As one of the founder members of the Isabella Rose Foundation I am always looking for new challenges to raise funds for the charities we support (Bliss, Tommys & Whiston Hospital) so with that in mind I have signed up for the 2013 John O Groats to Lands End cycle ride.

The ride is 960 miles over 9 days of some of the most beautiful but most difficult roads in the UK, and if that doesn't sound hard enough I am 42, unfit,  I weighed 18 stones and when you consider that besides the occasional family leisure rides I haven't regularly ridden a bike for the past 25 years you may be wondering why am I doing this.

Well this blog will hopefully explain why and explain to you exactly how hard this challenge actually is!

It all started during a family holiday to Scotland in 2011 we visited John O Groats and like everybody else who drive the seemingly endless miles to the end of the country we stood in a queue to have our picture with the famous white sign.

In the queue we stood next to a lady from Sweden who over the last three weeks had just cycled from lands end on her own, "it's the best way to see a country" she said. I think this is when the seed first set in my mind to cycle from one end of the country to the other.

However I never gave it another thought for six months or so until I came across an article about the Deloitte RAB LeJog 2012. The ride that year was due to take place in September and when the event started I followed the progress of the ride on their website and twitter and even visited their overnight camp site at Haydock during that week. It seemed a well organised set up and I began to wonder if I could actually do it,  so I registered an interest on their website for the 2013 ride.

Then at the end of September I received an email from the organisers regarding registering for the 2013 ride. So in what I can only describe as a moment of madness I signed up for the event.

I have never been fit or athletic and  I have always been over ambitious when it comes to setting personal goals but this takes it to another level even for me!

About 10 mins after I signed up I sat down at my desk, put and my head in my arms and thought what the hell have I done.

So in September 2012  I started my training for the 2013 ride which will take place in June.
I'm over 6ft and as I  stand on the scales the needle creaks up to a massive 18 stones so if I'm going to take part and hopefully complete 960 miles over 9 days through some of the most hilly parts of the country I had better get some serious training done.

The first problem I had was I needed a bike suitable of completing long distances, now when I was a kid they were called racers however nowadays I discover they are called road bikes. There are two main differences they are now made out of carbon fibre and the price! You can buy a small car for the costs of these new bikes but if I'm going to do it I am going to do it right so after weeks looking around a brand new carbon fibre all singing and dancing bike is purchased.

Training has begun and I will update how its going in part2.

In the mean time please take a look at our website for details on our foundation and who we support.

And if you would like to sponsor me for this event you can through our website or click the link below

Virgin Money Giving Isabella Rose Foundation