In May 2014 Jo Herbert and her godfather Jim cycled 170 miles each, over four days through northern France to raise money for PID UK. Four days of cycling left both Jo and Jim sunburnt, tired and saddle sore as they cycled between 35 and 52 miles every day. What an achievement!

Jo has been wonderful raising money for PID UK and has also completed the grueling Crowborough Triathlon last September as well as raising £502.16 at a  charity day in March where a small group of keen cyclists rode static bikes all day and sold cakes. She is due to complete the Crowborough Triathlon again on Sunday 7th September 2014 as a teamed relay which she expects to be fun and tiring.

Here’s Jo’s account of their mammoth ride in France and why she is raising money for PID UK.

‘Our big bike ride is now complete, with Jim and I cycling 170 miles each, pretty impressive considering my training prior to the ride was quite poor. We did it though!

Taking it day by day

Our first day was the hardest, we cycled 52.5 miles, the first 30 miles were good, the second half was tough with the wind against us for the first 10 miles then the following 12.5 miles of downs and lots of ups! I got back and felt like giving up. I was sunburnt, tired and mentally exhausted.

Day 2 felt like a nonstarter for me, I cried quietly when I got up thinking that this challenge was just way too big but Jim was so positive and we got started. We cycled 35 miles that day, the most that I could manage.

Day 3 and I felt strong and good and we managed a great total of 45 miles! The weather was good to us with only a few spots of rain and not a huge amount of wind. That day I started to feel rather saddle sore. It didn’t matter how I sat on the saddle the fact is there is a lot of weight on 2 key areas which by now were really starting to complain. 

Day 4, the last day and the sun was shining but not too hot. But it was another tough day – my left ankle had starting to tense and at 33 miles I really started to struggle and became quite tearful. I had hit a wall but there was no choice, I had to cycle to the village ahead, which was only 3 miles away. I just wanted to walk the rest of the way but I didn’t give in.

Finally after what seemed like an age I could see a church spire so I knew I was close, I saw Rob, my husband first who had been waiting for me, and then Jim who always arrived everywhere before me!

Job done!

Jim was determined for us to finish on 40 miles, I could not hold back the tears so I cycled off and just hammered the last 4 miles, head down and got on with it… At last the milometer hit 40 miles and I stopped dead, I thought I would feel happy to be finished but all I felt was exhausted.  I had not considered the amount of hours I would be cycling neither the tough hills that we constantly met. It had been a tough mental test and physical challenge for me but I did it.

My motivation

My son, Toby, was diagnosed with a PID in January 2010 and I want to make a difference and feel that it is my duty to support and fund raise whenever I can for PID UK. PID UK is there to provide support to over 5000 people and families affected by PIDs and I want to do my bit so that PID UK can be there for other families who are newly diagnosed.’ 

Posted September 2014