The blame for me doing this brevet could be allocated quite a few ways. My family and friends who are supporting me despite their concerns for my safety and sanity, my Bike Bro Steve who organised the first bike packing trip I did, or Scott and Nerena for being my Tour buddies. But Kathryn is the person who first got me into biking a lot more than a 4km commute to work. So let’s start with my sister from another mister.
Kathryn became my flatmate around 10 years ago, when she was working with the NZ track cycling team as a sports scientist. She loves cycling and helping people further their potential. She was training for the Lake Taupo challenge (160km road ride) and encouraged me to ride with her. Riding ‘with’ her involved riding in the same direction, watching her cycle away from me up hills and then having her encouraging smile waiting for me at the top when I arrived a few minutes later. As part of her training she did the Rotorua bike ride which is two laps around the lake, 80km. Our friend Sharon also came and they smashed it out, whereas I managed to make it to the end on my poor commuter bike just before they started packing up the finish line. My bottom lip was quivering, but I did it.
The next year I decided to attempt around Lake Taupo, and Kathryn‘s dad Ken (who is now my Bike Dad) dragged me around Lake Taupo about three hours faster than I would’ve been able to do it on my own.
So Kathryn is to blame for getting me into cycling as more than a means of commuting. Which is why the last two days on my bike have been such a big distances. She now lives in Wanaka with her partner Steve, and she enticed me with a day off in Wanaka with her which was too good an opportunity to miss.
It was a great day too. Warm and sunny with a gentle breeze. There was a lot of sitting, eating gelato, playing with their puppy and even a short cycle to the lake outlet for a swim. My sit bones weren’t 100% convinced that was a good idea at first but they got over it.
The point of this post is, if you have the inclination to do this, you could. You just need a lot of time, both for training and getting the job done. Plus the encouragement of amazing people, related to you by blood or a common bond.
So I could blame Kathryn for this. But I think I’ll thank her instead. Thanks Bike Sis.