Sunday, November 7, 2010


I woke up this morning to fairly decent skies even though we have been having rain on and off for a few days now. However, as I made my way to the meeting point the sky got darker and darker. Not because it was clouding over but because the fog had decided to hit and it was getting thicker and thicker. You literally could have carved it with a knife. The sun had been masked by a blanket of thick, dense fog and I was not sure if this was okay to ride in.

I knew at some point it would lift but didn't know when - it was almost like heading into a scene of "Sleepy Hollow". No sooner did I arrive so did mel and she kinda looked at me as if to say "What the". I knew exactly what she was feeling. Only her nerves were amplified tenfold as this was her first road ride. I tried hard not to show any nerves even though I was somewhat feeling a bit edgy about riding in such adverse conditions. But as Cloe and Elissa arrived we all just banded together, put our rear bike lights on and headed off into the pea soup.

About 20 mins in, we started to see blue skies and feel the warmth of the sun on our skin. Nothing feels nicer when your hands and feet are almost frozen stiff. It was nice just cruising alot and taking in the beautiful landscape and smells of the morning as the world is still asleep. Wouldn't swap this experience for anything. What i would swap though are the smells as we head closer to the dairy farms. It's kind of a thick pungent odour that just gets stuck in your nostrils, really off putting.

The roads were still wet from the previous nights rain and as we headed into a formed line , you start to feel the inevitable splatter from the rear wheels of the person in front. I wish I had windscreen wipers on my sunnies - they were fleckled with mud all over. So was my face - all of a sudden I had freckles. Our backsides on the otherhand had a distinct brown stripe straight up the back from butt cheek to middle of shoulder blades. Hilarious.

As we headed through one of the towns and started heading up a very small hill I lost concentration and forgot to support my core. As I pressed down with my left leg I got an extreme sharp pain in my lower back which made me feel a bit sick to the stomach, so I pulled over. Lucky I had my trusty little purse with medications in it and took a does of Nurofen straight away and headed off again. Within 20 mins I was okay, but it did make me realise that not for one minute can I become complacent about maintaining my core in a switched on mode. Lesson learnt.

The remainder of the ride went well I think apart from me not having enough "oomph" to get up even the smallest of hills. I would have to make my gears go smaller and smaller till I eventually dropped to the small ring and went through the same process. Don't know what was going on. I do like riding with Cloe, she would pull up beside me and tell me what gear to get in and push me on up the hill. Her words of encouragement really got me through a few hills. We even got into a good drafting line and held a pretty decent pace for a while. It would have made for a cool picture I think, we were all down on our Tri bars.

My friend Mel was an absolute legend today. I couldn't be prouder of her even if I tried. We ended up riding for 3 hours with some pit stops along the way and conquered 70km. My back I am pleased to say is okay. Slightly tight but nothing too major - nothing another dose of Nurofen won't fix I should think.

Challenges make us stronger.
They push us to try harder.
They allow us to be brave.
They offer us courage.
They engender hope in us.
And sometimes we go farther
than we ever dreamed possible...
just by believing that we can.

-Ashley Rice.

Your hard work will be rewarded.

"The path to a dream is paved with sacrifices and lined with determination. And though it has many stumbling blocks along the way, and may go in more than one direction, it is travelled by belief and courage and conquered with a willingness to face challenges and take chances" Barbara Cage