It's official, I am the worst of the best…………almost
TheSwede….? mtbmaff, thanks very much indeed, I appreciate your comment greatly. allthepies, I don't really understand your reply. Was it appreciative of the narrative flow or alluding to an almost hippy like stream of unreality? And did I tell you that I went straight from the Transwales to 'the Green Man Festival" at Crickhowell and watched Billy Bragg before spending the night in a Volksvagen micro bus? I keep faith.Posted 7 years ago
well children, I know that I'm not a frequent poster, but I said I'd write an account of the Transwales, and here it is. And it was, from the very start, the single most challenging event that I have ever undertaken. It was obvious from the beginning that the nearest I'd ever get to the nightly podium was a mud encrusted trudge past on the way to yet another late shower. I missed the cut off time on the first day by a country mile, was 1 minute inside on the second day and hopelessly lost in yet another dismal rain swept forest on the third. But it wasn't all good, there were days when I felt like weeping with the pain off yet one more endless lung and leg burning climb. On and on and on because I knew there was no other way. The days just got harder and harder, ride when you can, grab a gear when you're able and push when you have to, but don't stop. There are (there must be) those who enjoyed each day, I am not one of that elite few. But I never expected to be one. What I did expect, and what I did get, was the immeasurable feeling of fulfilment that came with each nights crossing of the finishing line. And there were times that I took short cuts, and once or twice felt bad about that, but aged flesh can only push so far. Yet every night I rode across that winners line.
Though as the days grew harder, the camp site camaraderie grew stronger, faces that had been strangers turned out to be close friends, we shared a common hardship, a great respect developed. I felt privileged to be in such company, we happy band of brothers, and sisters, we happy few.
And of those few, the ones to me who stood out. Mark, I met you on the first day, both of us uncertain, we shared many weary miles, you were a stronger man than me, well done. Rob, Matt, Matt, Stephan, Josh, thanks for all the help, that dreadful Dyfi valley, rain swept and treacherous, one wrong turn disaster, we all of us got home safely. Annie, you cheered me up when I was down, encouraged me when things were bad. But please remember that time is a hard master, don't leave painful decisions till it's too late. And Bill, Henry, Jeremy (your three stooges Annie?) Bloody good fun to meet you all, I hope we'll meet again another day. Brian, far better than me, yet never once talked me down, thanks. Julie, you were a wonderful woman, I'm going to tell me mam all about you. So many others, Raf, Claire, Johan, all of you stronger yet all of you good.
The staff. Bob, a stalwart, there when he was needed, never a drama from a crisis. Carl, my heartfelt thanks, you kept my bike going so many times when 27 gears had been reduced to one. Terry, an eye for quality (although my merino vest has now been washed). Colin, when all was lost I'm glad that I saw you. Liz, a lunchtime superstar. Ever cheerful John.
And Singletrack's Nathan? A pleasure to have met you Nathan, There with brother Bill. You with a mere 200k? of training and Bill who'd been conned into that stupidity by your smooth talking Irish banter. Yet there you were, day after day, till injury forced a stop. You both deserved the final jersey.
And me? yes I received that coveted top, one of perhaps 250 people in the whole wide world who are entitled to wear the TransWales 2010 finishers jersey. And I've given it to our daughter, because it looks nice on her. And in any case, you're only as good as your last tee-shirt.
Oh, and the title? i wasn't quite last, but I was a bloody sight closer to last than I was to first. I'll check the final results when I'm feeling a little bit stronger.Posted 7 years ago
thanks Wooster, I hope you get to do one, it feels pretty good once the pain stops. Riofer, that's a bang on description, I've not done much in the way of cycle racing but it's very much a mental strength that's needed for the TW (and at least I got to see the real racers in the breakfast tent each morning) Thank you very much indeed Art, yours is a lovely comment. And I did sleep well, aided by far too much whiskey. No fool like an old fool! Anyway, hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work I go.Posted 7 years agovdubber67Member
lazlo53 – I've worked out who you are from the Green Man festival bit (I had a massage at the same time as you when you were telling the massage team about it!)
Well done mate – I know you worked damn hard to get round, and you always had a smile on your face and time for a chat with people. The camaraderie on TW is amazing isn't it?
🙂Posted 7 years agoSteveBbrainMember
Well done lazlo53 – from steve(53) !Posted 7 years ago
53 was a good year my friend, and i fear you may have sparked the next (big) challenge for me – I'm doing Kielder 100 in a couple of weeks but that is a minor challenge compared to your effort! Life needs challenges don't you think 😛
Roll on Transwales 2011 (maybe)
vdubber67, nice to hear from you, and thanks. You're right, the camaraderie just grew stronger and stronger as time passed. I guess we all knew that at whatever level, we were all suffering. well I was (and if you see my results you'll agree) Mary, Dianne, what can I say, I'm a hero, harumph. Big John? I didn't understand swedes original comment, can you elaborate please? SteveBbrain. Your'e dead right, life was always meant to be hard work, sit on your a**e all day and you might as well give up. Doh, that's just what I've been doing. Oh, and 53's my year of birth, is that what you mean? Muddydwarf, don't sell yourself short, I don't believe that I would have managed without the help and support of other riders. Even as a solo rider you do feel very much part of a team event. And there are many highlights along the way, for me, I think it was the climax downhill on a hardtail. I'd never done anything like that before and even though I was well of the pace Matt (the lad from Exposure) tannoyed me across the line as if I was the winner. I thought I was for a minute but then I remembered that I'd stopped to let 4 faster riders get past.Posted 7 years ago
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