A week’s gone by since the DDK Wheelie Big Ride team finished their cycling challenge. Our Commercial Director Stuart Inglis reflects on the journey and also why you don’t always need to stick to a plan…My greatest take away from this experience is taking the time to slow down and enjoy the journey. I’m someone who likes to list up tasks, create a plan and blast through it. Of course I had a plan for this trip too: on the road by 6:30am, averaging 25km/h as per our training rides, set duration breaks, done by 4/5pm, rinse and repeat. So when we got going late my automatic thought was “well we’ll need to go faster to make that up” in order to complete the day in the same timeframe. My metric of performance was based on getting over the finish line in a set timeframe and when we didn’t do that I wasn’t happy.

But then came the question of “why”? Why did we need to be finished earlier in the day? What impact did a later finish have? And what benefits did it bring and at what cost? I realised the answer to that was simply personal performance and allowing me to cram more into the end of the day. But forcing this on the team was unfair and unnecessary; we were there to enjoy the experience. And did that extra stuff need done at the end of the day or could it be fitted in elsewhere?

Reframing my mindset took a couple of days: getting used to making the timings and plan up as we went along, being content with longer stops and delays, fully immersing myself in the experience. But only looking at things one break/section at a time rather than one day at a time allowed me to relax into the cycle and ultimately enjoy it much more (despite the painful backside!)

And what about performance? Well we made it up to John O’Groats with no (major) injuries, no fall outs, no-one dropping out and still had smiles on our faces and miles in our legs…I’d class that as a great success and one not guaranteed if we had stuck to “plan”.