John who hosted me for the night.
John is also a fellow cyclist and used to do a bit of competing in the past. Not only did John show me the best route to go towards Darlington, he actually came out a cycle with me and joined me for the first half of the day.
It was such a glorious sunny day, and although the heat made it tough going up the pennines, the views and sights made it all worthwhile.
On our way up the summit, we met another group of cyclists who were up from London, They were doing the coast to coast and cycled alongside us for a while.
I got chatting to a couple of the guys and was telling them all about my world challenge.
They were blown away by it and then one of them cycled up to me and handed me a £20 note and wished me all the best for the adventure.
An amazing act of kindness and one that again confirmed my faith in humanity.
It was amazing to spend so much time with the other cyclists and all have a good laugh and joke whilst cycling along together.
I’m only 4 days into this world tour and I’m already meeting so many amazing and wonderful people.
Getting out of your home town and broadening your horizons is so good for the soul and I’m already reaping the benefits and feeling much more happier within myself.
I left the guys and then cycled off on my own for the rest of the route to Darlington.
Another cyclist approached me and cycled along for a few minutes chatting away to me and he said
“Are you the bloke off Facebook?”
The power of social media never fails to amaze me.
I then had my first really difficult period of cycling after making a mistake with how much food and water I was carrying.
I never brought enough with me and was cycling on empty for over an hour with left me totally drained and without energy.
I finally managed to stop and find a little cafe to replenish. I got chatting some other cyclists and the folk who worked at the cafe and the cafe gave me 3 bottles of water to take with me and a cyclist bought me a little cake.
I can’t even describe how friendly and responsive people have been to me on this tour so far.
I headed on for the final 20 miles of the day and was feeling right back in the zone.
I was pedalling like a madman and put in my best cycle of the tour so far. I was feeling refreshed, energised and the fittest I’d felt since leaving Scotland and it gave me huge encouragement that I was getting back to my best.
I made it into Darlington after the toughest day on the bike by far. But I was feeling on top of the world as I’m so close to getting back to where I believe I should be.
Both physically and mentally.
The Tartan Explorer.