I am a goal oriented person. I feel lost without goals. With a goal, I feel a sense of purpose. I have something to work towards. It captures my imagination and keeps me focused.
When I do not have a goal, my mind wanders aimlessly and I feel unchallenged and demotivated.
This trip was a goal borne from a variety of circumstances and possibilities.
I trained for this goal. I trained hard. I was doing between 600-800 km per week on my trainer on Zwift. Some knocked me for doing it on the trainer rather than the road.
However, there is also a second goal. I am currently the leading female zwifter in the world, distance wise, and on track, barring injury, to be the first to attain 100,000 km. I am in the top 20 all timers ( ie. only men ahead of me), out of more than one million riders.
Some have said “you are lucky” re our touring trips. It is not luck, it is perseverance despite what obstacles may present themselves. To quit, or make excuses, is easy.
Lessons have been learned from this trip….mapping, routing, accomodation, things to carry and not carry…none are major…more ‘tweaks’.
There are a few other trips in the planning pipeline, so the dreams will continue. The goals will be replaced with new ones…fairly quickly too!
I wanted to show you this picture. Some may have noticed these bands in pictures on this, and other trips.
I wear these for all of my ‘in real life’ rides ( ie not Zwift). They have meaning for me, as blood, sweat and tears have encased them.
A few years ago, my dear daughter Hannah, then aged 20, set herself a challenge. In one day, she rode a massive 337 km, with a group of other riders, in Tasmania.
Tony and I were the support crew.
She chose to raise funds for two charities dear to her. The Amy Gillet Foundation and Beyond Blue. She raised around $5,000
Amy Gillet was set up following Amy’s death, as the result of a careless, inattentive driver, crashing into the Australian road team during a training ride overseas. The Foundation pushes the safe sharing of road message.
Beyond Blue supports anyone suffering mental illness.
I support both organisations visibly by wearing these. I support their ethos, and I guess I regard these bands as good luck talismans.
Road safety is important to me. I ride, along with others that I love and care about. We all need to share the roads patiently and responsibly. Your patience and temporary inconvenience might just save my life, or that of someone else I (or you) care about.
Mental health. Tony and I have both had depression and anxiety in our lifetime. I have had one of my children suffer. We have seen first hand how some sweep it under the mat, like it does not exist at a time that support is needed more than ever.
I for one, will continue to fight that attitude. I have nothing but sympathy. The suicide rate is unacceptably high, and if I can help one person then fantastic.
I have reached out to strangers and helped. One I reached out to, I now regard as a good friend.
Tony and I now prefer smaller group events. We both feel uncomfortable and stressed in larger groups. We won’t attend such events anymore unless critically necessary, as we don’t enjoy them. They stress us. That is us, looking after us!
Cycling gives us a peace of mind. The relative quiet of the country villages and roads, not the noisy impost of impersonal cities.
The journeys will continue.
To those who liked my links on Facebook for the blogs, to those who actually read the blogs, to those who liked and commented on the blog (on my blog page), to my new blog followers….I thank you.
We do look to see who reacts positively as we see that as a form of support and encouragement, for what was, without a doubt, the hardest challenge we have undertaken, during one of central Europe’s worst ever spring weather.
Until my next trip and blog,
Love and hugs