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The Gecko Challenge – Day 2

Day 2: Builth Wells to Dolgellau Merthyr Tydfil to Builth Wells- The weather improved, slightly.

I had decided, in my usual blind optimism, that my knee injury was caused by the repositioning of my bike seat after being dismantled. After some readjusting we set off under a dry sky and full of confidence.

Ryan and I had looked over the maps and decided we would head off early and try and make up as much ground as possible and readdress the situation at lunch.

I think it was pretty much immediately that I was aware my knee hadn’t quite had a miraculous recovery, but I stuck with blind optimism for about 8 miles before actual pain kicked in.

Although we still had a gloomy dark sky, we had a dry sky and once we hit the Taff Trails we braved our arms to the chill and enjoyed the trails, with a few detours...

Wrong turn, beautiful views.

As if on queue, Ryan remarked how he wish he had a Go Pro Cam and barely before the words had left his mouth a beautiful Buzzard flew from the tree next to him not 2 metres away from his head and across our path. Yes, the Taff trails were lots of fun.

Taff Trail beauty

Despite the growing pain I set a good pace to get us to Brecon, we were both eager not to let our bodies run that low on energy and fuel again.

The rain did make a reappearance as we were stuck in traffic entering Breacon, this meant we were a muddy and wet site getting into town. We headed straight for a warm pub and ordered the menu and hot chocolates. On assessing our situation it was very similar to yesterdays. We weren’t covering enough miles. We were just going to have to feed and get on ahead and cover what we could.

Until that point I had just been trying ibuprofen, paracetamol and heat rub sprinkled with optimism. The pain was pretty bad again so I had taken some co-codamol and phoned my Mam. After talking the injury over with her she thought it sounded like a cartilage issue… The sprinkling of optimism had been blown away.

Off we ventured back in the rain, spirits dampened.

Co-codamol didn’t have any noticeable effect on the pain and I struggled from the off having to jump off more and more, I was seriously slowing us down. A very brave Ryan started trying to get me to accept I couldn’t finish the challenge. It took him a while. Luckily there wasn’t much he could do till we got to Builth Wells and that took a Looong while. By the time we got there I had accepted it, the pain was at its worse rendering me in tears trying to get up hills which in turn causes you to hyperventilate (or just me). Builth Wells was my last stop.

I was so jealous waving Ryan off on Thursday, ESPECIALLY under the first BLUE SKY of the challenge.

- Ema Davidson

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