Mike Neck is the brother of Wiggler Mark Neck. Mike took up road riding a year ago, after Mark invited him to ride the Wiggle Mendips Sportive, as part of his preparation for the Ride London 100. Mike decided he wanted his own challenge this year though, and picked a big one! This summer, he rode from John O'Groats to Land's End (978 miles), with his friend Nigel. Over 8 days, the pair learnt a lot; we caught up with them about their amazing challenge:
I picked to do this as I have always wanted to ride Great Britain
What made you decide to do it this way instead of LEJOG?
I chose to do it this way round as it seemed harder, and everyone else seems to do it the other way starting from Land's End.
What training did you do?
I trained for about 6 months: 3 rides per week minimum, involving long rides and short interval training, both indoors and out on the road. Using a turbo trainer really helped, what with West Country weather where we live. My long rides were 60-90 miles at least once per week. I also added in a mix of strength training in the gym, which helped with the number of hills we climbed. 2/3 weight sessions per week, and 3 rides, was my average week of training.
What was the hardest part of the ride?
The hardest part of the ride was the headwind from start to finish, as well as picking the best routes. The weather was also not our best friend… haha!
What obstacles did you encounter in the buildup and during the ride?
Obstacles – we had an injury on day 3 which messed us up on mileage; it put us 60 miles behind, which then made each day longer than it should have been; which then made the others tired. The weather was so bad at times we had to stop just to get warm. Map reading was hard as we were trying to pick shorter routes to catch up on the millage we were down on. Riding with 2 other riders that I've not done much riding with was hard, as pacing was so different; and there were too many stops for my style of riding. Fitness levels were so different this made it hard.
What was your best memory?
Best memory was seeing Land's End and my wife, and knowing I had ridden GB.
Was there one bit of equipment helped the most during your ride?
Wiggle Nutrition Energy Gels helped loads. Nutrition is key when doing this kind of ride.
How much did you raise in aid of Cancer Research UK
We raised about £2500 in aid of Cancer Research
Any advice to anyone reading this, what would you do different if you were to do this again?
Next - I'm not sure yet. I'll pick something over the Christmas period!