Mum-of-two Karen Farnan, 40, is a facilities contract manager from Bamber Bridge:
She says: “A few years ago I lost three close friends in the space of a year, which along with a total sense of unfairness taught me that life is very short and very precious and if there are opportunities then I should take them. I’m also doing it because my husband has worked on this event for the last four years (in the mechanics crew) and has always talked about how awesome the whole experience is. I signed up knowing he would be there to support me but he’s now going to Italy instead so I’m going solo. At that point I could have withdrawn but I didn’t.
“I’m not a seasoned cyclist – I’m more of a caver – and while I do go to the gym and keep relatively fit, cycling was never one of my regular activities.
“I have never trained for anything in my life as I’m very impulsive and tend to just do things on a whim – this is something I have to train for and it’s a totally different mind set.
“The hardest bit is knowing I have to ride every weekend as its quite hard to juggle family and work and sometimes I just don’t want to get on my bike.
“I’m dreading the thought of all the hills but I’m also really excited about riding in some of the most beautiful places in the UK. I just need to keep reminding myself that not everyone gets this opportunity and hopefully that will keep me going.”