Meet Katie Butler, a cycling enthusiast who enjoys documenting all of her incredible journeys on her YouTube channel. Joining us on our 2018 Ride, we asked her exactly what she thought about the journey and how she coped with the highs and lows that come with it.
Why did you want to join Deloitte Ride Across Britain?
I think as cyclists, especially in the UK the LEJOG ride is the big one; the bucket list ride we all want to do. But it takes a lot of organisation so it was always one for ‘next year’. But my friend, Toby, introduced me to the RAB and it looked perfect and loved the fact all you had to do was literally ride your bike.
How did you train for Deloitte Ride Across Britain?
I really enjoy longer rides so had done a lot of 200km rides and a fair few 300km and 400km audaxes in the past year or two. So I kept on doing those and I also have a coach who ensured I was getting in some fatigue-inducing training which definitely helped. I did a lot in the lead up to the ride which really paid off. But equally, I know of people who had only ridden their first 100-mile ride this year and still had a great ride so I guess it depends on where you are at and how ‘easy’ you want to make the actual ride itself.
What were you most surprised about when you took on the challenge?
I think because few of us have done so many back to back century rides I was surprised at how well my body adapted to the daily rides. I started off really steadily and as the days went on pushed a bit harder each day. Riding aside, I didn’t expect the scale of the campsite to be so big. I thought there might be a small food tent and a few other stalls here and there but I was blown away by how well everything was organised and put together.
Tell us about your favourite highlight of the Ride?
Ahhh there were so many. I think one moment that stood out was on Day 7 riding up an unexpectedly steep climb out in the middle of stunning views in Scotland. A group of us got to the top and turned around and saw the magnitude of what we had just done, and where we were. We were all so excited about what we were doing. We just couldn’t believe the views and how incredible/steep the climb had been. It was sharing that love of cycling with others who were just as passionate as I am about riding bikes, which made is so special.
Many people haven’t heard of or experienced the RAB Bubble, how would you describe it?
The bubble is the most lovely and secure place to be. It’s this little world where everyone is just in it together and looking out for each other. Honestly, it sounds cliché to say it but it’s like a big, giant family. Everyone smiles, everyone chats, and everyone is trying to help encourage you. I’m having withdrawal symptoms from the bubble now it’s over.
Was there a moment where you wanted to quit the challenge and, if so, what made you push through and carry on?
There wasn’t a moment I wanted to quit, but I did struggle a couple of times, mainly down to some strong headwinds and rain (which luckily didn’t happen too often). Each of those two times lovely, fellow RAB riders saw that I wasn’t in the best place and took me under their wing, offered a gel and off we went. THAT is what is so incredible about RAB; riders are always looking out for each other.
What would you say to someone looking to take on Deloitte Ride Across Britain in 2019?
Do it! It’s honestly one of the best experiences of my whole life and even thinking back to it now as I type I get a lovely fuzzy feeling thinking of the incredible days out on the road, and also back at camp.