This was my first big charity challenge, it was to raise funds for Salterns special needs school in Southampton. The idea was to cycle solo from Dover to Lands End in 5 days, I would only meet up with Pippa at campsites we were staying at each evening.

Compared to events and challenges that followed this was very low key. It was a challenging route, not only because of the hills but because all the mapping was on laminated cards stuck to my handlebars. I’m so pleased to now own a Garmin!

The ride itself was hard in places as you would imagine and we had issues like any challenge. One, being the car breaking down and me having to cycle to pick it up and bring it back to the campsite the following day after they had repaired it.

It sounds like I didn’t enjoy it, but I did even the tough section, I will never forget the welcome to Cornwall sign followed by a massive hill that seemed to go on for miles. Its like they didn’t really want me there! The ride down into Lands End is such an iconic route in for so many cyclist.

This challenge has helped get me where I am today, it’s helped build up not only my physical strength but my mental toughness. Every bit of this and all my challenges help me learn and improve. This challenge was the catalyst for me to go and explore my sporty side that had been missing for so many years. I wouldn’t have dreamed back then the things I would have completed but this is where my love for endurance was born.

We raised over £1000 for the school and went out and bought items they had on a wish list, before heading in and presenting them with the gifts.