After the excitement of the last nine days, it was inevitable that our last ride leg was going to be tinged with both sadness and happiness. I couldn't wait to get on the bike this morning so I could see my family, but I didn't want to get on my bike for two reasons - 1 it meant the beginning of the end, and 2 my butt is so sore that I couldn't stand the thought of sitting on it for 54km to get to the finish line.
But I soldiered on. Now that I'm sitting in my favorite easy chair at home, my bottom is much happier and comfier and I can now admit that I carried considerable back pain through most of the riding over the last week. I refused to acknowledge it for the duration of the ride, as I didn't want to entertain the idea that I may not finish. The closest I got to considering that option was after last night's massage, when the therapist advised I should probably not ride the final leg today due to the problems she could feel while working on my legs and back. I smiled and thanked her, but figured that I had already ridden over 500km in poor condition, so the last 50 wouldn't make it any worse!
Anyway, there's the story. This week I rode 570km over 9 days with a rest day thrown in for good measure. I made new friends, shared stories, ate well and finished a ride that I never thought I would have the ability to complete. I shared my experience with 815 other like-minded riders - mountain bikes, road races, beach tourers, tandems, tag along and trailers.
Goondiwindi to Brisbane - check. Now to look forward to Gayndah to Noosa for next year's ride. I can't wait - and have already convinced my boys that we will do it together. Now to start researching tandem bikes so I can begin training with Hayden. I can't think of a better way to grow closer than sharing such an amazing experience with them. As for Jordan - well let's just say I'll work on it!
Thank you to all of you who have commented, liked, encouraged and read my blog. I've really enjoyed sharing my experiences and each one of you has helped me along the journey - just knowing you were there mentally cheering me on was a great inspiration on the hard days. It was really great fuel for a tired body and soul.
So onwards and upwards to next year. Anyone care to join us? It's not a race - for me it wasn't about how fast I got to the finish - it was that I got to the finish and enjoyed the journey along the way. Now where's the number for my physio?