It has been about a week since our team completed 14,178km around Australia at an average of 382.6km per day. Right now I am feeling every one of those kilometres as my body readjusts to life off the bike and off the pain relief that formed part of my daily routine. You may not believe it but I am finding it more difficult to walk now than when I hoped off the bike at around 5:25am Tuesday morning. But life is good. I was able to take my little girl, Sierra to a “big” park and hobble around after her; no push to get to the next town, no road trains and P platers stressing me out (no Sydney drivers!) and no headwinds to deal with, just peace for making it home to take my daughter to a park.
Before I left, the majority of cycling friends had me down as no chance of making the journey. They had thought they would see me again the following week for a club ride and coffee while the majority of non-cycling friends had me down as a chance. Personally, I really did not know how I would go. This challenge had me scared like no other, I knew the numbers and knew it would push me beyond my limits but I did not understand the depth of pain and despair I would fall into. To tell you the truth, riding close to 400km per day is okay, it is the conditions in which you ride these kilometres that make all the difference. It was the conditions that turned me into wild man on the verge of insanity, screaming out in the middle of Western Australia night after night, begging God to take the headwinds away. I have never been one to swear, I tried it in primary school but it didn’t seem to suit me so I stopped, but swearing became a natural and daily stress relief for me and as told the winds to (expletive) off so often that I started to think this ride was destroying me as a person and changing my character for the worst. I battled 5 consecutive days of massive headwinds from 100km out of Port Headlands all the way to Perth - over 2000km of a completely dehumanising process that turned me into a madman.