After cycling nearly 1000 miles in less than a fortnight you’d expect Gill Caine to take a well earned break but instead she’s already signed up for another challenge.
Gill ,from Burnmouth , took to her saddle on July 13 for an epic journey from Dover to Cape Wrath, averaging 81 miles a day, all in aid of Arthritis Research.
It’s a cause particularly close to Gill’s heart as she suffers from a form of rheumatoid arthritis.
And even more amazingly she took on her recent 996 miles challenge after undergoing a double hip replacement.
“One of the guys I cycled with was a physiotherapist and on the last day he said he noticed me getting on my bike in a rather odd way,” Gill recalled.
“I told him why and he couldn’t believe I’d cycled with two replacement hips!
“But I just get on with it. It’s not really affected me at all.”
Not a stranger to charity cycles, Gill cycled from Land’s End to John O’Groats last year but said the weather conditions were a completely different kettle of fish this time around.
“It was positively tropical compared to last year,” she joked.
“It was nearly all wind and rain last year but this time we didn’t see a drop of rain the whole time.
“One day we cycled in temperatures up to 31.9 degrees so avoiding getting sunburnt was quite hard - especially with setting off at around half 8 in the morning every day we were cycling in mid-day heat.”
The warm weather conditions meant that for Gill and the other 11 riders in her cycling group, getting plenty of food and drink on board was more important than ever.
“On the hottest day I drank five litres of water which is unheard of for me as I’m not particularly good at drinking lots of water and on my training cycles I was only taking a 750ml bottle with me each time.
“We had to get plenty of fluids through us or else we would have been completely dehydrated.
“We also ate a hell of a lot so I was pleasantly surprised to find I’d lost three pounds when I came home; I don’t know how as we scoffed loads!”
As if cycling for around eight hours a day wasn’t bad enough, before leaving for Dover, Gill set up her own blog and made a commitment to keep her followers abreast of her movements on the cycle.
“I have to say doing the blog was probably the hardest bit of the whole thing,” she continued.
“After cycling 81 miles the last thing I really wanted to be doing was trying to find a decent broadband signal of faffing about with a dongle let alone writing a blog- I’m not very good with words!
“I checked my site when I got home and it had had something ridiculous like 78,000 hits, I couldn’t believe it.
“As well as knowing I had the support of people reading my blog setting off knowing I was already well on my way to reaching my fundraising target was a massive boost.
“I felt like I was doing the cycle for everyone.
“Saying that I’m absolutely staggered that I’ve got over £1,000.”
By her own admission when asked if she’d do another long distance cycle after stepping off her bike in John O’Groats last year, Gill said “never again” but this time she was much less dismissive and has already agreed to do a London to Rome cycle in 2015.
To give Gill a donation visit http://www.justgiving.com/Gill-Caine.