Suffering on an endurance ride like the ones below and 24-hour racing (Go Lonnie!) is a very personal experience and is best done with someone you trust.
On 13 and 14 January this year, three mates Lachlan Murray, Cameron Wickbold and Jonny Ayres headed out for a ride on the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail (BVRT) totaling 334kms in 24 hours. Ticking the massive box of being the very first to do so!
This ride is now known as the BVRT E2E x 2 (Brisbane Valley Rail Trail End to End and back again). As soon as I started reading the story I’m saying to myself, ‘nice work boys, I’d love to do that ride’ and getting that excited feeling inside. I said to a good friend of mine ‘Hey Gavin, want to go for a ride?’. Gavin didn’t hesitate and a couple of weeks later, on 10 February, we rode 330kms – 2,330 meters, in 21h:30m on dirt trails. It was an amazing ride and some good soul food. Two mates going for an epic ride, shit-talking, joking (ok I was telling the jokes) and surviving an adventure. I was giving a few location updates along the way. In the true nature of mountain bike riding and endurance cycling, all three of the men (Jonny, Cameron and Lachlan) provided us with information, GPS track, trail tips and cheered us on throughout the ride. I love this sport.
This brings me to today’s story. The challenge was laid out by the BVRT Trail Users Association – No female cyclist has done it yet. Rachel Edwards and I had a discussion, established our core values and motivation, created a plan and executed it. Rach and I got on our bikes, pedaled our bikes, talked, yelled, laughed, moaned, groaned, went very quiet, suffered, (Rach tells me she suffered because of my dad jokes and singing) suffered and laughed some more and …completed the BVRT E2E x 2 in 22h:16m. There were a few more people following my ride updates. Again in the true spirit of mountain biking, most people (caution: doing stuff like this can bring to the surface other people’s personal fears and excuses) were cheering us on.
Why ride 330kms? There are lots of superficial reasons. One of the core reasons is, it sounded challenging. Why ride another 330kms on the same trail one week later? Again, lots of superficial reasons. This time a friend of mine wanted to be the first female rider to complete the ride and she asked for a support rider. ‘I’m in!’ Superficial reasons, valueless values, externally motivated reasons do not get you to the start line, allow self-doubt and the internal doubting voice to create and justify excuses. Finding your own values provides you with a big stick to bash the shit out of that shit talk with when it starts growing inside. Lots of nothing happened for 22 hours. Lots of internal dialogue (iPods are magic at dimming internal self-doubt talk). As the sun came up and began scorching us the ‘down’ times became more frequent.
If anyone wants to hear more or assistance on these rides feel free to ask. There is a Facebook page for BVRT Extreme including some races. One of the races is the 300km round trip in late August. Hmmm… sounds challenging….