We’re about to endure the first of five days in the saddle and for some reason they’ve made it a very gentle starting ride of only 54 miles. Should be easy (for some of us!). Ryan has only done two 25 miles training rides so this could be interesting!
We had a great flight over with Meridiana Airlines last night and were met by the wonderful Virgin Strive staff before being taken by coach up across the hills to the meeting point to get our bikes fixed up. Ryan also met his bike for the first time ever!! We also had our 7.30pm briefing before dinner and met all the ‘Strivers’ for week 3.
There are about 40 riders in total now left. We’ve been selected to ride with Richard Branson in a group of five plus him which means it will be a very leisurely first day. Probably best to get us warmed up. It’s also described as the slow group….hmmm not sure why we’ve been picked for that!? Is that we don’t look like Bradley Wiggins!!?
Everyone here has been talking about the big crash a few days back in week two when five riders came off on a downhill hairpin bend busy road and are all lucky to be alive…! Gulp! Richard Branson came to our table and told us the story of how he was surprised but pleased they were all okay…..Something to do with going too fast on a wet road. Julian then enjoyed sharing the story of his accident a few years back which shook everyone. He’s lucky to be alive too.
There are an eclectic mix of people from many walks of life….adventurers, endurance athletes, founders, artists, lawyers….we of course fit in as elite sportsman…!!! Not.
There’s a feeling of mild apprehension, we’re all really excited but there’s a few nerves now we’ve seen the mountains. You can take a look at all of the pictures from our ride here.
All safe, no punctures and we’ve had a great days riding. Lots of high fives all round and it’s great hearing how much everyone’s PR teams are working to help Strive get to the £1.5 million target.
Day One Complete – Chris Rolland (CEO)
Tomorrow will be much much harder! We’ve covered a relatively small leg of the route (Salerno to Casal) compared to some of the mammoth sessions ahead.
The first days riding was flat all the way along the coast. Then a quick coffee stop before the hills started. Don’t think I’ve ever climbed so much in all my life! Apparently by the end of this we will have a total ascent higher than Everest! Day three and day four have been announced to us as ‘killers!’ What have I signed up for!!?
People are already jumping in the ice baths and I’ve just bagged the last physio session for a sports massage. I think we need to ride a bit quicker tomorrow to get in there sooner!
Wish us luck for the first day and don’t forget to sponsor us for a noble cause.
You can take a look at a review of the first day’s ride here.