What does a round the world cyclist do when he stops cycling around the world? This is a question I’ve been trying to answer, but I’m finding it very difficult to do so. Truth is, I miss being on the road. Don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not complaining about the changes in my life, it’s just it was never supposed to be like this and I’m having trouble adjusting. Firstly there’s the whole health thing. The doctors have given me a (relatively) clean bill of health, after subjecting me to more tests than a lab rat and not coming up with answers. I was very ill, that’s indisputable, but now I’m not just holding my own, I’m actually getting stronger and fitter cycling the Dutch fietspaden.
That’s not (for me) the best news though, because while recovering from the accident that changed everything around, I met a girl, fell head over heels in love and followed her back to Europe. We are now planning our future together. I’m really lucky, because she too is a cyclist. We’re going to be hitting the road together, but it may not be this year. So I’ve decided to set myself a goal, not just to get fit again, but something more in keeping with my character – a challenge!
It’s my birthday on Saturday, yet Hilke has already given me my birthday present: a road bike. So that got me thinking, as well as training to get fit, let’s aim for something to keep me motivated. It seemed natural that I’d choose to once again ride in the mountains, so the plan to not just ride the Etape du Tour next year, but come away with a gold standard medal for my age group was born! It’s a crazy idea and even crazier that we will probably cycle all the way to France to take part.
The Etape du Tour is a full mountain stage of the Tour de France, as ridden by the professionals. We (amateurs) get to ride it on one of their rest days and the actual route will be announced later this year, probably in September. For those of you that don’t know me, I’ve done quite a few of these before when I was at what I considered to be my peak fitness. They’re not easy if you’re aiming to finish well and I can’t think of a better challenge. Riding a road bike again in the mountains is for me, nirvana. So watch out for my posts on facebook, where I’ll log the majority of my training rides, in the hope we can show the improvement in fitness that will be needed to get my gold medal. Only real problem is I’m living in the Netherlands, where hills are sparse to say the least. Looks like there will be quite a few long rides then, and of course we have the wind here!
The other (big) problem I have is I need to begin earning a living here. I’m hard at work on some new websites which will be ready soon. In particular I’m really hoping to get back into professional photography, so I’m looking at covering some events, maybe even getting some weddings. No idea how this will play out, there’s a lot I can do if I’m given the opportunity, including IT and website work.
Here’s my photography website, it just needs some more pictures in the portfolios (which I’m sorting after recently cataloging them all) and it’ll be ready to go. I’d welcome any feedback from my friends out there.
And that’s about it for this short update. Now that I’ve got a goal I’ll try updating the blog a little more often, even if only with my training rides and progress. Here’s the first ‘serious’ session – it was actually a 46 km ride but I forgot to start the timer. High winds, so I’m quite pleased with the result.