Monday, 12 September 2011

Hills, hair and hamstrings

Picture this - I'm walking through the Stanthorpe show grounds with my hands raised high in the air, chanting "we are the champions"

Today I rode 100.8 of the 101 km between Texas and Stanthorpe. It was by far the hardest ride I have ever done. I am absolutely stoked that I finished. Only one hill got me and it was reasonably early in the day, but I walked to the top, got back on the bike and just kept pedaling.

To give you some background, a 100km ride normally takes me between 4 - 4 1/2 hours. We started at 7.30 today and got into camp at 3pm. There is a constant increase in elevation, and while there are some breath taking down hill sections (60+ km/HR on a bike is freakin' scary), we knew for every down there was a corresponding up even higher still.

I cannot express how proud I am of today's achievement. The riders around us were all so encouraging, and at no point were we discouraged. My hammies got pretty tight by the end and for a little while I thought I'd find myself finishing in the ambulance with a corked thigh, but I persevered and here I sit in my tent, quietly reflecting on my ride before heading off to see James Blundell at our rest day party.

So now to the hair. I got my hair cut short so it was easier to manage while camping. Big mistake. Big, big mistake. My hair invariably resembles the proverbial bird's nest at any time of the day. First thing in the morning it emerges from under my beanie (yes I wear it to bed, it is THAT cold!). So I swap beanie for helmet - and the onset of helmet hair begins. End of ride means shower, so for about 30 minutes it looks fabulous, then it dries and it's time for a beanie again! Not a lot of photos of me being taken I can tell you!

There is a rest day tomorrow (thank goodness - my legs need it), and we are off to do a tour of the local wineries, cheese makers and apple pie connoisseurs - mmmm can't wait.

So as I listen to the man in the tent opposite mine snoring loudly enough to wake the dead - I leave you with this..."You never know what you're capable of until you try" - today I found out!

See you all tomorrow - but this time if I don't write, don't send out the search parties - just bring a glass!