Never let two mountain bikers go for a ride and then sit down to a nice cup of coffee. You just never know where it will end up! It all starts innocently enough, a joke about my recent efforts at a 24 hour race, my comment about maybe him hardening up and having a crack at one himself and finally the fateful step past the point of no return. I open my big mouth. “We should do something really hard. I reckon that Terra Australis race would be the go. I know it would be tough but you’ll still be telling your grand kids about it.” Spencer and I have been mates for years. We met via mountain biking. We love riding together. In Spencer’s words, “This is the challenge of a lifetime and I need a challenge.” Not in my wildest dreams did I think he would say yes. Now what?
Well we start training, we start to prepare and we start to beg the forgiveness of our partners and kids. A race like this is a big commitment not only financially but on your family time. If you don’t prepare properly things can go pear shaped before you know what hit you. That’s a scary thought. In the middle of the Victorian Alps somewhere with a serious problem and the possibility of a long wait before assistance you really want to be sure it’s not the first time you’ve considered this outcome. Then there’s trust. I have a family, Spencer has a wife. Is it really responsible for us to undertake an event like this without preparing properly? Our partners have to trust us to be prepared, we have to trust each other to be there throughout the training and the race, we have to trust in our abilities to finish each day and back up for the next day for seven grueling days.
Am I scared? Hell yeah. Is my wife scared? No. She thinks I’m nuts, but she's not scared. I hope that as the preparation progresses that she will see my efforts in the training and planning for this event as an indication of how serious I am to finish this thing. Hopefully she won’t get scared.