Around the Bay in a Day: A First and Final Update

Ok so I got a little freelance work, but that no excuse for my complete neglect of this blogging space. Noticing that the last time I provided any update of the Around the Bay in a Day cycle event was the 7th Sept, and that was only a measly tweet, is embarrassing. I had intended to give training updates, weight updates and general fitness feelings throughout the three month lead up, but failed miserably.

Could I have been any slacker?

Needless to say the event is now over and I am happy to report I survived. There’s no point in pretending that the entire of the three month lead up and the event itself wasn’t very hard work. It was nothing but very hard work. An average training week involved cycling 30-40 km Tuesday to Thursday, with much longer rides at the weekend. In the final few weeks the training peaked at 100km during the week and over 200km at the weekend. I was living and breathing cycling and some points felt more comfortable with feet on pedals than the ground.

Losing Myself

The whole experience presented a few surprises: I was nowhere near as fit or as skinny as I thought. Dropping a dress size and somewhere around 6 kilos was something I didn’t bargain for and when jeans are only being held up by ever increasing monster legs it’s time to go shopping – a definite perk.

The Big Day

Having cycled 180km in training I lined up with the confidence that if I were to remain accident free the finish line would eventually come into sight. With thousands of other riders, rolling over the start line was exhilarating and daunting. So much so that I had to run into McDonalds only 5 minutes in, though I wasn’t the only one – doubtful they have ever had so many people through the doors who were certainly not buying food.

The next 12 hours involved plenty of pedalling and not much else. There were fast bits, there were slow bits, but ploughing on was the order of the day. There was waiting for the ferry, there was drinking, eating energy gels and peeing a whole lot.

The End in Sight

Over the Line

Over the Line

Turning the last corner and spotting the finish line presented a huge bag of emotion in a murky cloud of exhaustion. Not only was the event day over, but the training was over, the strict routine, the healthy diet and the staunch determination were no longer needed. A fist pump and a high five ended three months of slogging and honestly, I’ve never been as proud as punch of an achievement. 210km (130 miles) in one day – done.

Some Final Thoughts

As much as I’d love to add this to my yearly calendar I’m not sure I’d do it again. Obviously the majority of people had road bikes, but as the event was advertised for everyone I didn’t expect to be in such a minority without cleats (shoes clipped to pedals) and a fancy carbon bike. A total of three hours for a  half hour ferry crossing was crazy and the event was all but packed up with no finishing medals left when I crossed the line. It was a real disappointment when I’d put in everything for three months. It felt like only the faster people were valued, even though I was working twice as hard on my standard bike with trainers and am certainly no athlete. Now I’m getting increasingly paranoid about piling on the pounds without a goal, perhaps I’ll have to find some new crazy event to keep me busy – watch this space.