Today is a great day for me. Today I checked off one of my major riding goals in less than 5 months.
Sorry to jump into the present when I have been writing about the past journey and things learnt, but the comments and thoughts of things that occurred in the past have reached fulfilment today.
When I bought my bike (bike purchase blog story coming soon), my brother suggested we could go on a fund raiser later in the year which was a 2 day ride, 100kms (60 miles) each way, basically out and back from Sydney.
After doing some research, I decided not to do the ride but kept the target – and that was to ride 2 consecutive cycling days of 100kms. And that was in April.
In July, I achieved half the goal. I had been increasing my distances each weekend until one weekend I rode 103kms on a mostly flat ride to the south of Sydney. Suitably motivated and believing in myself, the next weekend I rode 100kms on a hilly ride north of Sydney.
Since then, with the goal in mind, I have been piecing together hilly and flat rides, totaling 156kms and 171kms on the weekend until yesterday, when I conquered a long ride from home, up a major hill (for me at least) and returned, totaling 108kms.
Now it’s September. I had a 100+km Saturday ride under my belt, a free day on Sunday ready for more riding and I felt good.
My brother and a mate were planning to ride on the M7 bike track (no cars, no traffic lights) in preparation for our up and coming 90km Sydney to Wollongong fund raiser in November for MS.
I rode the first 35km with them and still felt good. I hadn’t pushed. I had to continue. So as they headed home, I did the 35km route again and pushed a lot harder. That made 70kms. Only 30 to go.
A change of direction was needed for variety so I went south instead of north where I found it was hillier. “Why did I have to make it harder” I thought because I was feeling it. 87kms done. Now just 7kms north again on the relatively flat path and return, that would be it.
OMG – I became the obsessive clock watcher or in this case, it was the Garmin. The k’s ticked over so slowly I thought they were going backwards. Those last 14kms were the hardest by far. I was exhausted and it took forever (or so I thought).
But, that was soon quickly overcome when Garmin finally ticked over to 100 and I was so happy (or was that relieved), I stopped to take a photo of the screen (see above).
I had made it and I quietly gave myself a cheer!
Summary: You can use what people say, whether good or bad to motivate you because words in your head can keep you going when you feel doubt. A neighbour said he thought I wasn’t ready to ride to Brooklyn, and that was the drive I kept repeating to get me there yesterday. And it was my brothers comment to target a 200km ride over two days five months earlier, that got me there today.
Incidentally, if I had done the ride, I would have been ready (or at least proven I could do it) a month early. Got to be happy about that. But then again, putting it into perspective, my average speed and distance is half that of a pro. I call that room for improvement!
Next target: The Imperial Tonne. 100 miles…