Jignesh Sutar completed a fantastic cycle ride to raise awareness and funds for Fibromyalgia. We would like to publicly thank him for this tremendous effort and for all those people that sponsored him and made this such a success raising £1373.71 in total.
He has written this account of his challenge.
First 4 days were great, I was cycling in beautiful sunshine, temperatures reaching above 30+. Each day I was questioning why I was carrying the additional weight of full body thermals, skiing gloves & a balaclava(!) in my backpack. So eventually on day 5 I ended up parceling 2.5kg of my gear to Santiago. And then, what happened on day 5 evening? It rained for the first time and the temperature just dropped!
All the warm clothes I parceled away were everything I desperately needed now! I was doing 100+ km almost each day now and made it a point to continue to do so simply to be reunited with my gear again! I ended up reaching Santiago on day 8 of the 14 days I gave myself which then gave me the opportunity to go to Finisterre and Muxia also. The days of cycling after reaching Santiago to do the Finisterre-Muxia Way were cycling in torrential down pour, where waterproofs were no longer waterproofs. The last day of cycling, I ended up having to cycle with a balaclava and in deep fog, so somewhat a contrast to my first day!
Despite these difficulties, the stress of navigating the route, which often the unleashed dogs would dictated which route I would take, and managing to avoid cycling on Spain's motorways (after Spanish motorist honked their horns at me each time to let me know), I didn't allow myself to classify anything as an obstacle in hindering me achieving what I had set out to do! (Apparently Timmy Mallet was out riding the Camino same time as me and he broke his chain!) Ohhh...and did I mention, my gears broke?!
All in all a very good experience. Most importantly, the fundraising has been most fruitful, as it has been a way to connect with others and realise that there are others suffering also. And of course, a very big THANK YOU to all of you for donating. I can’t thank you all enough. I’m chuffed to bits to see the donations exceeded £1,000, which is a huge amount and will make a big difference to Fibromyalgia Association UK and suffers, and it's thanks to each of you for contributing, so thank you again!
There are no endings. Having cycled almost a 1,000km I had reached Cape Finisterre, the end of the road (literally!) and what the Romans had believed to be the end of the world. Though in many ways it felt like an ending having reached my final destination, I contemplated. I contemplated what I had achieved and what I was to do next. I contemplated to partake in the ritual of burning an item of clothing in the form of burning my cycling boots however this was anything but practical for me as I still had plenty of cycling to do to get back to Santiago. Moreover it left me feeling as I was "hanging up my boots", "calling it a day" and that was far from how I wanted to "end" my journey. I realised there was only one thing left for me to do, it was to turn around, get back on the bike and continue cycling, with one clear reflection in mind. There are no endings. We continue on our life journey, with every moment being nothing but a new beginning.
We continue on our life journey, with every moment being nothing but a new beginning.
And finally, the all important statistics:
12days of cycling
1,076 kmdistance travelled
63h:06mof love making between saddle and buttocks
17 km/haverage speed
68 km/hmaximum speed (and that was without pedaling!)
5 kmlongest descent (now that was fun!)
550 mhighest climb
134 kmlongest day
33 kmshortest day (believe me, it was a wise decision to call it a day after only 33 km. My toes were swimming in my cycling shoes!)
0 puncturess(go specialized armadillo's!)
1 Boat ride(In my defense I didn’t take the second opportunity, and much longer detour, in taking the boat ride to get past Santander!)
3 kgbody weight lost! (Now if anyone needed a reason to do the Camino, you have one now!)