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  • Brendan Shaw

Stroking my ageing ego: pre-ride training for the C2K

Updated: Jun 22, 2021

Brendan Shaw

I confess to being a little bit nervous.

It’s been a long time coming, but the time has finally arrived.

Later this week I am heading off to Far North Queensland (FNQ) in the very north of Australia to spend a week riding the C2K Charity Bike Ride from Cairns to Karumba.

I’m going to be mountain biking in remote areas of northern Australia.

And I’m a tad concerned.

I am doing the mountain bike ride over seven days, riding over 500 km through cattle stations, rivers, tropical savannah and rainforest to raise money for remote children’s education in FNQ. Apparently, there are even one or two crocodile-infested creeks to cross ….

All this to raise money to support the education of kids living in remote communities in Far North Queensland.

Shawview Consulting is a proud Gold Sponsor for the C2K, but it has slowly dawned on me that being a sponsor as well as a participant rider might suggest there is a need to ensure I don’t embarrass myself too much. I realised that I actually had to do some training in the months leading up to the event.

The last three months have seen a group of friends and I madly trying to get ‘bike fit’ in the lead up to the ride starting in late June. For months we’ve ridden various parts of the trails around the Canberra region, visited the rural parts of surrounding New South Wales, clocked up the kilometres, ridden up some of the surrounding mountain ranges, visited some of the New South Wales coastal mountain bike trails by the beach, got lost a few times, and re-learned how to negotiate some of the technical ‘single track’ courses mountain bikers apparently do.

And, of course, the training rides required very careful concentration and stamina to navigate the wine and cheese tasting that occurred at several very nice establishments around the Canberra region.

After years of resisting it, I also discovered Strava, the app to track your riding or running and sharing with other people. Suddenly I’ve found yet another online social media community who have fervently been evaluating my somewhat dubious training efforts. This has made my progress – or lack thereof – even more apparent and open to scrutiny which, of course, only makes things more confronting.

It all started as a bit of fun, but I’m starting to wonder whether I have bitten off more than I can chew.

Through various aching joints, numb hands and, yes, ‘saddle sores’ I discovered that I’m not as young as I used to be. The confidence that sometimes comes from training for an event …. well, didn’t come.

But I stuck at it and saw some amazing natural scenery in the process, as well as conquered a few hills and mountains.

But, as I head up to FNQ, I confess to being a little concerned that I’ll be challenged by having to back up each day for seven days of riding through remote bush and wilderness in the tropical savanna of Far North Queensland.

I’m lying here in my home after the last training ride before the C2K thoroughly exhausted. I ache and I’m sore in a few places, and wondering whether, perhaps, I may have been a bit overconfident.

But I go, nonetheless.

Over the next week or so I’ll be endeavouring to blog every day about the places I visit, the people I meet and how I’m travelling.

You can follow the adventures in my blog here.

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