For those of you who have waited patiently for the beginning of the 2015 TCR lead in, this is the first of what I hope will be many posts before and during next years race. It is by no means certain that I shall get a place.
Entries for 2015 opened on the 5th November for veterans and on the 7th for newcomers, but the final decision about who gets the nod and who has to endure the disappointment for another year will not be made until the 30th. (I am not at all sure how I will cope with rejection, if it comes my way.)
From the minute that I hit the tarmac at Heathrow at the end of my 2014 race, I knew that I would have to go back and do it again. To her credit, Laura knew that too and tried to stop me coming home early. My mind though had been made up. My planning though well intentioned for the family in my absence had not been ideal. Two small boys with the energy and zest for destruction of a small army in a strangers house do not make for a relaxing holiday and it seemed hardly fair to extend the absence.
That only tells half the story, however. I have hesitated to write what I am about to say, because I do not like to make myself out to be anyone/thing special. I take on this challenges, because I like to find my limits and then extend them. Well it's fair to say that this is one very, very tough race. I didn't finish it, because I wasn't tough enough. Am I disappointed with that? Well yes, quite frankly I am.
I made a decision about withdrawing from the race in atrocious weather when my experience on a bike did not allow me to wisely carry on. In itself that was not a bad decision and I was unwell. I could however have sat on my hands for 24 hours. I am not good at sitting on my hands it has to be said, but that's just one of things that I need to learn from this years race. Good decisions are not often made in a hurry.
It is also true that nothing can truly prepare you for this event, other than the event itself. I note that Mike Hall, the organiser and winner of the Trans American race, is quoted as acknowledging, that whilst there might be fitter riders out there, it is his experience that keeps him ahead of the pack. It will be true for Kristoff in the Transcontinental, but slowly there will be some who close the gap.
In order to keep this entry a reasonable length, I would urge you to read the blog entry below. Apart from the fact that it includes a very unglamorous, but happy no. 52 at this years first check point, it also highlights details of the 2015 race.
If I get in, I'll be right back here to tell you all about it.
For those of you that did not know, by the way; we raised £4044.14 for The Alzheimer's Society, so thank you all for your support. Ideas for a charity for 2015, most welcome.