Well, that is supposed to be it, the end of my 30-Day Challenge, but there is a twist in the tale of my training diary.

Day 30 dawned in Belgium and ended with a very weary drive home after a second tough day riding in wet, freezing conditions. It was not the way I?d envisaged finishing the 30-Day Challenge, if I am honest. I had a notion that, with spring well on the way and the clocks about to go forward, I?d be closer to home riding in the warm.

Being away on Day 30 meant that I could not ? as planned ? do my final test ride, my 21-kilometre loop that on Day 2 I covered in a not-so-impressive 48 minutes and eight seconds.

So, the Challenge continues for a few days until I can get out and do my time trial and see how much time I can shave off my previous time.

That won?t be a definitive indicator of my improvement but it?ll give a clue ? as will the final step onto the scales to see if I?ve lost weight. It hasn?t been a glorious month, diet wise. Work trips always lead to a certain over-indulgence and my house move has meant take-aways have been on the menu too often. Beer has been a stress reliever resorted too as the builders? costs on the house tick over at an alarming rate.

But I feel fitter, stronger, with more energy and, most satisfyingly, I am sleeping much better. The proof of my improvement will be my performance in the time trial. I am not expecting to ride like rocket man but I would hope that if I hurt myself as much as I did on Day 2 I will go faster. The hills should be less of an obstacle, I hope.

Tune in here later in the week to find out how I?ve done. There?ll also be a break-down of exactly what I did during the month and an end-of-term report from Coach Hannah.

As for today?s ride in Belgium and northern France, it concluded our two-day trip ? undertaken for a feature that will appear in the May 2007 issue of Cycle Sport, which will be in the shops on April 5.

So, this is the end for me, but also not quite the end. I?d like to thank everyone who has read the blog and shared their experiences out there on the road. Keep it up ? I certainly intend to.


Distance covered: 71 kilometres (44.1 miles)

No. of times it hailed: 3

Have you been doing your own version of the 30-Day Challenge? Let us know on the forum