Riding to Conquer Cancer

My life on the clothes line!
Yesterday morning I hung the washing out. This is clearly not a monumental event. Most of us do it regularly but yesterday the enormity of what I have taken on suddenly hit me. And, to me, this ride feels enormous.

My clothes line feels like the best possible symbol of the current ‘eclecticrity’ (one of my hobbies is making up new words) in my life. There was, for all the neighbours to see, a summary of my current priorities and projects.

At the risk of getting totally boring, let me list it for you – 3 pairs of jodhpurs, 3 pairs of bike short, 3 bike tops, 2 sets of farm clothes, 3 business outfits, 2 pairs of jeans and an assortment of underwear ranging from the sturdy sporting collection to lace and ribbon. That’s it folks, my life on a washing line.

So enough of the laundry summaries. How is the training going I hear you ask?
Well I’m stoked! After the initial, ‘getting to know Bertie’ ride which I already recounted to you, I followed that up with an exhilarating 30+klms, mostly on the flat but with some reasonable inclines (no hills yet). I felt I had plenty in reserve but decided that would do me for my second run (and my second time on a bike in a long time).

I had been pondering how to manage regular rides with a farm to run, a business to manage and a horse to get ready for competition and decided having the bike with me as much as possible was a way to go. So when I had a client meeting to attend in West End, I popped Bertie in the car and after the meeting exchanged the work attire for the bike gear and had a glorious exploratory amble around West End and over to Toowong and back. Hills have now been introduced. Bertie and me still feeling great.

I set myself a target of 35klms for the next ride and headed out from Boondall bound for Sandgate and beyond. Bertie skipped along happily (well ‘skipped’ isn’t quite the word for a bike but you know what I mean) and even the driving head winds we encountered on our return didn’t deter us. 42.19klms (yeah!!!!!), with hills and head winds, ok so now we are training.

Yesterday, after hanging out the washing, I headed off for a short run. Decided I could fit just an hour in between work assignments in the office. We took on more hills plus a bit of a ride down memory lane. I decided to take Bertie to Philip’s old house (where he lived before we moved to the farm). Yes, it was sad, so many memories of our first few years together but I felt Bertie needed to really know why we were doing this, and whilst I never need to be reminded, the memories become the motivators and the sadness spurred me on.

On other practical fronts. I’m currently in the process of organising to see a sports nutrition specialist. Getting the diet well set from the start being some insurance against burn out and break down. I’m also not backing up big rides yet. So having done the 40+ I followed that up with 15klms. I know my body will need to back up longer rides but I’m wanting to build the stamina and appropriate muscle tone first.

Also important, I seem to remember from my basketball days, is varying the exercise. Fortunately my horse Mischief provides a gorgeous alternative and I’ve increased my riding with her both to help with my muscle development and also to ensure we are both ready for competition that starts in April (switching from horse saddle to bike saddle is quite a funny experience). Any other thoughts and ideas welcome!!!!

Fund raising has now also officially started and my heartfelt thanks to everybody who has donated so far – I really appreciate the help and support. I’m keen to get some local businesses involved and ideally to get a couple of events off the ground. Ideas, suggestions, offers of help all welcome.

That’s it folks, wish me luck! Talk to you again soon.

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