Planning the path ahead


I'm almost at the end of my cycling season, although I think I've got a couple of big rides left in me before I have a rest ready to hit it again. My goal this year is a 500k ride at Christmas, I'm hoping to do it in as close to 12 hours as I can get.

I really enjoy the process of having a big goal and the journey of training to get there. Both the training and the actual ultra endurance ride itself has many highs and lows. It takes a lot of mental strength to do it. When your body is screaming to stop you have to mentally override that and keep going. I often think of Dory in Finding Nemo during those moments, but instead of keep swimming I keep peddling.

The last long ride I did I had a lot of bad patches, from gastric issues because I didn't get my carb intake right, to awful pain in one of my knees. You get to points mentally where you think I can't go on, but you do. It reminds me a lot of bad patches in life, they don't last, you have to keep trying and eventually you get through it.

Cyclists are also an amazing group of people, if they know you're riding and trying to do something epic they want to ride with you for a while to help. When I did my 12 hour ride it was just amazing the people who rode with me for company, to help, and just be a part of it. When so much in life online can divide people it's heartwarming when love for something unites them.

The sense of achievement when you reach your goal is nice, obviously it's something very few people have the mental strength to get through, but I really enjoy the journey more. I felt a sense of sadness when I did my last big ride because I'd so enjoyed getting there, the people, our early Saturday rides, joking to get through bad times, lifting each other up. It really changed my life profoundly. But I know my 500k will be the start of a new journey, I don't know where it will lead me this time and I feel excited by that.

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