Well it's been 2 months since my adventure started. Two months since I spent way more money than I hand intended and asked you to join me on this latest challenge.
Some things have changed and some things I fear will never change.
1. I actually don't mind the spandex. I still don't get the overly colourful look at me stuff, that usually promote European companies that I don't know. I wonder if it's to give the impression that you actually are part of the Astana Team, but folks if you look at any of those people it is instantly obvious that the closest most of these people have ever been to being part of the Motorola Team is because they talk on one.
2. You get used to falling. Yes you do. You still feel stupid but the fear of falling has quickly dissipated. How many times you ask....4 and really no lasting scars.
3. You need to learn to fix your bike. They don't have roadside assistance (I see a business opportunity). The old days of fixing the tube are way over. Disposible. You travel with a spare tube and a canister of air to give you a quick fill. Okay, the back tire is trickier, and truthfully I haven't really done it, but I have all the stuff just in case!
4. Early morning is not the same for everyone. (That means you Joy)- I like cycling at 6:30 in the morning. It is cool, fewer people and it is quiet. I don't know but to me 11 am is not early.
5. Bugs are protein too. In June the Shad Fly problem along the canal is ridiculous. You need to filter through your teeth in order to continue breathing without inhaling a mouthload of bugs. Protein, they say you need it to restore your muscles.
6.Cyclists talk about cycling. You learn great tricks and you learn great routes that you would never know otherwise. People like to share, it feels like a club or sometimes....a cult.
7. Clip unclip, Clip unclip, Clip unclip...city cycling....I hate it.
8.Hills - It takes practice just like everything else. I firmly believe that I will never like it, okay the truth being told, I hate it, but I keep doing it because I hated piano lessons too and now I regret that I threw in the towel. Incidentally I find it helps alot if you allow your inner voice to swear the whole time.
9.The Big Question: NO CALLOUS. I don't know what it takes, but damn I am sure numbness is not normal. I realize I need to take a break every 40kms to let everyone rearrange and breathe. Assos of Switzerland is good but it actually deadens the nerves and then ....oh forget it don't ask you really don't want to know. But I did figure out the nod. I have noticed on my early morning rides that as you pass other cyclists they give you a small, curt, nod. Oddly I seemed to notice that it was coming from men. At first I thought it was to say good morning and then I realized- what they are really saying is "I understand...You can't feel them either".
Now when I pass a man...I nod back and smile.
10. I have an amazing team around me. YOU. It has been a joy. The riding, The blog. The entire process. It has been cathartic for me in my own recovery, and from the messages I have received, some of you have managed to laugh and cry along with me. Thank You.
And so I am on break for 1 week. Off to Tel Aviv and although I appreciated the suggestion Peter, no I have no intention of taking the Spandex nor cycling in 42degree weather. By the way if you have ever seen Israeli drivers you know that you wouldn't even have the chance to unclip before they run you down.
The picture above was from a Naked Cycling Even in Tel Aviv last month. Who knew?
So when I get back it will be the home stretch. ONE MONTH to the big event. It will be flat out training and fundraising. We still need to reach the 25,000 target so it will take a lot of work. If you know anyone who would like to donate in the interim please ask them to join me at www.tourdelance.ca by selecting the riders and choosing my name. It would be greatly appreciated.