Tag Archives: Ride

To my bike…

Just wanted to say thanks.

Thanks for being there when I was angry, upset or just plain peopled-out. You have always been a safe haven for me, a way for me to get out my aggression and frustration that’s healthy and much much better than taking it out on those I care about.

Thanks for the time to think, the time to be alone, the time to remind myself that I don’t have to be what everyone expects or perceives me to be.

Thanks for being a safety valve, a place to go when everything is getting to be too much and I can feel my emotions bubbling over and going to places I don’t want to go. Thanks for being something that I look forward to, a bright spark when all looked pretty dark around me.

But best of all, thanks for the joy and the pleasure that you bring into my life. I can be in the foulest mood but I know that time spent on my bike will fix all that. It’s so good to be able to reconnect with a younger, less troubled version of myself.

Thanks for the time spent out in the sunshine. And, to a lesser degree, in the rain. Thanks for reminding me that I happen to live in a pretty amazing country and that there is much to appreciate.

Sometimes the riding hurts so much but that’s more than made up by the times it comes so easy and I feel like I’m flying. It’s worth it – the tired heavy legs, the sore butt, aching back – it’s so worth it.


There was a terrible moment when I realised I was going to be about 3kms short for the Rapha Women’s 100.

I had been so sure when I set out that I would get it. I was so certain I’d gotten it right and that adding a lap of the boulie before meeting up with the other women I would be riding with would give me the extra 20 or so kms I needed. Well, I was wrong! I realised that I’d miscalculated when I was still about 6kms out from home. D’oh!

Riding anywhere near 100kms is a big ask for me at the moment. I’m on the way to restoring my fitness – on and off the bike – but I still have a long, long way to go. I wasn’t even sure I’d be able to achieve the 100kms. But I did. I did it. Admittedly I had to ride around my suburb for about 20 minute to get the extra but I did. It seems like such a crazy thing to do but I guess I really am a cyclist because come hell or high water, I was getting that 100kms.

I so often struggle to find motivation. It’s been really hard to get back on the bike but I think I’m falling in love with it again. It’s such a huge part of me and my relationship with my husband. Without my cycling, I would’ve never meet him and I would’ve missed out on what’s turning out to be a pretty awesome adventure with him.

But this day was about my female friends and that’s fantastic too. I have so many wonderful, strong, fun women in my life now because of my bike.

It was a great day. Thanks to Bek, Marta, Louisa and Helen for making it so.

Bikes are better with Belgiums

new wheels

Indeed they are! (Techy bit: colour coded KingR45/HED Belgium/Sapim CX-Ray.)

My bike now makes a “RRRRRrrrrrrrrrRRRRRrrrrrrrrrRRRRRrrrrrrrrr” sound when I’m free-wheeling which is kinda awesome.

Dan at Shifter Bikes did a brilliant job. He’s some sort of magician. He must be because he knew exactly what I needed and wanted.

I blathered on about what was happening when I was descending (speed wobbles which scared the bejesus out of me when I was coming down Lake Mountain and the bike started to shake almost uncontrollably) and he knew my Easton wheels were flexing when I got over a certain speed. Funny thing is, I’d started notice something odd going on with my back wheel without realising it was my back wheel. It felt like my seat was wobbling a little bit and I couldn’t work out why. But this wasn’t happening at really high speed either. This was going on when I was doing boulie laps! And I’d noticed it tootling around town as well.

Turns out I needed stiffer wheels. And an overlapping spoke pattern.

Shifter Dan – genius!

These are not cheap wheels. But I don’t for a second regret letting him work his magic and following his advice about what hubs to buy. My only request was a pair of red spokes. I love finding and working with people who really know what they’re doing. I love the whole idea of being able to just let him do his thing and the end result being brilliant.

The experience of riding my bike now is simply awesome. We went out to the Dandenongs yesterday to try them out (Richard also got new wheels but hey – this is my blog!). There’s nothing to say except they were awesome and had me wishing I’d done this when I first bought the BMC back in February. Now I want to head out to Donna Buang. When I did the climb in March this year on the BMC, I managed the descent in just under 20 minutes (19:43) so I’m curious now to see if I can beat that time.

The bike definitely rolls faster with these new wheels. Coming down from Skyhigh I actually ran out of gears and ended up free-wheeling most of the way down. But it’s not that steep…

Amy’s Grand Fondo

I know, I know – the Fondo was ages ago (16th September). So why I am only blogging about it now? Got up the Monday morning after the ride, feeling a bit stiff and sore but generally okay until I lent over to pick up my lip balm and blam! Instant back pain. Really intense, haven’t-experienced-it-in-years back pain.


Commence the week off work where I spent four days either lying in bed or lying on the couch (only four because I’d already arranged to have the Monday off). The only time I really went anywhere was to go to the physio. I just find it ironic that I made it through an entire 120km ride feeling reasonably okay – my back was hurting a bit on the first, much more difficult climb – but lean over to pick up a tube of lip balm…

Anyhoo… Amy’s Grand Fondo.

It was great! I originally set myself what I thought was the realistic challenge of completing the ride in five and a half hours. So imagine how happy I was when I finished in under 5hrs (4hr 57mins according to my Garmin). My official ride time was 5hr 36mins but this incorporated all the stops we made including one really long stop at Deans Marsh which was much longer than we intended as the cafe took forever to actually make my fiance’s very uncomplicated espresso.

My overall placing was 3110 (out of how many riders I have no clue) and I was 68th out of 88 riders in my age group (female 40 – 44). I was hoping for a top 25% finish but soon realised that was going to be impossible as I saw or passed very few women in my category which meant they were probably all in the faster groups in front of me. And they were. Still, I didn’t come last in my age group (wasn’t even close to that) so that’s something.

The climb up Skenes Creek was hard – harder than I thought it would be. My back was really talking to me about two-thirds of the way up so I pulled over to have a stretch and admire the view which was stunning. Got a few odd looks because I’d stopped but it was worth it to take in the sight of forest turning into farm land turning into ocean. I managed to get to the top in 47 minutes which is pretty decent for someone who isn’t a great climber. I actually managed to overtake a few people but I have to admit I felt the strongest once we got go into the flat bit between Forest and Deans Marsh. Had to be told to dial it back a bit otherwise I was going to exhaust myself before we even got to the Deans Marsh climb.

This was such different experience from the last time I rode the Great Ocean Road. For one thing I remembered Deans Marsh being a way harder climb than it actually was. Maybe that’s just because I knew what to expect but I really did remember there being a lot more up and a lot less respite. But I suppose this time around I was much better prepared and all those boulie laps paid off 😉

One thing that didn’t go to the plan was the wardrobe malfunction I experienced just as we started. I finally bought myself a pair of Assos bib knicks after swearing vehemently that I never would (waste of money was my usual comment – I have been persuaded otherwise now) and they have a centre strap that runs down your chest and hooks through a little holder at the top of the shorts. I’d be warned that sometimes they become unhooked and that I might like to sew a stitch or two to make the gap narrower but I didn’t have a problem on my first ride with the shorts. Weeeelll… I wasn’t so fortunate this time. We’d just rolled under the start arch and were heading for the timing start line when I felt the strap pop loose. So over to the side of the road I went where I spent a couple of minutes rearranging my clothing. At least it was before the official timing start but we lost contact with the fast riders in our start group and couldn’t catch up. Not that it really mattered as we got overtaken by a whole bunch of other riders from the group behind us.

Riding on closed roads was sensational, especially on a frankly scary road like the Great Ocean Road. I’ve only experienced it once before and that was on open roads and I was pretty much terrified the whole time. But this was great. No cars, no worrying about oncoming traffic because there was none. It made overtaking about a million times easier because there was so much space. I especially enjoyed it on the descents.

Speaking of descents I didn’t find any of them particularly dangerous although the organisers disagreed with me and had put signs out. However, there was one accident that I know of that required an ambulance so maybe I’m wrong about that. I imagine it’s hard for inexperienced riders to not get caught up in the excitement of an event like this which could lead to them taking risks that normally wouldn’t and definitely shouldn’t. Ending up in the back of an ambulance is a pretty stiff price to pay for a misjudgement. I like to descend fast and sometimes I do overstretch myself but I’ve always managed to get things under control when they do go bad. But I have to say I’ve worked pretty hard to get my skills up so that I feel confident on my bike. (I also have my former rally driver Dad to thank for some intensive lessons in the art of cornering when I was learning to drive all those years ago and couldn’t corner properly to save myself. Funny what really sticks in your head.)

It was fun and I’ll definitely be doing it again. Hopefully the next time without the back injury the next day!

The cobbles broke me

I’ll say from the onset that doing the Melburn Roobiax ride wasn’t my idea. I don’t like riding over cobbles at the best of times but I got signed up for it so I went along with it. And hey, the time I’ve been as an observer, it has looked like a lot of fun.

I was a little apprehensive as the day drew closer but I decided that I should just go with it and have some fun. Really, how bad could it be?

Uh… bad. Really, really bad.

I managed to get about 100 metres into the first section before I panicked. I was going too slow and the cobbles were really, really slippery after three days of heavy rain. There were people all around me and I could hear so many unfamiliar voices saying “wow, it’s so slippery”, “it’s a bit muddy!” etc. I totally freaked out. I managed to get my foot down but it promptly slipped out from underneath me. Then I cracked myself in the left shin with my pedal as I struggled to maintain my balance. Got my other foot out and somehow managed to whack my right shin with my pedal so hard that it broke skin. I have no clue how I did this. Of course I was in a bit of a state by now, verging on what felt like a full-blown panic attack. I stood there for about 10 minutes with people careering past me, adding to my fear.

I couldn’t move. I couldn’t go back and the idea of riding out of the lane filled me with a terror that had me frozen to the spot. So I did the only thing I could. I got off my bike and walked to the end. On insanely slippery cobbles. In cletes. How I didn’t fall over I have no idea.

The second section was worse. Again, I was way too slow and I simply didn’t trust myself or my bike on the cobbles. I panicked and stopped as soon as I could. It was awful. I haven’t felt that way since the first ride back from my fall last year.

And that’s the thing isn’t it? What did I fall over on last year? A bluestone gutter. I really thought I’d gotten over the whole bike accident thing. I’ve been happily riding on the road for months. Hell, I’ve ridden up a mountain! (Okay, so on occasion I get a bit skittish in large crowds and I don’t like when I feel that other cyclists are getting too close to me but I think that’s normal!) What happened Sunday was totally unexpected and I think that’s what made it so scary. I didn’t even think of that there would be a subconscious connection between my accident and the cobbles on the Roobaix ride. But wow, my brain made it pretty damn quickly.

I feel kinda dumb. I mean, there were kids doing it. Not to mention people on old bangers of bikes that must’ve been absolute agony to ride over the cobbles. But me, in my expensive Rapha kit and road bike? Nope, I freaked out on the first section. Still, I should remember that I did hurt myself well beyond the normal “jump-up-and-laugh-it-off” injury. I hit the ground so hard that I cracked my helmet.

After two sections, I gave up. If I persisted with the cobbles, I knew I’d be in for a terrible day on the bike. It was obvious I wasn’t going to be able to get past my fear and if I kept trying, I’d end up hurting myself and probably the people around me. It was just easier to skip the cobble sections and simply ride around them and meet my other half, who was doing them, at the end. I did manage to complete one section though so I’m rather proud of that as it was considered one of the more difficult bits (had three stars).

But there’s no getting away from it – the cobbles broke me.

Dumb things I have done

It started out okay. We (the other half and I) had followed the forecast as the Bureau of Meteorology kept adjusting it. Jan 2 2012 – the day of Amy’s Ride – was going to be hot. 41°C (105.8°F) to be exact. The ride organisers elected to invoke a heat contingency plan which meant we got bumped from the 120km (75mi) ride to the 70km (43.5mi) ride.

At first it was okay. It was warm for that early in day but I figured we’d finish the ride before it got really hot. Uh huh… bit of wishing thinking there! I was okay until the road surface hit 45°C (113°F) about two and half hours into the ride. (Yes, we should’ve been quicker but common sense dictated we take it easier.) I felt like I was slowly being cooked. I couldn’t drink the water in my bottle because it was too hot and even a small sip made to spit it right back out. I suffered. I suffered like I haven’t in a long, long time.

It became very apparent to me as I slowly rolled into the Botanic Garden in Geelong that I wasn’t in the best shape. I felt very shaky and bit disorientated. My other half was sneaking further and further away from me as I came to the end of my endurance. But I couldn’t sing out to get him wait because I simply didn’t have the energy to do so. When we did come back together he suggested we head straight back to the car (which we’d just rolled past) but with about 500 metres to go the exact words out of my mouth were “I’m f#$king finishing it!!!”

I have no idea how I made it to the end. It was blessed relief when I could finally unclip and put my foot down on the ground and simply know I didn’t have to get back on the bike. Getting off the bike proved to be a little more tricky because I wasn’t certain I had the strength to swing my leg over. I wobbled my way over to the covered BBQ area and sat myself down on the only seat available which just happened to be in front of the organisers. I think a few of them might have had their eye on me in case I keeled over. It’s been a very long time since I’ve felt that weak and distressed.

At first there was no satisfaction in what I’d just done. It felt like one of the stupidest things I’d ever attempted and I have to admit it was pretty dumb to continue when the road temperature got to the point where I felt like I was being cooked. I was obviously starting to suffer from heat exhaustion and probably should’ve quit. But not me! No, I’m too stubborn and bloody minded to do that. No sag wagon ever for this little black duck. All I can think now is: moron! whilst still feeling a sense of achievement for completing the ride.

So yes, I feel like I’ve already done my really dumb thing for this year and it’s still only January.

Of course, three days later I rode up Mt Donna Buang. I am a glutton for punishment. I have no idea how I got talked into it but I must admit I enjoyed this ride far more than Amy’s Ride. At least it had one of the best descents I’ve ever experienced. Took me over an hour and a half to get up and under 25 minutes to get down. I have to say I’d do it again just so I could experience that descent again. I slogged my guts out to get up the damn mountain but you couldn’t get the smile off my face on the way down – except maybe for the really steep bit (locals will know it as the bit around Cement Creek) as that was a bit scary and had me grabbing the brakes. I couldn’t feel my toes by the time I got to the bottom in but it was totally worth it.

The next challenge is the SCODY High Country Cycle Challenge in March. Mt Bulla anyone? For someone who’s never liked climbing, I certainly seem to be doing a lot of it these days.

It was inevitable

I was always going to get back on the bike.

What I didn’t expect was how I felt. I didn’t expect to feel as nervous as I did. I’ve always been pretty confident on the bike. It’s been something that I inherently know I can do. But not this time. I wheeled my bike out to the street, swung my leg over and stood there, looking down at my right foot resting on the pedal which wasn’t even clipped in. I could feel my heart pounding in my chest. I was feeling really, really anxious – a feeling I’m not used to associating with bike riding.


Okay, so now I need to deal with the fact that my confidence is shot. I’ve never felt the way I did on Saturday morning before setting off on a ride. My nervousness wasn’t helped by the fact that three cyclists who were out the front of Cafe Racer wandered out onto the road in front of me, even with my one of the friends shouting “ding, ding, ding!!” at the top of her voice in an attempt to get their attention. If you look closely enough, you can see a spike in my heart rate which indicates when it happened. Beach Rd also seemed to be much busier than usual. There were a lot of cars out at 8am.

I didn’t expect this to happen. I thought I’d be able to just get back on my bike and be fine. But I wasn’t. The other accident I had last year, I hopped back on the bike and it felt just fine. I wasn’t nervous or uncomfortable. It felt like it always did so I figured that it’d be the same this time. I thought I’d just jump back on the bike and everything would be hunky-dory. Bit surprising to discover that it wasn’t.

Still, it wasn’t all bad. I got to ride with friends who were happy to ride at a slower pace than normal. It was great to be out in the sunshine with good company. It did made a difference to have people around me who were happy to keep pace with me and stayed on the outside of me. Having people around me who I knew could trust made a huge difference. So thanks to my peeps who came out 🙂

It was epic. Epic I say!

On Sunday, I broke 100km on a ride for the first time since the Great Ocean & Otway Classic. And that’s what made it epic. Big distance, lots of climbing (for me anyway) and no SAG wagon.

Five of us got together on to try the Kinglake climb via Humevale Rd. Every time I’ve climbed Kinglake, it’s been via the traditional route on Hurtsbridge/Heidelberg Kinglake Rd which includes the soul crushing Wild Dog Creek Hill. I was quite excited to try the Humevale Rd climb simply because it meant I didn’t have to torture myself by having to climb up The Dog (as we’ve started referring to it as in a very unaffectionate way).

The Climbing Cyclist site (which I’ve linked to above) called the Humevale Rd climb a hidden gem. And it is. For the entire climb (about 7kms, gaining around 600m) we encountered one car – yup, just one. The driver was decent enough to slow right down and pass us with caution. This is one of the roads that was damaged when the fires ripped through the area and not much has been done to repair it. To be honest, it would easily be the worse road surface I’ve ridden on but we were taking it slow so it didn’t matter so much. I really wouldn’t want to attempt it as a descent though. The area is taking some time to recover but there’s a crazy amount of regrowth near the edge of the road which makes for a lush, green ride. And it’s quiet, incredibly quiet and peaceful. All you can hear is the noises of the bikes, people’s breath, the odd snatch of conversation and the bird calls. That’s it. There’s no pollution, no cars, no people. The best word I can come up with to describe the area is serene.

After our first stop at the Flying Tarts Bakery in Kinglake West (think we’ve found a name for our group!), it started to drizzle so all the wet weather gear came out and we rugged up. Only to overheat on the way to Kinglake as there were plenty of rolling hills. Brief stop at Kinglake to put on any final kit and we were ready for the descent down to St Andrews.

Everyone knows I love to descend. I love the rush of speed and the sound of the wind blasting past. I love leaning into corners and feeling the bike move with me. Just love it. I really suffer when I climb so a great descent like Kinglake makes up for it. I’m fortunate to have a dad who worked hard to teach me to corner properly (when I was first learning to drive I couldn’t corner properly to save myself) and on the whole, I can descend quickly enough to keep up with the boys but keep myself safe as well. Uhh… most of the time. This time I totally messed up my lines not once but twice and found myself praying there wasn’t any oncoming traffic as I ended up on the wrong side of the road. But I was incredibly lucky and managed to get away with it. (Let that be a lesson to me to be more careful next time!) Still, I accept the fact that there’s a pretty good chance that one day I’m going to get it wrong in a corner and the end result will not be a happy one for me. I should just remember what my dad told me recently – it’s amazing what can happen if you go into a corner more slowly. You can accelerate out of it!

Then the inevitable happened. We started climbing again as we headed through Kangaroo Ground and Warrandyte South and I found myself dropping further and further behind to the point I couldn’t really see the others ahead of me. I was suffering, a lot. What is it about climbing that I find so hard? A couple of times I wanted to cry because I was feeling so bad and I was so far behind. The mental demons really came out to play and I felt weak, slow and stupid. Stupid for thinking that I could do it when evidence was heavily leaning towards couldn’t. Sigh. I feel that I’m not mentally tough enough but I don’t know how to fix that.

I have no problems with the physical act of riding a bike. My legs are in pretty good shape. I’m stronger than I was. Logically, I know I’ve vastly improved if compared to where I was last year. This time last year, I hadn’t done a single serious climb and hadn’t done a ride that was further than 70kms (I think). But mentally? Every time it gets tough, I start to fall apart. I doubt myself, I make it million times harder because I don’t believe I can do it – even with evidence to the contrary. But as to how to fix this, I have no idea. I know I’m only going to improve if I keep pushing through barriers but it’s really hard. I have to push myself past what I’m comfortable with. I’m letting myself down by always believing the naysayers in my head, that evil little voice that whispers that I’m weak, fat, stupid for even trying.

Maybe the mental toughness will just come over time. Doubt it though. It’s too heavily ingrained in my personality to always believe the bad stuff and deny what’s good. Doing rides like this will probably always put me through the wringer because it’s who I am. There will always be a little voice of doubt in my head. However! At least I always try and I don’t give up, even when I’m gasping for air and my legs are screaming at me. I don’t quit. Strength comes from the strangest places and perhaps I just haven’t realised it yet.

But you know, it’s not necessarily a bad thing to be put through the wringer like this. Odd thing to say considering how much complaining I just did. It means I’m not emotionally dead, that I can still feel really intense emotion and pain. It indicates progress because a few years ago I was too afraid to feel anything at all, even physical pain. If I can master it on the bike, perhaps I can master it in the rest of my life.

So, this thing called sleeping in…

I’ve heard it’s this idea where you don’t get up while it’s still dark and no birdies are chirping in the trees.

My sleep in during this Easter break was on Good Friday where I managed to make it until just before 9am. Surprisingly enough, no one put on a load of laundry at 8am – a normal occurrence on the weekend mornings when I’m actually home. My first though when I woke up was (after going eeeeuuugghhhh) hey, the sun is up.

No sleep in on Saturday as I tootled my way over to Ringwood North to join in on the Easter Bunnies Emerald Bakery Loop Ride. The group I ride with had been talking about tackling the well known Emerald Bakery Loop for awhile so why not do it when everyone was on holidays? Just over 75km of hills, hills and yet more hills. But of course that meant plenty of opportunities for descending 🙂

The Yarra Ranges actually make climbing kinda fun. The area is stunningly beautiful and this time none of us were busting a gut to get to the top of the 1:20. The funnest descent of the day was coming down The Wall. As I was unfamiliar with the descent, I was on the brakes a few times to make sure I didn’t crash by being overly enthusiastic.

The bakery at Emerald was worth the effort of getting there. Been a long time since I’ve seen so many yummy cakes and slices crammed into a glass display unit. I have to say that these stops during rides are one of my favourite parts. It’s great to just sit around and chat. I’ve never been great in social situations and this one of the few times I feel okay. Plus there’s usually nummy treats involved which is fine by me!

What I thought would be the hardest climb of the day came as we left Emerald and headed towards Kallista. It was about 3kms of slogging away up what around 7 – 9% gradient. There was water cascading over the road and I was glad we were climbing (!!!) and not descending but it still made for a hairy climb as the road was rather slippery.

I must admit that I didn’t enjoy the descent down to Montrose as much as I normally do. I was feeling pretty knackered by the time we got there and my body was starting to complain. However, I made it down the whole way without touching the brakes once which is the first time I’ve managed this. I think I descended a little more slowly than normal because it was taking a lot of effort to concentrate. I love to descend as fast as possible but I’m not willing to risk my safety when I know I’m tired. See, not totally stupid!

By the time I got to the bottom I was ready to call it a day but of course that meant getting back to the starting point. And that’s when it happened. For the first time ever, a climb defeated me. I had to get off and walk. Eastfield Rd in Ringwood East. We could see it from the other side of the traffic lights we were stopped at and it didn’t look good. I only got about a third of the way up before starting to struggle and at the halfway point I realised I was going to fall over so I stopped. I looked down at my garmin and it was telling me the gradient was 22%. I was sure this was wrong but this reading has been corroborated by other garmins. I felt so defeated. Everyone else did it but I walked it. I just felt so inadequate. But what can you do? Nothing but get over it and swing the leg back over the bike.

The funny thing is that there’s a bike path marked on the road. The running joke at the moment is that someone needs to go out with a can of spray paint to add a happy cyclist at the bottom and a dead cyclist at the top. It would be appropriate.

After 70kms of hills, I decided I needed a cruisy ride on a flat roads so I took my bike to my parents’ place. I did learn one important thing – if you’re not 100% sure about where you’ll be riding, check your route beforehand. I was out in the orchards, pedaling away and I realised I had no clue where I was going. I had a rough idea of where I was but no idea where the road I was looking for was. In the end, I took a punt and turned down a road I thought I recognised the name of. Turns out I wasn’t that far away from where I wanted to be and if I’d continued on I would’ve found the road I wanted. Typical! I had a laugh when I looked at the elevation after downloading my stats. I went from climbing 1,324 metres to a grand total of 37 metres.

Today’s spin was a MRR loop with some extras tacked on. I like the MRR loop and I’d do it during the week but the logistics are too difficult to overcome. I’d have to be up so early and there’s no guarantee I’d be able to get to work on time. I’ll be sticking with my laps of Yarra Boulevard.

And to finish off…

Tree project, week thirty one

So, what happens now?

I’ve been thinking a lot about what happened to me on Saturday. The ride definitely won’t go down as my best and I’m still baffled as to how I managed to finish the ride. 80% of me was saying stop, stop, stop, stop!! so I have no idea how the 20% managed to override this and get me to the finish line.

My default position seems to be one of not having any faith in myself. I don’t believe I can do things yet when it comes to the crunch, I somehow manage to pull what feels like a super-human effort out of the bag and do it. I defy myself every time. The proof is there that I can do but I still have the mindset that I can’t. I’m not sure how to change this apart from simply setting myself challenges that I don’t think I can achieve and crashing through them.

I always told myself that I’m a terrible climber but on Saturday I powered past so many people, including guys who I thought should’ve been able to kick my butt. Rode past plenty of people who’d totally given in and were walking up the climb. If nothing else, at least the climb didn’t defeat me. A few months ago it probably would’ve.

80% of me wanted to stop. And I mean it really wanted me to stop. I was in so much pain. I really don’t know how the 20% that was determined to finish managed to shove the majority out of the way and struggle on through to the end. I suppose in the end what it came down to was that I didn’t want to revert to old behaviours which was to quit as soon as it got hard.

In the end, Lance Armstrong summed it up best: Pain is temporary, quitting is forever.