How do you get your head around the idea of being able to cycle 1800 miles in 10 days? It's quite simple - you dont! You can't really. You can get your head around the idea of a long ride, and even several long rides. But one single ride from the bottom to the top of the country and back again? That's a lot to process. Especially when you don't have a great track record time wise.
As someone who has tended to lack a certain amount of self confidence in her abilities on a bike, I now barely recognise the person that I am becoming. If you’ve followed my blog, you might be a bit surprised by this. So let me explain myself. What I do possess is a ballsy determination.....
For as long as I can remember, I've wanted to be good at something. When I say good I mean really good. I've wondered what it would be like to be one of life's winners, as that's never been me.
Today is the day I sail to the Netherlands, for the biggest ride of my life.....except it’s not. No passenger ships are sailing, there is no race in the Netherlands or anywhere. I thought I was ok with this.....
Taking a glance at my book collection, it's not hard to understand why I feel compelled to travel all over the world with my bike. My reading material transports me to far flung places, and it's usually around this time of year, when the evenings are dark that I bury my nose deep into the next epic cycling adventure.
December 22nd is notable in my calendar for two reasons. First, it's my daughter Abi's birthday. Who knew 31 years ago that I would be doing the other notable thing, an overnight bike ride on the shortest day of the year and on a night where there were weather warnings galore?
Being a long distance cyclist was accepting that it was all I could become. Yes I could cycle a long way, and I loved to do this, but I felt I was deluding myself if I thought I could ever be even slightly competitive as a cyclist. Completing a long distance event in time, let alone a good time, was something that more capable & usually younger women did, not me. I would enter, because I liked the idea of a particular ride, and my aim was simply to complete it, hopefully in time.
So what’s change my perspective?
The strong desire to travel far away and to many different places
For as long as I can remember I have loved to travel. As a child, I would explore the local countryside, often travelling much further than my parents would have approved of. No matter what was going on in my life, my bike gave me the freedom to either escape or explore. The desire to leave the world behind for a few months, with nothing to think about other than eat, sleep, ride appeals.