A week has passed since finishing Scoot the Loop. I’ve caught up on sleep and my achy muscles have returned to normal. My bites are still visible, making me look like I have chicken pox, but they are healing – slowly. After months of preparing and getting excited, the adventure is suddenly over and I have a scooter shaped hole in my life. I was asked if I would do it all again. My answer? Absolutely! Scoot the Loop was one of the toughest but also funnest things I have ever done. Of all my previous adventures, I felt like I completely owned this one. And, like all adventures, I learned a lot. Here’s what I’ll be taking away with me…
Thinking small is sometimes thinking big
The concept of Scoot the Loop was simple: 240km of the London Loop trail on adult kick scooters. It was a simple, bite sized adventure compared to some – skateboarding across Oz, hiking across America, cycling around the world, etc. Sure, it was short, easy to organise and didn’t push our bodies to the absolute limits but, it was still big. We were the first people ever to do it. It was unique, unusual and got people listening – to me that’s an epic adventure.
240km is a really long way
Honestly, it really is…I broke it down into miles to get me through each leg of the day. Some of those sections just went on forever. I literally felt like I was scooting to the edge of the earth.
Committing is the hardest part
I think of all the amazing ideas I have had in the past that never came to life. And all because of one reason – I didn’t commit. Of the entire challenge, the hardest part was making the decision that it was going to happen no matter how or when. Telling people is a great way to force yourself to get on with things.
The hardest part of the challenge itself was the first push on the scooter. It felt weird and the challenges we faced felt massive and daunting. Once we were on our way though, it became natural and easy. You’ve just got to get past that first difficult step.
You don’t have to know everything in advance
Before we set off I knew that we hadn’t trained enough. I didn’t know how long we could scoot each day or even if it was physically possible for us to do the miles we were aiming for. We didn’t know where we would wild camp each night or how. We didn’t prepare for punctures, although we ended up getting one. It didn’t matter though. We worked it out as we went along and it was fine.
You just have to ask
Seriously, this is going to become one of my life mottos. When I came up with the idea for Scoot the Loop, we didn’t have scooters. We needed them for the challenge, so I asked a scooter company if they would provide them (I gave them a call) – they sent us 2 brand new scooters shipped all the way from Spain. It really is as simple as that. People want to help. You’ve just got to ask. This adventure proved that to the max. All our equipment (scooters, helmets, panniers and Tshirts), the meals we ate during the challenge and all the money we’ve raised so far came out of one thing – asking.
People are so generous
My previous point brings me nicely on to something that became apparent during Scoot the Loop – people are generous and kind. Sometimes I feel completely disillusioned by the world and, sure, we encountered a few rude people. It’s easy to focus on them but 99.9% of people we met blew us away with their warmth. Young Joe from Hayes brining us some snacks when he found us wild camping in his local park, the endless words of encouragement we were offered and the ‘man in lycra’ who we got chatting to and later donated £50 towards our fundraising target.
If you want to feel a warm fuzzy glow from peoples kindest, get fundraising and grab a scooter!
Wild camping is easy and amazing
I thought sleeping out in bivvy bags in London would be a challenge. It turned out to be super easy and 90% of the challenge is psychological. There are places to hide everywhere and even if people do see you, the chances of them being bothered are minimal.
On the last night we literally camped in the open in a park next to town – we got a couple of curious looks but that’s all. I really think everyone should spend the night out under the stars, it’s magical.
London is green, really green
Would you imagine finding these views in one of the biggest cities in the world? Enough said!
Your body can do way more than you think and it recovers quick
The first day was tough, the second day even tougher, by the third day my body was reaching a place of tiredness it had never been to before. After our first 10 miles on the scooters, I was honestly thinking that I had set myself an impossible task. Each night when I crawled into my bivy bag, I imagined waking up the next day exhausted and finding it impossible to carry on.
My body surprised me though and each day I woke up with fresh energy ready to go. Even when I thought I had reached my absolutely limit, I found it was just a case of working through it. A challenge like this is mental. You ignore the aches and pains and you tell your self to keep going regardless.
There are 2 types of adventures
This was a physical adventure. We were spending a good 10 hours a day scooting and there was little time for resting or seeing the places we passed. Our next adventure, Walking Israel, is also a physical challenge and most of our days will be long and tough. I want to plan a slower adventure though. One that allows me time to stop if I feel like it, embrace getting lost and with no time limit putting pressure on reaching certain miles each day.
Both types of adventures are great, but different in what they offer and their outcomes. It’s something I will think of when I decide what I want out of my next challenge.