Sunday, April 29, 2012

800 km Challenge

This month I signed up for the Strava Ride Hard to breathe easy 800 km challenge. The aim was to ride 800 kms during the month to approximate Karen Munro's ride from Adelaide to Melbourne after being diagnosed with lung cancer.

I know a couple of people recovering, or sadly not, from lung cancer and needed a challenge to keep me honest and aim for a goal so this one had it all and the Easter long weekend and some scheduled rides gave me a good shot at achieving it.

I'm happy to say that today, with 1 whole day remaining I completed the distance and will finish April with 803kms under the wheel.

It's been a pretty good month, have ridden a couple of audax 100s and finished my first (and quite tough) BRM 200 for a long while. It's been more difficult to ride regularly during the week, mostly because of early starts and late finishes at work, so I'm doubly pleased to have made the goal.

This weekend I still needed 200 km to finish. The first 100 or so where pretty straightforward. A cafe ride yesterday to Kiama plus a few noodling kays on the way home left me with 70km left to ride with two days to go.

I went out this morning, under darkening skies and after a mostly dry first 10 kms,  experienced driving rain and strong southerly winds that dampened more than my enthusiasm and saw me turn for home with about 37km done. I had another day left but  I was worried that Monday, with an early start for work and commitments in the evening, reality would dash my hopes.

I pottered around the house most of the afternoon while the wind and rain seemed to abate and at 4.30 this evening with the rain mostly gone, the wind definitely dropping and dry road out front, I was reaching for a beer and realised that I should reach for the bike. I togged up, switched on the lights and headed off to finish off the remaining 32kms.

I headed south, through Unanderra and across to Port Kembla for the first half of the ride and then turned for home, following the coastal cycle path to Fairy Meadow (with a tail wind). The bikes earlier hours in the wet were taking its toll on the drive train, gears where skipping at crucial moments and the brakes weren't providing a lot in the way of stopping power but I was nearly done. I arrived home with numb feet (8 degrees for the last 20 minutes) and aching knees but a happy state of mind.

Tea will be late, but the beer tastes doubly good knowing that I pushed that little bit harder.

Mileage in Kilometers = 2038

No comments: