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Bermondsey triathlete will travel everywhere by foot or bike – for an entire year

A Bermondsey triathlete has set herself the challenge of travelling everywhere by either foot or bike for an entire year.

On New Year’s Day Mieke Stones embarked on a year-long challenge to travel everywhere powered by her own body.

The 32-year-old, who lives near Southwark Park, in Bermondsey, had found days would pass without her using the Tube – and decided to make it a permanent fixture.

“In September/October last year I had completed a few triathlons and was thinking about my next challenge and didn’t want to wait until spring for the next triathlon season,” said Mieke, a marketing manager for London Sport.

“The aim is for me to try the mental and physical challenge and also to do more blogging and social media.

Mieke Stones

“I’ve done marathons before and more recently triathlons, but this was a way to test my physical and mental toughness.”

Mieke set out on her challenge on January 1 and has had to either walk, run or cycle to get anywhere – no matter what the distance.

“One of the reasons why I created it in this way was because I wanted to find something that was really testing but would fit in with my life,” she said.

“I’m 32, recently married and saving for a mortgage, so I can’t just quit my job and go off on an adventure.

“It’s only just started to get a little bit easier: the first three months have been a blur because the weather has been one of the hardest things to manage.

“I didn’t really prepare myself for how many more hours I would spend outdoors.

“My first ride on January 1 was to Loughton for a best friend’s engagement drinks and it just chucked it down with rain all the way.

“I remember so clearly walking into their living room with everyone all dressed up and looking pretty and I was literally drenched. I had forgotten my lock as well and had to wheel my bike through.

“I think I’ve only just begun to adjust mentally and physically. I’m definitely way, way fitter already. I honestly feel like my productivity and health has skyrocketed but that’s only in the last month.”

She’s a quarter of the way through her self-made challenge, but it hasn’t been an entirely smooth journey for Mieke, who admitted there have been some tough and lonely times.

“When I get myself in situations where something has gone wrong I think some people might’ve expected me just to give up or take a couple of days off but I’ve persevered,” she said.

“My first big rides have been to Loughborough for work and then Nottingham the following week. I’d never changed a puncture before and got punctures on two consecutive days and because I fixed it myself the last of the daylight had gone.

“I had to ride through the dark and got to my hotels 8.30 at night after cycling from 7.30am.

“I’ve been broken a couple of times, particularly cycling those two days in a row where the weather was so bad and I was on my own. It was quite tough mentally. The physical side hurt but I just did it – there was just a lot of shouting out at random things and swearing at the wind.”

Mieke said she was very happy with how the challenge has gone so far, and has even been encouraging others to do their own Powered by Me challenge this week.

She is raising money for a different charity every month and will be fundraising for mental health charity Mind throughout April.

To sponsor Mieke and follow her progress, visit: https://powered-by-me.com/

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