IT’S strange but I am feeling the benefits of my time in St Moritz so much that I almost feel now as though I have never had surgery or radiation.

As I approach the end of my second week here in Switzerland, a quick phone call with oncology just to check in and let them know I am okay is the only time I have reminded myself of my other life for the last fortnight.

Somehow, I don’t think the lady on the phone was exactly prepared for one of her patients to say they had gone from the MRI scanner to an altitude camp.

I haven’t felt like this since I rode the Grandes Des Alps last September.

The feeling that you can’t walk because your legs hurt so much.

Each step I take, my legs are on fire. But that just means that the training is starting to take effect.


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The benefits of staying longer aren’t just about my fitness. I have been here long enough to get to know the waiter and now I get my tap water for free. I almost died of shock on the first night when I got charged £5 for it.

I spoke last week about the overwhelming temptation I’ve been feeling to ride the mountain passes that surround me every day I go out on the bike. So let’s just say I was almost doing a back flip when I opened my training program to see a three-hour hilly ride.

It was the perfect morning for it too, with the fresh mountain air, the sun rising above the hills and not too cold.

I got my gravel bike out and set off - without any real plan. After 40minutes I saw a glacier and thought to myself ‘wow, if only I could get a closer look’.

Thankfully, the gravel path kept taking me closer and closer to this incredible looking glacier, which I now know is called the Morteratsch Glacier.

It is one of the largest glaciers in the Eastern Alps and thus has a formidable presence when you’re making your way up the winding rocky path towards its base.

The sound of its roaring river running down next to me was the soundtrack to one of those days on the bike which I will never forget.

The next day was memorable too, but more for my stupidity than the scenery.

I had gone out trying to discover some new routes and I found this amazing road which led into the mountains.


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It started off so narrow that there wasn’t much room. I decided to pull over when I saw a car coming, but little did I know I had pulled over directly into an electrical fence which is used to keep the cows in.

After a few bolts and screams, I managed to get away from the fence. I immediately felt out my paralysed arm in case the fence had fired the nerves up, but unfortunately it was just the electrical shock experience which I had got.

The roads were a little damp from the rains and I was about to discover a nice present from a family of goats on a wooden bridge. As my front wheel hit the deposits of goat poo they had left, I knew I was about to hit the deck.

Thankfully I was going pretty slow at the time and landed on my good side. I remember looking up and this group of goats were just starting back at me. Look at this daft human lying on the floor, they were probably thinking.

Anyway, I left these two experiences behind and the road opened up into what quickly became another amazing day on the bike.

That night I got back to the hotel to receive a message from two mates from back home in the Highlands who were doing the Swiss Epic, a pretty brutal mountain bike race which just happened to be passing through St Moritz.


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I do miss Scotland and where I grew up, so it was great to sit the following evening outside a small Italian restaurant catching up with these two mates from Kingussie.

Before leaving the UK, I also got the chance to sit down with Callum Skinner and Philip Hindes, the Great Britain Olympic cycling gold medallists for a chat on their new Podcrash. It was a great experience and I got to share some other stories of this journey.

They have had lots of incredible athletes on the show so I was pretty humbled to be asked along. It’s certainly worth tuning in and hearing the stories of the athletes they have had on so far and also hearing the insights from both Callum and Phil on their time in Olympic sport.

Okay it’s time for me to get ready for my three hours on the bike today, hopefully avoiding the electrical fences and goat poo this time. If there was any doubt in my mind about the effect which me coming here has had it was silenced when Eilish McColgan ran a PB at the Birmingham Diamond league last week the back of a three-week camp here in St Moritz. Thank you Eilish for giving me confidence in my decision to train here.