Saturday, 2 May 2009

Just Keep Moving

Glenn says:

So Mike hasn’t been sleeping well and I’ve been getting restless after a recent forced layoff. We are both quite consumed by our upcoming adventure and I for one am counting off the sleeps until we roll out of PMB on the 15th. Having gotten to Rhodes in ’07, I have some idea of what to expect but now going beyond and throwing the tandem into the mix means that there will be quite a few unknowns to factor in this time.

For one, most of our training has been done apart, as I live in Mpumalanga and Mike in JHB. I’ve been going through for training weekends every few weeks which has helped, as it has meant spending some ‘quality time’ on the tandem. ‘The Beast’ is not very forgiving if you’re feeling weak and although it rewards a determined effort with an exhilarating turn of speed, this comes at a price and is not sustainable for very long stretches. It’s a more powerful style of riding than what I’m used to, so I’ve been trying to get stronger and focus on recovery by doing things like intervals, hill repeats and sprints, together with the usual long grinds in the saddle. I’ve been doing all of this on my ‘tandem simulator,’ a 19kg freeride bike with a very similar setup and feel to the Beast. At least then when we do ride together, it doesn’t take me too long to feel comfortable on the tandem again.

So the training has been coming along steadily and we’ve got most of our kit sorted out. We even have a strategy of sorts (we are going to have fun and we are NOT going to fall off) but still many doubts surface and unanswered questions remain: will we get down into Hella Hella in one piece on the Beast?(the new route apparently has some steep, sketchy bits), will we be able to get over Lehana’s in less than a day? What happens when we don’t agree on the navigation? How are we going to drag ourselves and the bike through Stettynskloof?

Fortunately we have one thing going for us – we both have a real blast when we ride that tandem together and as we turn the cranks and shoot the breeze, the miles always tick over quicker than we think. All we have to do is keep moving (and NOT fall off).

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