So, I've now been training for 2.5 months for my big event;  The Amateur Tour de France. What really hit me, though, is that all the miles that I've covered in training, is equivalent to only half of the total Tour. I've not even done the whole distance yet. That sudden realisation, that I’m going to be doing about 800 miles a week for 3 whole weeks, made be understand that I really need to be upping my mileage. Last weekend was a good one. I planned the route from home out to Bodnant Gardens. We figured that if I go out and do my big ride on a Sunday morning, by the time I get home, freshen up and eat like a horse, it will be too late to go out with the family. Instead I ride out to a destination where I meet Denise and Dilan. I then find somewhere to get changed so that I’m quite presentable for the rest of the day. (I might not be too awake though.)

It was a good ride, over 7000 feet of climbing and 80 miles of hard graft. Nearly all on country lanes that I've never traveled before. What stunning countryside we have. It’s not going to be the same as in France but the bumps were a good taster of what’s to come. It felt great, even despite snapping a spoke at the start, and having my brakes rub all the way.

I had a lovely day with the family, enjoying a leisurely Sunday jaunt around the fantastic Bodnant Gardens and then over to Llandudno for tea and chips. What could be better? We were all on a high,  until we got home and heard from my Dad, that Mum was not well. She has been bed ridden for 6 years through Parkinson’s Disease. I rushed over to them at 9.30pm and by 11, she unfortunately passed away. Wow, that’s rocked my world.

What can I possibly take from this?

The quiet strength and determination she had was unbelievable. She was in bed for 6 years, not able to speak or do anything herself, but she had the strength to keep on going. I will be carrying this strength every mile of the way in my own personal Tour de Force.