I hadn't done any long distance cycling at all in the 2 years after my second cycle home - In 2011 I had gotten into Boot Camp training in a local park, and in 2012 I well and truly caught the triathlon bug which kept me busy to say the least! This and the fact the weather was pretty dire those two years ensured I didn't really even entertain going on a long cycle, even though it was still definitely something I wanted to do.
In early March 2013 I was talking to my good friend JJ, and he revealed plans he had to cycle to
Berlin in the summer (he had already booked
his Ferry to !).
As a self employed landscape architect, work had dried up a bit for him in what
was turning out to be a pretty extended, long & miserable winter, and among
other things he wanted a change of scenery. The thing about JJ, while he is a
pretty fit and physically capable guy, I'm not sure he had been on a bike in any
capacity in about 5 years! He is no fool though and was well aware that he was
going to do a bit of training, and mentioned he was going to try cycling to
Kilkenny a few times. Cherbourg
Now that got my intention!!
At this stage of my life, I had been on a 2-day week (the sort where I still worked for 5 days a week, but had finally arranged to only work the days I was getting paid for starting March - I worked for my Dad, long story!) with work for about 3 months, and was trying to muster some enthusiasm for applying for architecture jobs again. Training-wise, things were not going great either - I was getting repetitive calf injuries for the last 3 months also (coincidence, eh?) as I tried to change my running technique (based on good advice badly remembered). So all I had been doing was cycling the work commute which was 6km each way every day. I'm pretty sure JJ mentioned his cycling plans to me, as he knew that was the sort of thing I was into- but I don't remember any specific invite to join him. I don't think I gave him the chance, I pretty much invited myself!! Not on the
trip mind - I simply couldn't afford it - but definitely the training. I was fairly
excited about having a cycle buddy for the next 6 months - pretty much 100% of
my cycling (ever) had been solo to this point! Berlin
Things moved very quickly from this point, and within 2 weeks we were throwing ourselves in at the deep-end - we were cycling to Kilkenny!