Australia is big. I am small.
I was lying in bed the other night, unable to sleep. The thought popped into my mind, “Australia is BIG!” It seemed to just hit me just how massive Australia really is and the reality of riding a bike around it suddenly felt crazy, impossible. I began to feel very, very small.
I was ready to go a week ago. I was pumped, just wanted to start, but I still have 3 weeks left of training. My mind was in a good place, but this week, to be honest, it has slipped up. Training became hard again and instead of hitting 600+km in the week I will only hit 450km. That may sound okay, but not when you want to ride around Australia. Fast. Sierra (my almost 2 year old daughter) has been waking when I am about to head off lately and it has become very hard to leave as she has been crying out for mummy and daddy. One morning when she came into our bed at 4:30am to try and re-settle I had to say, “Daddy’s just going for a wee wee,” just so I could escape without her tears. It was a long wee! Leaving is becoming harder.
Being out for hours at a time does have some funny moments though. This morning a cyclist caught up to me so I just jumped on his wheel for a bit before he dropped to the side and said, “what are you training for?” I thought to myself, “funny question, and he will never believe the answer.” So, I said, “you don’t want to know. I am riding around Australia in 3 weeks’ time.” He then looked at my bike (time trial bike) and said, “not on that bike though!?”
“Yep. It’s a bit faster than a road bike so my recovery time is greater. The setup is not that aggressive.” He just looked at me, dumbfounded. I could tell his mind was thinking, “this guy is a little confused.” He then said, “I better wait for my son; all the best, stay safe!” When he dropped off it dawned on me that 99% of people who ride around Australia use panniers (bags on the bike) and ride 80km/day. Nobody uses a time trial bike! No wonder he looked at me, looked at my bike, and thought that I was confused. I forgot to tell him I will have a support team!
So that’s been my week. Have to get back into the right frame of mind again and finish training well. Australia is too BIG to take it easy now.