It’s a sunny day here in Taupo, New Zealand. I’m sitting in a café, sipping on a cappuccino and telling myself that the sweet treat I’m enjoying is in fact a necessity to ensure my sugar levels are just right for tomorrow’s big ride.
Around 7:30am I will be climbing on to my road bike, clipping in with my shoes, adjusting my fancy new sunglasses and making sure my gloves feel good on the handlebars.
I’ll double check my back pocket of my bike top, to make sure I can reach the carbohydrate gels and protein bars I’ll be munching on, and that I can grab the banana taped to my bike frame when I need to.
I’ll then head to the start line of the Contact Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge, along with 10,000 other nutters who think that cycling around a lake the size of Singapore is a good idea!
Cycling Around A Lake The Size Of A Small Country
Never in my life have I cycled 160km. Up until now the most I’ve done is 100km and that was tough due to wind and rain and an obvious lack of a peleton (cluster of riders who use each other strategically to save 30% more energy by slipstreaming and minimizing wind resistance).
I will face undulating hills, some steeper than others, farm land, lake front views, a flat section and then one last killer climb to reach the final destination – the place where it all began.
Granted this is not a `patch’ on Patch Dunne who set off on a unique 1600km bike ride on Tuesday – yes he and a friend are riding around Lake Taupo 10 times to honour his father. I can hardly complain at doing just one loop.
But this 160km is the AVERAGE distance I will do for close to 2 months straight when in Africa.
Others are doing the enduro distance of two and even three times around the lake, and a few are doing a relay of 40km each. Whatever, the distance, this is still a challenge both physically and mentally and it’s one I’m just a little nervous and excited about. This short video sums up how I’m feeling.
Ain’t No Mountain High Enough
I’m starting to realize as I train for the ride of my life, that cycling is much like running a business. You have days when you feel like you’re climbing the toughest mountain of your life. Or when it feels like you’re just spinning your wheels and getting nowhere, and yet others when you’re freewheeling and enjoying the ride.
You have moments when you’ve got your nutrition right and you’re feeling powerful and energized and you want to take it up a gear. Followed by times when you’re grinding it out, your legs are screaming and people keep passing you and getting to their destination much faster than you are.
The trick is this:
You have to recognize that every day is part of your journey and that it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon. This applies to your life, your travels and your business. Each and every single moment you spend is preparing you for the next race, event, or big `thing’ you’re working towards. So enjoy the ride baby!
You’re in training, you’re fueling yourself (whether with carbohydrate gels or knowledge or new skills) to get you to the finish line faster and in better shape, than the last event you took part in.
Just like when you launch a product or start a new client project, so long as you apply your learnings from last time, and put them into practice, you should in fact, put in a better and stronger performance.
Before you know it you’ll no longer be a novice, you’ll be an elite athlete, primed and ready for any challenge, any mountain you may want to climb and any competition that gets in your way.
When the going gets tough, the tough gets going
This is the other piece of wisdom I’ve discovered over the years. It seems people give up when they’re so close to victory. They climb off their bike for the final hill because they just can’t stomach it anymore. Had they looked at their map (aka strategic business plan or travel itinerary) they would have seen that after this 1200m climb they just have a downhill section to enjoy before crossing the finish line.
What makes me more frustrated, is the people who never get started. Of the 10,000 registrations for the race, there will surely be a percentage that are no-shows. Those who chicken out and don’t turn up. Perhaps they didn’t put in the training and don’t feel ready, perhaps they bit off more than they could chew, or perhaps, they’re just people who talk the talk but don’t cycle the cycle….
And that’s just too bad, because all they had to do was climb on their bike and push, one leg at a time. And then they would feel the adrenalin kick in, feel the momentum of the Human Powered Awesome beside them.
Before they knew it they’d have other riders pulling them along on their journey and supporting them. They’d hear the cheers from the crowd lining the street and they’d pedal faster, buoyed on by their energy. They’d feel the sun and wind on their face and feel more alive than ever.
So what will it be? Will you show up and do the work?
Will you keep on going when the going gets tough? Or will you never turn up in the first place?
If you’re in business for yourself, or making your way around the world, I can only assume you’re on the start line already. So climb those mountains, enjoy those downhills, don’t forget to take in the beauty of the scenery on your journey and most of all, celebrate the milestones.
Will you cheer from the sidelines?
I have a number of people that are already lined up, ready to cheer me on from any sideline and the next set of races I have planned as I train to cycle 6,445km in Africa. Without them, I’d have a little less momentum and energy on each and every ride.
So I’d like to introduce you to my cheering squad and sponsor team, and ask you to support them in supporting me.
Designer and former athlete, Krista Prendergast has stepped up to be my awesome clothing sponsor and provide me with, not only bike pants and tops, but also jackets, tech t-shirts, hats, arm warmers, and leg warmers, pants, and capris for off the bike as well!
Her values perfectly align with mine.
No Dream is Too Small, No Goal is Too Big.
Krista wants to inspire active lifestyles of fun, inspiration, achievement and goal setting and believes sport is empowering just like the charity I’m supporting WomenWin.org
She creates exceptional athletic wear that moves the way athletes move, feels like a second skin, wears well, performs under even intense training conditions and always looks fashionable. So at the very least I will `look’ great on my African adventure.
Always do your Best. Until you are your Best. It’s about the Journey. ~ Krista Prendergast
Check out KP Athletic Wear to see her great range of clothing for women including yoga, sports and casual wear.
I’d also like to thank
Big ups to Oli and the team at Unbounce - Fastest And Most Powerful DIY Landing Page Platform who contributed $600 towards all the spare bike parts I’ll need.
Gratitude to Caroline Ceniza-Levine, Founding Partner of SixFigureStart who contributed $500 towards bike accessories that really start to add up.
Big thanks to Brett and the fab team at Chrometa - Track Your Billable Time Automatically for sponsoring $200 towards the all important tent!
Send big smiles and hugs to the team at MeetingBurner who’s sexy webinar and meeting platform is second to none and their $200 sponsorship is taking care of my African visas.
Big ups to Ben Leis at Sweat EquiTees for generously covering the production costs of these exclusive one-off designed t-shirts made especially for my journey, so that $20 can go direct to WomenWin. Check out the epic-ness!
Want to make my day and sponsor a segment of my epic adventure so that I can focus on raising $10K for WomenWin? Find out what’s on offer.