Waking up on Saturday morning, we were able to watch all the bikes riding past us on their way to the bike checks.
This time next week we will be in France heading towards Rambouillet, outside of Paris, to the start of the 2019 Paris-Brest-Paris (PBP) Randonnuer. For me, this has been a long time coming. After having abandoned after 900km in 2015 due to serious sleep deprivation, I’ve had a lot of time to consider what I did wrong and how to right it.
I had unfinished business with this ride. 4 years earlier this was my first attempt at a 600k, and a massive eye opener with regards to fuelling and sleep deprivation. However, all that aside, I had loved the ride, and the support and organisation made it one of the best Audax events in the calendar, especially if you were a novice like me.
Despite having a lovely, but shorter ride in Wales, and knowing I had made the right decision to quite, the old feelings of doubt became to surface. What if I really am just not good enough? What if just getting there is always going to be this hard? Maybe I really should just give up this dream and go touring instead? But I had put so much effort in already, and a fair bit of money. I didn’t want to give up just yet....
I turned up in Chepstow, and looked around the rather smaller than normal group of entrants. Everyone looked very fit and capable, and then I also noticed the lack of women on the ride. In normal years the ride attracts a mixed bag of riders. There’s no doubt this is a challenging event...after all, it covers the width of Wales, and ventures into the Brecon Beacons in both directions. But, it is such a beautiful and iconic ride that many Audaxers like to give it a try.
Before each Audax I have my routines. The things that I normally do, that make sure that I have every chance of success.
Why do so many of us lose our confidence as we get older? This motivation series will include inspirational stories, achievements and tips to build confidence. To put it all in perspective I’d like to share MJ’s story. She’s the perfect example......
This early season event is the Willy Warmer 200k, run by Paul Stewart from Audax UK. The aptly named event is (allegedly) not actually any reference to a part of the male anatomy, but instead a reference to the Willesden Green Cycling club, who promote the event, and the fact that cold weather is assured.
She is now patron of a charity called The Wave Project, that uses surfing as therapy for young people suffering from mental health issues, or from disadvantaged backgrounds. She's back to being an adrenaline junkie, and is in a much better place for now Grab a cuppa, and take time for a read.