A couple of people speculated as to why I was feeling more tired after ten days of the non-cycling tour than I was when I was doing it all by pushbike... and I think they were right that there's something simply energising about that amount of exercise.
My fitness improved hugely after only a few days of 50-60 miles a day and I ended up slipping into a ride-show-sleep-ride-show-sleep shaped groove that was, while challenging, pretty comfy.
But I think there's more to it than that. The bike ride was, without doubt, the most challenging thing I've ever done. As a result a great deal of thought went into the small details - what I was eating and drinking (and when) as well as equipment and so on. It might have been an effort but I was making sure I had the right calories on board - in the best form and at the best time.
Even more importantly... because it was so challenging, everything else had to fall by the wayside. I left home and didn't have to deal with anything outside of the tour until it was over. No phone calls, no e-mails. No other work. Nothing but the ride-show-sleep groove.
This tour is different. The rest of life goes on and expects me to keep up. After the first ten days we've now hit a pattern of Monday/Tuesdays off and the rest of the week on. But those two days don't feel like days off because I end up cramming a week's worth of meetings and stuff into those two days. So I'm travelling and doing the bit of writing I need to do for the weekly radio show and I'm doing interviews and I'm dealing with correspondence and I'm basically doing everything else... and at the same time, I'm eating bad food because we're having to grab stuff at garages in order to get to the next venue in time and so on. No wonder I'm feeling run down.
Not that I'm complaining. I volunteered. And the tour is fun. Just exhausting fun. And I could have taken time out of the radio show if I'd wanted - but I didn't want to because that's immense fun as well.
Incidentally, for the last three weeks we've seen an increase in the number of downloads for the podcast. Which seems to suggest that the live show is helping to advertise the radio show. Which is ace because the radio show thrives on your input. Your e-mails and texts the last couple of weeks have been fab. (I still laugh whenever I think of the crisp eating e-mail that was in show 18. Just. Too. Weird.)
There's also something to be said about the pace of cycling. If you cycle 50 miles you're aware of every inch along the way. You get off the bike at the end of the day and your body understands how it got there. It's a journey that makes sense. But when you get in a car - or a train - and travel 300 miles I think the body feels tricked at the end of the journey. You know you've done the miles, but you aren't quite so aware of how they all connected to one another. The end result is that it feels like your brain is being tricked. Or something. I haven't expressed that very well. But I know what I mean. Oh well.
So... now for the next five days of travelling. Portsmouth tonight. Then Plymouth, Bedford, High Wycombe then, gulp, after the Sunday morning radio show... Newcastle.
At least you can see why I'm not cycling. Hope to see some of you along the way.