A Blog About Brian Albritton's September 2012 Cycling Ride Across Britain

Monday, September 3, 2012

On My Way With the Help and Support of So Many

I leave this afternoon for England.  My ride begins on Saturday, but this journey I am undertaking actually began last fall, over a year ago.

I had read about the End-to-End ride for some time.  For some reason, it just captivated me:  the thought of cycling on one of the great, iconic rides, literally from one "end" of Great Britain to the other "end."  I thought about signing up, and initially thought I would not for all the "good" reasons:  how could I find the time?  It's expensive. Would I be able to get away from work?  9 century rides in 9 days is crazy!

In August of 2011, I spoke about doing the ride with my friends:  Dave, Eric, Tim, and Jeff.  "The Fellas" as my good friend and former assistant Gloria used to call them.  The Fellas were adamant and encouraging:  you must do this! Of course, their encouragement was a bit more picturesque than I'm portraying it here, as it was laced with expletives and crude analogies, essentially challenging my manhood if I didn't do it . . . but I did "feel the love" and have appreciated their support from the beginning.

I next turned to my wife, Joo Hooi, and asked her.  Being away from home and from her for two weeks was a lot to ask.  Moreover, we both knew there would be a significant expense and lots of time training  --little did we know how much!-- which was even more to ask.  Joo Hooi has been great about it, not only in beginning, but throughout these many months of training.  She has always been supportive and encouraging.  I would come home from rides, and she would ask me about them, gauging my progress.  She would worry if it looked like I might miss a training ride.  She was understanding again and again as I would leave the house on the weekends to go ride for several hours.  I simply could not have done this without her; she has shown me countless acts of love and kindness to get me ready.  I am ready because of Joo Hooi, and if I achieve this, it's because of her. 

I  also want to thank Yvette Wilmath, my strength trainer at the Y and David Ertl, my cycling coach.  Yvette worked with me for these last 7 months and helped build my strength.  I didn't have much when we first started, which is an understatement.  After hundreds of squats, lunges, lifts, pulls, etc., I'm a lot more prepared now.  We have worked out 3 days a week for these last 5 months.  David Ertl is a fabulous Level 1 cycling coach in Iowa.  I found David when I was getting worried that the training plan for my ride did not really train me for the hills.  We have been working together for 4 months, and he has just been great with his training. See his website,   David is also a real inspiration for his support of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Ride to Cure Diabetes.

And, I want to acknowledge my friends and colleagues at my work. I am blessed with so many great friends and to work with so many great people.  So many friends and colleagues have been supportive, have listened to me, encouraged me, and followed my progress as I've prepared. 

Thus, I really began the journey for this ride a year ago.  And though I've done the training, it has been anything but a solitary journey.

Brian Albritton


  1. Brian, this is just round one – we are working on other challenges to your manhood to see if we can get you to do other crazy things. Who knows, maybe you’ll join Jeff in his Everest climb (I’m sure there’s a manhood joke in there somewhere).

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