Monday, 21 November 2011

She rides in Shoes

Yesterday I rode in the Momentum 94.7 Cycle Challenge and what an awesome experience I had.

I got up at 6 am to get ready, although my kit was laid out the night before and Ian had packed the bike into the car the night before. We left home before 7 am in anticipation of traffic issues which didn't materialize. The roads were so well managed.

I climbed out the car and joined the throng of cyclists making their way down Maxwell Drive to the start. I noticed that my front tire was a little flat and I was pleased to remember that there is a mechanical station before the start area and I could get the tires pumped there.

I was feeling a little nervous about the ride, more so about my bike holding up rather than my ability to complete the distance in the given time. I had my front tire pumped and my back tire pumped and as I put my bike back on the ground, the tube burst and popped like a gunshot. Everyone stopped and turned to look at me. I looked at the guy who had pumped it up and said "You obviously pumped too much."
Fortunately I had a spare tube and he started to repair the tire. I realised that I didn't have money to replace my tube. As he took off the back tire, one brake pad fell out and then the tire started to crumble. The section that goes into the rim was flaking and fraying. He suggested I get a new tire which I said I would after this darn race was over, he best just make a plan to get me on the road. By this time, I had already missed my seeded start time. He was also complaining about being roped into the job of fixing bikes which didn't fill me with confidence in his abilities.
By the time I got my bike back I was feeling defeated. I was thinking this bike isn't going to make it, the universe is giving me signals not to start this race, I'm not far from home, I could just cycle/push home, I'm really not a cyclist and I don't know what is going on and I don't know how to change a tire and I don't have money to buy a new tube and if my bike breaks down I'll have to get a lift in a cramped car .... And on and on my head was coming up with a load of reasons why I shouldn't go thru with this race. By the time I reached Start 2, about 20 minutes after my start time, I was sure that I was not gonna do the race, I would just pull off near home.

While waiting around I thought what the worst that could happen? I realized I could cope with a mechanical break down, with not finishing the race and even with falling off my bike. What I probably wouldn't cope with was giving up before I started.

So, using a 'technique' that Justice Bartlett (of Matrix Energetics) taught me, I looked into the space where the outcome of the race was perfect - finishing safely, no falling off, in comfortable weather, in under 5:30 hours, having fun, feeling the success and enjoying the experience. I located the spot, was surprised that the connection went the short way to the finish on my left when I expected it to go along the route in front and to the right. I caught myself trying to change it, and re-connected to the perfect outcome and I smiled! In that moment I knew it would all be all-right and I climbed on my bike and was ready to ride.

The race was great, the water points were brilliant, the road marshals were supportive and friendly, the power zones had a great vibe and gave great encouragement. I loved knowing that I was going to see familiar faces along the route (thanks Norman and my family for being along the route).

I went down Jan Smuts avenue without braking - a plea from Di to use momentum to get up the hills over my fear of speed going down hill. I was starting to feel quite impressed with myself and then I took a mini Bar One from the kind men handing them out near the zoo and I did this will going at a speed, no stopping. So, now I am very impressed with myself. The next down hill I also went without braking. By the time I reached half way, ahead of my schedule and feeling fine, I thought I might be getting a little cocky and that is no good. The next thought was that I wasn't being cocky, I was gaining in confidence and this was a good thing, it also meant that I was still on track for my perfect outcome. I smiled and laughed and loved the rest of my race - not because of the cycle race anymore, but because I had gained so much from it. I had overcome so many obstacles with myself and was so proud of that.

Thanks to Karen for roping me in to do this race. Thanks to Val and Bev for keeping me motivated and to Joan and Bernard who became friends during the course of events. Also to Natashja, a fellow runner, who also recently took up cycling with her husband.

Congrats to you all for finishing and conquering your own demons! I am proud and honored to be part of your circle.

(post title suggested by my oldest daughter)


Char said...

What a horrible start to the morning. But way to overcome! You did so well.

Johann said...

Super Staci! You did great and I am very proud of you. I don't think you'll see me doing the cycling thing soon. You are way braver than I am.