I am off to New Zealand tomorrow (Monday morning) and it could not have come at a better time. I have been training seriously for the Aussie Challenge for over three months now, and the rides are starting to get a little monotonous! It feels like the same old, same old every day. It has been great when I have had either club rides, or been riding with friends for company. But as the holiday period is now over I am losing friends to their 9 to 5 jobs!
I managed only 530km this week, which was 70km less than what I should have done. It was my own fault, I just felt lazy one day and headed home when I should have stayed out longer. So, New Zealand will be great just to change up the scenery and push out some big kilometres each day, all with a good mate of mine (Andy H) who is joining me for the trip to NZ. We fly into Christchurch and then head across Arthur’s Pass, down the west coast and into Queenstown, before jumping into a car to Milford Sound, then back to Christchurch. It’ll be good.
As for my nutritional downfall last week - it is amazing what happens when you fuel the body with what it needs! Within 24 hours of reintroducing a more balanced carb/protein diet, my energy levels were back and muscle soreness disappeared overnight. I’ve written a BIG note to self; carbs are good.
On a slightly different note, word about what we are trying to achieve is spreading through various networks. This has happened mostly through friends who think it’s funny or downright dumb to attempt 400km per day on a bike around Australia. On Saturday (after a club ride with Wynnum Redlands), I was sitting around a table with some very strong riders, including an ex-professional, a female world champ and two or three others, when a mate said, “hey, you know what Reid is doing?” After he’d told them, Mel (the world champ) just looked at me in disbelief, as if she had not heard correctly. "What are you doing!?” She asked. I could not look at her, as I knew she would have a good understanding of how hard and/or stupid this attempt is, so I just turned my head away and laughed. Seriously though, I could not look at her as my confidence would have been shattered. It is good to either live in ignorance or push away the inevitable some times.
Eventually the enormity of this will hit me, and then it will be a matter of whether I have what it takes or not. Sometimes, it’s much better to talk to people who have no idea about cycling. In that situation, the common response is, “400km? Is that far?”