I never thought I would be riding multi-day stage races, or completing ultra endurance events on a bike. Not in my wildest dreams could I have ever imagined riding the kind of technical trails I did in BC Bike Race last year.
But I did. It's not always pretty, but I do it because I can. And because it is life-affirming in a way that I can never seem to put exactly the right words around.
I might not be the leanest or the fastest rider out there, but I couldn’t be more grateful for this strong and tenacious body that gets me through some of the toughest races around.
Don’t ever let anyone tell you you can’t do something.
You’re never “TOO” anything (too fat, too old, etc.)...you can always take that step towards getting yourself closer to your goals, no matter what other people think.
And if that person is you, or your inner voice, just remember that you have a choice whether to listen to it or to tell a brand new story.
Reach out if you are doubting yourself but you have a little voice inside that keeps asking, "What if...?" I love talking to people who want to figure out the logistics of getting outside your comfort zone, challenging yourself a bit more, and finding out just how powerful you are!
Vertical elevation: 2500m
Temperature: Around 0-8C
We did it! About 2,500m of climbing in 120km of gravel, and I need a massage!! Ouch!
A frigid start and it didn’t warm up much after that. More than eight hours later and we crossed the finish line!!
John waited for me to catch up through the whole race, as always.
After a very optimistic start with beautiful tracks and feeling really strong on the climbs, I was then in pain for the entirety. Honestly though, the first 20km I was thinking what's the point of gravel racing anyway? It was so smooth, I thought why don't we just ride on the road??
But quickly, I realized that the smooth gravel tracks would soon be a distant memory.
I had a terrible headache (my brain was bouncing around over all the bumpy rocks and trails), and eventually I just convinced myself I had something really serious like appendicitis or a bladder infection from not having a pee on the course. These are the kind of tricks my brain plays to try to get me to stop punishing myself!
I didn’t, of course, have appendicitis or a bladder infection - despite the pain I was feeling. But within an hour of getting off the bike I was fine, with the exception of sore knees, neck and shoulders. Happy days!!
If anyone wants to know anything about the ride, let us know! We’re happy to share what we’ve learned while it’s still fresh in our minds. 😁
We had to fly from Newfoundland all the way to Toronto, which added about 10 hours to our original booking.
Frustrating for sure, and I got zero sleep on the flight squished into a middle seat and completely uncomfortable. Is it just me, or is modern airplane travel absolute torture?
Also, Pearson airport in Toronto gets two thumbs down from us - what a stupid layout for such a busy airport. And don't get me started on the (lack of) services!
Anyhow, this area is beautiful. We had an uneventful drive north in the rental van, stopping into Leisure Lakes bike shop in Daventry (we go there every time we're in the UK - great shop !).
So, a fair bit of travel time for a one-day event! But a lovely part of the world, and very grateful we get to do this sort of thing.
We can’t wait to ride tomorrow!