Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Well now.....

So the boxes are packed with goodies, maps and bum cream.  The serious big training is done.  The backpack has been tested with weight, the shoes have been chosen (2 pairs of socks had to be tested with the shoes) - I do declare I shall rest on my laurels now!!  Well not really - still some Mark training on the in-door bike and a couple more rides but shortish ones.

There are still some things to do on the bike - new chain, more tyre juice, learn how to change the hangar or put it into single speed (God help me if I have to ride in single speed in those mountains!).

I rode with Colleen this past weekend.  We rode from our respective homes through the Cradle, past Zengen, through Magaliesburg for brekkers and out over Breedesnek to a self catering place called Bietjie Vrede (near Buffelspoort).  It was 98kms.  Phew I was poked!  I walked most of Breeds.  It was a good exercise in just dealing with one little stage at a time.  I would not allow myself to think about riding home the next day.  I just kept on looking at the next intersection to turn at or walking 30 steps then breathing 4 deep breaths.  I started cramping towards the top of Breeds.  I had forgotten my carb bottle at home and although I was taking in food and water I guess I was lacking the electrolytes.
We were out for just over 9 hours and had about 7 hours riding time.  We had a wonderful welcome by Doug and Kayla.  Doug was awesome - yummy chicken, fresh farm bread, drinks.

We came back a different way the next day and finished off the ride at Nikitas - a Portuguese restaurant frequented by bikers (normally the ones on the brmm brmm machines).  I struggled to get food in me but loved the sparkly water and chocolate milkshake.  We did 77kms - about 6 hours out.  I struggled about 20kms from the end.  My ass was very veeeerrry sore and I had had enough.  It worries me to be tired after only 6 hours as the days on R2C are likely to be about 12 hours - aaagh!  But I shall just have to manage those days - one step at a time, one pedal stroke at a time.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

In the middle

I am nervous, I am tired, I am excited, I am poeping myself...... The training seems so daunting, the prep seems never-ending, the prep of the maps seems complicated....

I guess this is the time I ask WHY.  Beyond the excitement of such a big goal and the chatters over coffee or dinner there are hours and hours of training, loss of rest, hours of bike prep, a sore ass, a semi-constant bubble of excitement or nervousness in my tummy or just plain nauseousness with nerves.  Why, why, why?  What on earth drives me to these big goals?

 - They make for good stories
 - They make great memories
 - I feel strong and capable
 - There is no sense of wasting my strong, super body - with all its lumps and bumps and bruises and       scars
- There is no feeling of wasted opportunities.  My sense is that there is not much chance of, when I        pop my clogs, that I will feel I have missed out on chances that were in front of me.  There is one        life I have.  I would like to think that when I do die I will go screetching into my grave (in what          ever form it takes) with scars and scrapes with a glass of bubbly in one hand whooping and                  whooing knowing I had the most brilliant ride of my life!
- There is that elusive feeling of challenges - doing the challenges, being challenged, over-coming the    challenges, living, breathing, BEING the challenge