Almost as soon as I had booked the accommodation, I started wondering if I was fit enough to complete the route that I had set out for myself.

This year has not been great as far as getting out on the bike is concerned. The long winter, with ice on the roads, kept me inside, and picking up a cold in February didn’t help. Just as I was getting into my stride in April I got another cold, which turned into bronchitis, lasting three and a half weeks, just when I should have been ramping up my distances.

The numbers speak for themselves. in May 2012 I cycled 700 miles. This May I managed a paltry 280. I am therefore more than slightly worried about my stamina for the succession of long days in the saddle that I have planned.  Much of the remaining time between now and when I leave is taken up, either with work or holiday. The number of full days that I am free to get a long ride in can be counted on the fingers of one hand.

I will just have to do what I can between now and then, and take it nice and easy for the first few days of the trip.