I knew when I woke up this morning that I was going to be in for a long hard bike ride. However, not knowing this new course I was definitely oblivious to the enormity of what lay ahead. You can always try to imagine and try to prepare yourself but it is never the same as actually doing it.
I was really lucky to be able to start my ride a little later today - 0640hrs, because our mornings are so dark at the moment. So it was nice to not have to rush around like a lunatic at 0430 to get myself prepared. So I plodded along nicely, ate breakfast, took my Neways Vitamins, spent time on the computer and finally headed out about 6:30am to meet them all at the top of my road.
It was quite a brisk morning, you can definitely feel that Autumn has made it's appearance. Although with that being said I still only put on a singlet underneath my cycling jersey and used my arm warmers because I knew it wouldn't be too long before I would get nice and toasty warm.
I headed out with Cloe, Drew, Kylie, Aaron (my Nepean Triathlon buddy) and Johnsy. No sooner had we set off, actually not far from the bend of the photo above, we came across a young Kangaroo bounding along on our right. I think he must have gotten spooked cause he came hopping right across the road in front of our path - so we all naturally slowed down. As I continued to look at him he was trying to find a way to get over a fence and then decided to bound right back across the road again. Only this time he bounced right between us all and got collected by a Mercedes Benz just meters from us.
All I could hear was a horrible thud and then the sound of chasis being ripped apart. We quickly stopped as did the driver and I made my way back to the poor Roo to make sure it was definitely dead - can't handle the thought of a poor innocent creature suffering. It was dead, not a single glimmer in it's eyes thank goodness. The driver was visibly shaken but ok, however her vehicle although not severely damaged, was still damaged and could cost a bit to fix. After we all got over the shock of what had just happened we finally got back on the road.
We finally made our way to meet Aaron and it was time to get the show on the road. The 6 of us were in for an awesome ride. One I will NEVER forget. I remember saying to Kylie that I was extremely nervous and was aiming to just not walk any of this ride. But somewhere deep down inside I knew that if I needed to then that was what I was going to have to do. I did it on the Cobbitty Ride and I now don't walk it anymore, so it would be okay if it happened on this ride too.
As we made our way up to Razorback I could feel myself starting to tense up. I was scared but also anxious to get it over and done with. So when the climb finally started I was kind of glad in a way. But as it started to get steeper i found myself needing to zig zag across the road (very small narrow road) I might add to make it to the top. I know this is not safe nor ideal but I was checking for traffic and did this as safely as I could to be able to make it up. I know next time this won't be necessary. All my team mates make this look so easy - can't wait till I can do the same.
Just when I thought the climb couldn't get any steeper - I was faced with something I could only describe as Mt Everest. This thing was like nothing I had ever seen before - it was like running into a brick wall face first. How was I expected to get up this? Well, like everything else I have done - steadily and with alot of inner strength and courage. And when it got so painful that I felt like I needed to stop, I kept thinking about everything I had been through and how I had never given up before, so why start now.
When I was finally making it to the top of Razorback I remember saying to Drew who came down to meet me "I did it, I made it, cant believe it, I did it". I know they were all so proud of me as I made it to the top.
The second massive hill was scarier still. Like Matthew Flinders I think but longer. It just kept going and going and I am sure I saw 5km/hr on my speedometer for most of it. Would have been faster to get off and walk but NOT GOING TO HAPPEN TODAY. I was not going to let this beat me. So as I painfully inched my way to the top I just kept repeating to myself "I can do this, I can do this" with every revolution of my pedals. Once again Drew dropped back to see if I was ok, so nice to have friends who have your back.
So when that hill was all said and done I was glad to see everyone's smiling faces at the top cheering me on again. The remainder of the ride was just nice sets of rolling hills - nice painful rolling hills. The kind that make your quads scream for mercy. The kind that make you work for every bit of it. But I didn't care - I had just ridden the notorious RAZORBACK and BARKERS LODGE. I'm the man!!!!! Well Woman but you know what I mean.