Where to from here?

16 10 2010

I distinctly recall the conversation with Danbot regarding our plans for the future during the weeks leading up to the worlds. We were both weary of the preparation and training as-well as apprehensive to put ourselves through the ringer yet again. We both confessed that we thought this would be our last 24 solo and it would be a fitting farewell to the sport in the biggest race of our lives.

It would be fair to say that I was struggling to find any excitement in the whole circus that is the world solos. This left me feeling pretty uncertain about why. Was I unexcited because I wasn’t enjoying it anymore? Had I grown weary of the 24 solo formatt already? Was I missing something that everyone else could see? Everyone else seemed much more excited about it than I was and lots of people began asking the question I dreaded the most “Are you getting excited yet?” People would look at me like I was an alien when I would answer “No, I just can’t seem to find the excitement”. I felt silly and a little bewildered; after all, it is a pretty special opportunity.

Now in the wash up of it all, I have stumbled upon a few truths that were pretty obvious at the time but are interesting to me none the less. The biggest of which is: I wasn’t excited because I was so calm. Nervous energy is one of the biggest contributors to excitement and since I was feeling reasonably well prepared, at no point was I really nervous. In fact, I felt completely calm and in control even standing at the start line. I probably won’t get particularly excited about races any longer, but it isn’t due to a lack of enjoyment – I still love doing them. I have just replaced the pre-race buzz, with pre-race cool. That probably sounds a little self indulgent, perhaps conceited, but self discovery is a nice journey and that is certainly part of why people do 24’s.

Secondly, I am keener than ever to keep riding and doing big events. Amazingly, so is Dan. All the pre-race weariness has been blown away and I am left to figure out exactly what comes next. I don’t really want to spend the rest of my life doing solo races on Mt Stromlo. That has been done to death now. So new venues will be key. The Merida 24hr in Brisbane looks like a strong possibility. Then there are international races. Perhaps a 24 in Rotorua and even an appearance at the 24 worlds wherever they might be held next year.

Bikepacking has really gotten under my skin. Especially the idea of self supported multi day enduros. If only we had some in Australia. Mr Eds coast to coast ride was a good starting point and heres hoping that we can start to build some kind of underground no prize – all glory race scene in Aus.

So with a distinct lack of these sort of events locally, there only real choice is to head to the US where they have more of them than they know what to do with. Tour Divide has garnered a lot of press lately and looks set to grow exponentially, however, it is a challenge worthy of traveling half way around the world to participate in. Then there’s the CTR (Colarado Trail race) – high altitude silliness for days on end. Sure sounds like fun.

So ultimately, the world is my oyster at the moment which is probably a good thing for anyone reading this blog since it will surely include may tales of things going right, things going wrong, high jinx and suffering.






One response

18 10 2010

If you end up going to the states let me know, I will be there and could be down for one of those events. Especially if it’s in Colora-doh!

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