women

When Susan Dunn’s husband booked a holiday, she had no idea it would involve a 612km bike ride

Surprise vacation

Description: Surprise vacation

He’d booked us on to the Macmillan Mexico Coast-to-Coast cycle ride, a grueling 612K bike ride featuring a 3,000m climb in the 40o heat.

‘In August 2010, my husband and I discussed booking a holiday to relax and unwind. Bob went ahead and booked our two-week trip to Mexico for March 2011 and I was thrilled to have something to look forward to. However, Bob had a secret up his sleeve. He’d booked us on to the Macmillan Mexico Coast-to-Coast cycle ride, a grueling 612K bike ride featuring a 3,000m climb in the 40o heat. My jaw hit the floor; I reacted by screaming, “You’re kidding me?!” The challenge would take eight days and the experience would be far removed from the luxury I’d been looking forward to,’

From shock to training

Description: From shock to training

Next we set ourselves a challenge to ride the Pedal for Scotland 50-mile Glasgow to Edinburgh charity bike ride.

‘I’d only ever ridden a bike recreationally, but I was excited by the challenge. If Bob hadn’t booker it without me knowing I’d never have signed up. First we upgraded to decent racing bikes. Next we set ourselves a challenge to ride the Pedal for Scotland 50-mile Glasgow to Edinburgh charity bike ride. This was a great event, but it really brought home just how far we’d have to cycle in Mexico. My training thereafter consisted of twice-weekly spinning classes, and 60-mile bike rides every Sunday.

The challenge

Description: We’ve since done the Escape to Africa 550K bike ride to raise more funds for Macmillan.

We’ve since done the Escape to Africa 550K bike ride to raise more funds for Macmillan.

‘We arrived in Mexico knowing we had eight days of solid cycling before we went to our luxury hotel. During these eight days we would be camping by the road. On the first day, the temperature peaked at 42o and, after 10 hours cycling, I was not amused when our tent kept collapsing in the dust and dirt. During the next seven days, we fuelled ourselves with bananas, cereal bars, flat coke and tepid water. It wasn’t the most glamorous of challenges – during the eight days I only had two river baths and one shower – but I loved every minute of it. We’ve since done the Escape to Africa 550K bike ride to raise more funds for Macmillan.’

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