It has been an intense weekend with very little cycling and lots of emotional and physical challenges to overcome.
Having begun the day with only two hours sleep and moving all of my possessions into storage at my friend’s house, I wasn’t exactly on form for the ride from Dorchester out to a village on the coast. At only 16 miles, this is one of the shortest routes I have ridden since February but it was one of the most challenging too.
Firstly, my pannier bags were jam-packed with unnecessary gear that I had had to stash in my bags or risk losing forever. Alongside the books, writing guides and laptop, this made for luggage far heavier than anything I plan to take New Zealand where I don’t need heavy duty tape measures or extension cables. Oops!
Secondly, the first eight miles of the journey was incline with no respite. As if that wasn’t enough, my route took me across muddy trails and uneven pathways. Not exactly the best remedy for my sprained ankle!
Throw in some breathing problems and today marked the first moment where I had serious doubts about my capabilities. I honestly didn’t think I could make it around New Zealand. Just plodding on for those few miles was an incredible struggle. However, struggle I did. I struggled through, struggled onwards and struggled upwards. And that’s what I need to keep doing. I’ve always known it wouldn’t be easy and this trip just showed me that I need to train as hard as I can between now and December.
The weather made the whole adventure ever the more gruelling with heavy mist clouding any potential views. I really do wonder what I might have seen at the top of the hill but as it stood, I couldn’t see the Hardy Monument from the car park!
But despite it all, I had a wonderful adventure. It helped that the last eight miles were down hill and that the mist cleared for a few miles. At one stage, branches had fallen into the path and I stopped just in time to help the only car I had seen in over half an hour to clear the road. How dangerous!
All that remains is to focus. Focus on my challenges and overcome them! Fitness seems to be holding me back the most at the moment – my legs feel ready to continue when my lungs are screaming. Perhaps I should get some running done whilst I am here in Dorset.
All I know is that the gifts I received on Friday have the best messages. They remind me of my love for cycling and that all I have to do is believe in myself.