Cuba Cycling Challenge

There are some things in life that you just can’t put into words to describe how it felt. Three weeks ago I signed up to go to Cuba and cycle 350km for charity. I hadn’t been on a bike in 5 years and as much as I knew I wanted to do it, I wasn’t sure I physically would be able to. On Sunday evening I landed back at Gatwick Airport with a feel of accomplishment that I will never be able to describe. Not only had I completed the challenge with 15 others, but I completed it all, no getting on the bus, no tears and absolutely no regrets.

We set off to Cuba on Saturday 17th for a 9 day trip, with 5 days of intense cycling. I had no idea what to expect because I hadn’t had time to even research what it would be like. I bought my cycling shorts last minute along with everything else I needed.

On average we cycled 50km a day, which to some people sounds easy, but doing that 5 days in a row certainly takes it out of you. Add in some extremely steep hills and 34 degree heat and suddenly it gets pretty damn tough! I went to Cuba knowing there was a coach following us the entire cycle so if I couldn’t do it and needed a rest; it was there. This is where I really proved to myself I can do more than I let myself believe – I didn’t get on the bus once. Every time I felt tired, I told myself to keep going because I knew how bad I would feel if I gave up!

One thing that took its toll on me was the food we were eating. White bread and rice aren’t part of my diet at home any more so the bloating was almost immediate. We were eating sweets all day for energy and I generally felt exhausted.

Cuba was a country I’ve never visited before and holds the most beautiful beaches i’ve ever seen. The residents of Cuba travel on horse and cart, or in old American Cars. It’s literally like being in another century but it was so interesting to see. It is one of the greenest countries I’ve ever seen and once we reached the top of the hills, we were rewarded with unbelievable views.

I went snorkelling, found a new love for Cuba Libre’s (some of the group had a few too many) and I had one of the best and most life changing weeks of my life.

Sometimes you have to just say yes, challenge yourself and think about the consequences later. I hadn’t been on a bike in 5 years, I didn’t even know if I still could ride a bike, but I also know the only times in life that you regret are the chances that you didn’t take. It’s thrown me right back into fitness, my motivation is back to eat healthily and as I always say – be the best version of myself! If you want something bad enough, go and get it. Don’t give up until you’ve achieved it because you’re capable of more than you realise. Next up – The London Marathon!!

GL xx


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