Jeremy Goss learns a lesson during his cycling training

Regrettably I never was a Boy Scout, but I could have done with remembering their 'Be Prepared' motto the other night when I found myself wet, cold and stranded while out on a training ride.

I'm regularly cracking 30 miles or so an evening now, but it was bitterly cold, rainy and pitch-black when my front wheel hit one pothole too many and a tyre blow-out was the inevitable result.

I had no replacement with me, and not even my mobile phone to summon help. A good dozen miles from home, and stuck all alone in the wilds of east Norfolk – it's not exactly my idea of a fun-time.

Eventually, I managed to find a garage that was still open and borrow a phone so I could sheepishly ring my wife Maggie and plaintively ask her to come and rescue me.

But the episode has taught me an important lesson and my mobile is now a permanent fixture in my cycling kit.

We've now fixed August 3 as the start date for my Back-to-Bayern adventure so all I'm hoping for is some high summer sunshine to replace these dismally dark and dank February evenings.

I've also just learned that four blind people, each riding tandem with a sighted volunteer, will be joining me on the first leg of the ride from Norwich to Harwich – a marvellous gesture, humbling when you think they'll be cycling more than 100 miles themselves and a timely reminder why I'm undertaking the challenge.

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