In my four or so years involved in cycling as a career you would think that by now I would be a seasoned professional, if not competing at amateur level at least the odd coffee shop ride or two?
Well to my embarrassment I have been on a bike all of twice and let me tell you they were two occasions not to write home about! The first was for a photograph at the team I was working with's training camp and the second grand occasion was to prove to one of the guys that I actually knew how to ride one.
Turns out it is true, it is like riding a bike, once you learn you never forget.
This last week I've been caught up in the buzz of the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under in Adelaide Australia. How can you not really? The race is fantastic, the sun has been shining and the wine flowing. Once the wine starts flowing the bets start getting made and I have never been good at saying no to bets.
The bet you ask? This week you will ride in the 'Be Active'; Tour amongst 2,000 others that will no doubt leave you for dust. No worries I say, so how many km's?
97, yes you heard right 97. Then I realise I have five days to train, no bike and no idea just how hard 97 km's is to ride, oh and that although Adelaide is my home town, after living in London, 40 degrees uphill is not something I'm familiar with.
So after four days pedaling each day I'm in pain well before the actual day. This is a new feeling but a feeling I am scarily beginning to like. Day one was hard and day two even harder but by day three I couldn't wait for day four and day five well day five the Be Active Tour was the definition of pleasurable pain.
Yes, there is such a thing and I experienced it first hand and I am happy to report I made it, it took me the most part of the day (almost six hours) but I did it and let me tell you I can officially say I'm starting to understand after all these years why indeed you would put yourself through pain just to cross a line first - or in my case almost last.
So if we work it out the real 'cyclists' today alone rode 30% longer than me (154kms) and about 40% harder, for six days straight. I think I should quit making bets while I am still standing.
- Special thanks to the guys in the peloton that often pushed me up the hill
- Reminded me to drink water
- Fixed my puncture
- Oh and picked my bike up after I threw it (on more than one occasion)
So go on get on yer bike! Dare you!http://www.tourdownunder.com.au/2006/index.php