It's quite the feat, riding long and riding hard day after day. We had previously mentioned our status as dot watchers for the Indie Pac ride, and the start of the Giro in Jerusalem to kick off the grand tours on the pro circuit got us thinking about the peculiar rewards and challenges of going long in race or ride. And how it draws the spectator in.
Just consider, you may be 14 days into the Giro of the Trans Am, sore, tired, jaded and getting to the point of struggling with the amount you need to eat every day just to refuel. It is here that physical strength must be matched by mental strength and determination.
But the flip side is the urge to do, the satisfaction of accomplishment or the moment you realise you have finished or won the fabled grand tour. There is clearly something deeply enriching about it, for people keep coming back to test and extend themselves. If we were philosophers we could talk about the human drive to test ourselves and reach beyond the everyday.
Regardless, for those of us chained to the desk, shop floor, workshop etc.. the chance to live vicariously through these events and these heroes is wonderful. Having grown up trying to get scraps of footage and pictures of the Giro, Tour and Vuelta, the next months are both demanding and wonderful as we endure our own go long challenge of sleepless nights, especially as the mountains draw the pro riders in the grand tours into an amphitheatre of pain and battle.
We may not be able to ride a grand tour or the Indie Pac just now, but it certainly fires us up to don the kit, tighten the shoes and hop on the saddle for the pleasure of a long Sunday ride with our bunch as we go as far as time and fitness allow.
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