Since I started cycling more, I have gained far more of an interest in all things to do with cycling. It is all new to me, although I was introduced to it at a young age, as a couple of my cousins had a brief foray into the world of professional cycle racing when I was a youngster.
And I have marvelled at the incredible skill and bike handling skills of the top riders, and their ability to completely strafe their bodies day after day. And they seem incredibly tough too. Leaping up after what look after really horrible crashes to check if their bikes are still rideable, and just getting on with it.
OK, the occasional broken collar bone or arm happens, and lots of painful looking road rash, but really serious injuries are rare.
So it was really shocking and saddening to read of the untimely death of Wouter Weylandt on a fast descent during Stage 3 of the Giro d'Italia yesterday.
A timely reminder that as cyclists no matter how good we are, we are vulnerable and fragile.
In two days, I'll be heading to the Lakes to start my challenge. I'm excited about it, and nervous too. There are lots of questions that can't be answered - but as long as the bike and body hold up, it's going to be quite some adventure.
I'm lucky too. I have fantastic friends who have been incredibly generous in their support, some of whom will be joining me for a day, or part of a day. Others will head to points on the course just to be there and give me a cheery wave.
I am also hoping that a few cyclists will have heard about what I'm doing, and just turn up for a toddle around Lakeland.
I'm also hugely grateful for the support of Team Nutrition who are providing me with my hydration and recovery drinks. This will be pretty important!!
And the guys at Cyclewise who have offered me the shop as a stop off point for sorting drinks and the like for the last part of the ride, as well as to make sure that the bike is in working order.
And I'm particularly looking forward to being the guest of Oakdene B&B which is without doubt the plushest B&B accommodation in the world, and run by friends of mine who are also really excited about my challenge :o)
A quick "Thank You" to everyone who has donated to Macmillan so far. We're up to £600 which is now 53p per mile.
I have regular calls from the Fundraising folk at Macmillan, and they are incredibly grateful for the sum we have raised so far.
Not long now!