Sweating profusely, heavy breathing, gasping, muscles cramping, very hard strokes – albeit wrongly, strong winds on my face; That is how I muddled through the numerous unforgiving hills of the tough 90km 2014 Gong ride from Sydney to Wollongong. Twice during that ride, I flirted with the idea of quitting and letting the ambulance take me to the finish line but no, I kept going till I got to the finish line.
I would immediately, after tending to my sore buttocks, calves, hamstrings and quad muscles, register for this year’s ride. I know it sounds crazy but I must have registered for the 2015 ride to proof to myself that I can do better. That I can take on those hills semi-effortlessly, with a finish time of 4 hours and not whinge about how sore I am to everyone I meet the following week – yes that is what I did last year. I thought to myself, a training plan is all I need, I must do this again! And the training did pay off.
I now feel great! After finishing this year’s ride just after the 4th hour mark. With much less pain than last year and no cramps. I don’t feel like I owe myself a challenge anymore, the debt has been paid. I even managed to have a beer with my team mates at the finish line. What an achievement!
I was seduced in to this sport by the idea of just being fit but now I think I am becoming a cyclist. I am not yet there though, especially since I am still learning how to take both hands off the handlebar while in motion. Hopefully I will be able to ride without holding the handlebar and smash a new personal cycling record in 2016.