The reason I was so exhausted yesterday was due to the fact that I had picked up a stomach bug. I had little energy and it seemed to get worse throughout the day- far more than the normal tiredness that I would expect from cycling the distances we have been. Last night I could not eat my meal and had to take to my bed early. The others looked worried!
This morning I was so weak that I could not get out of bed. At 0815 John and Gareth were ready to set off and I was still in bed looking and feeling like death. The decision was made that they would go on ahead and if and when I was able to get on my bike I would try and follow behind.
Poor Dave was going to have his work cut out trying to support a team that was now split in two. I crawled on to my bike at 0916 and set off. Guess what, it was raining again! I knew I was ill but could not understand why. Maybe all the doom mongers were right-maybe at sixty I was to old for this sort of thing-Maybe I should stop now, the easiest thing today would be to stop and get into the broom wagon.
Somehow I pushed on.
At the first stop just before Fort William I tried to drink and I couldn't I tried to force down an energy bar and I couldn't do that either. I had not eaten anything for over 24 hours and I was very aware that without food and drink I was not going to achieve the distance today.
One thing that I did want was a toilet. Dave said he would go on ahead and find one. He shot off and I carried on trying to pedal my bike. There I was feeling ill, trying to ride a bike 100 miles a day in the pouring rain and wanting to go to the toilet real bad. My stomach had swollen up, the others were now well over an hour ahead and I was struggling to make 9/10 miles an hour. I must be BL**DY mad. Anne's been right all these years after all !!
Then I saw Dave ahead. "the toilet is over there" he said. I fell off my bike and crossed the road to the Loo. In the toilet I soon found out what the problem was. A major stomach bug of some kind. Serious diarrhoea. I had a problem.
Back out of the loo on to the bike and I asked Dave how John and Gareth were doing. "Going like a train" was Dave's reply. Dave did say to me that I might have to consider the possibility of stopping. My plan was to keep on going as best I could and see where I ended up at the end of the day.
My biggest worry was that I was using energy but was not replacing it as I could not take in anything. I dont remember much about the day but the things that I do remember were - The rain- The pain- stoppping at more Loos along the way (not even locking the bike up, just diving in and leaving the bike with Garmin sat nav etc all there for anyone to help themselves to) and a feeling of complete loneliness out on the road even though Dave was meeting up with me every ten miles.
The others were doing well. John (with one kidney) had exceeded his best hopes for this ride-Both Gareth and John had displayed a grit and determination that is rare.It looked like they were going to nail this challenge and I wanted to be there at the end too.
By dark I was at the village of Tore north of Inverness. Dave came and picked me up and took me on to the bunkhouse at Balintraid near Invergordon. The plan is that he drops me back at Tore tomorrow morning and I continue to play catch up. I feel slightly better this evening.
Panic when we arrived at the bunkhouse because Gareth and John had not arrived and it was now dark. Dave was very worried but while he was considering what to do next, the lads turned up. I think for Dave today was the worst day of the trip. For me it has been the worst day of my life !!! Mileage 85 miles (John and Gareth 103 miles) Average speed 11.7 mph- Top speed 31.25 mph - Calories burned 4967