August last year I was reading Bicycle Times magazine and read this article http://bicycletimesmag.com/globetrotting-ride-to-relief/
It was the first I had heard about NCRR and given that we had booked a ticket to Nepal for a 13 day trek to Annapurna Base Camp I wanted to help in some way. I decided to race the Highland Fling 100 Mile Race on my singlespeed and get people to sponsor me to do so, and in turn give NCRR the money to help rebuild schools cutoff and damaged from the earthquake in 2015. I started training and completed the Lakes Entrance 100k 3 weeks prior, the longest I had ridden my single speed.
On the start line the 100 milers got to start at the very front and took off about 30 seconds before the main 100km field. There was about 10 competitors for the 100 mile, 2 were female. We rolled out applauded by all and shortly after were swarmed by hundred of riders and I felt like a fish being pulled backwards through the school.
Stage 1 -24km Ground Effect Stage – mainly fireroads and across paddocks.
Stage 2 – 54km Shimano Stage – lots of singletrack with some fireroad. Started to really feel the pain towards the end of this stage. Into transition I was told I had to complete the lap in the same amount of time or quicker to be able to finish. I tried to get a move on and felt really good for the first half of the lap and then it fell to pieces. Walking the Great Wall, the Kick and Halfway Hill I was feeling demoralised and honestly did not think I would be able to finish.
Stage 3- 54km Shimano Stage again- I knew I was going to get pulled from the course and was shattered I had let all the people who had donated their money down. I saw Al on the side of the track and told him I didn’t think I could do it. He gave me a pep talk and as I rolled into transition I knew my race was over and thought well I did my best. The marshal was on the walkie talkie to Hugh the organisor and said I was allowed to continue the race (8 minutes after the cutoff) but I would have the sweeps behind me.
I took off with renewed energy and loved Stage 3- the best single track all day. I took off so I didnt have the sweeps behind me, started cramping and when I was 15km from the end got a bit teary with happiness that I was actually going to do it. A few of the marshals jumped out in front of me cheering so much support. I was the last and only competitor out there!!
That feeling of setting a challenge and then achieving it was something I hadn’t had for a few years and it felt great! I crossed the line 15 minutes behind Charlie and we were both ecstatic at what we had achieved. Al, Charlie, Charlie’s boyfriend, Hugh and 3 marshals were waiting patiently for me as everyone else had packed up and gone home! It had taken me 10hours and 45 minutes. A huge thank you to all who donated, together we raised $1170 for Nepal Cyclists Ride to Rescue https://nepalcyclist.com/
The money goes towards rebuilding schools in Nepal that were destroyed in the earthquake.
In December we headed over to Nepal and met with the NCRR team and had a coffee with them and they told us about the day the earthquake hit and the stories that followed certainly gave us some perspective and appreciate how lucky we are and what else can we do to help. They took us for a ride with them and visited some schools that had been rebuilt by NCRR. An amazing experience, my ride seemed insignificant compared to what the people of Nepal have been through and I hope I can continue to help. Once again a huge thank you to all who donated, thanks to Hugh from Wild Horizons and the volunteers, Al for waiting the entire day! Blog on Nepal coming soon!