6th of may 2012, Tokyo Fixed Gear – The Hunt Race. Riding for the mysterious Death Spray Custom, un-prepared and with no previous race experience on the track let alone racing without brakes.
The conversation came about on Twitter, I’ll never forget what DSC said a few hours before the race, “It doesn’t matter what position you finish in, just ride it like you stole it”. I can still remember how nervous I was, sat at the starting line trying to physic myself up for physical pain I knew I was about to put myself through.
I’ve always tried to exercise a bigger mental capacity for exerting energy, I’ve never trusted my athletic ability and have always felt my mental outlook is stronger then my physical ability.
I surprised myself that day and unfortunately, some may say, the success of completing that race and finishing in a respectable place pushed me to continue exploring challenges that removed me from my comfort zone.
The same feeling hit me when a friend suggested we ride from St Malo, France, to San Sebastian in Spain. It didn’t seem possible at the time. 800-1000 miles give or take, roughly two weeks, 1 gear and no brakes and a piece of tarps to sleep under.
We did it though with very few problems. When I arrived home it suddenly hit me that traveling from one country to another on a bicycle wasn’t actually as in accessible as first thought. It’s easy to take on board what other people say though ‘blimey that’s a long way’ & ‘isn’t that dangerous?!’ – No more dangerous then cycling through bradford to work and back for 3 years!
At the time, the milage, where we’d sleep, the navigation etc was all a bit daunting though once we were on the road it wasn’t such a big deal. I’m hoping the same perspective follows the next 7 months – 200 miles a day (at the very least) for 12 days seems some what terrifying.
At the minute, like The Hunt Race & when we first planned to tour across Europe, it all seems a little out of reach. 200 miles isn’t a normal milage for any average cyclist to be able to cover day to day, weekly basis, there simply isn’t enough hours in the day and I can’t expect that from myself immediately.
The Trans Continental Race will be my biggest challenge to date and there’s no turning back now.
There’s probably never been a better time to follow this blog – although the training hasn’t exactly begun just yet, the mental and physiological aspect certainly has. Everything is becoming a factor in how it will effect me further down the line. I feel more at ease knowing theres a few friends taking part who will be going through similar feelings and emotions. I’m not alone, not yet anyway…