Wednesday, November 23, 2011
It feels as though I've come to the end of one journey (and the last blog post) and am about to embark upon another. Not that I know (yet..) what the next one is.......
I met up with the delightful Si Pavey ( who taught me sooo much) earlier this week at the Bike Show at the NEC in Birmingham, which was great. Brought back all the memories of the highs and the lows (some quite low) of my training and journey of some nine months of this year from absolute utter novice to novice with experience and raising just under £10,000 for GOSH and KidsCo (THANKS EVERYONE) in between which after all, was what the challenge was all about.
Since, I've been back from the trip, I've read all of Charley Boorman's books, Si Pavey's and frankly as many books and DVDs about the Dakar, off-roading, enduros, rallys et al, as I can lay my hands on. For sure if I'd read them before - well .......there'd be rather a different tale to tell and I can say with some certainly it wouldn't have involved motorbikes, mud, rocks and the uber moments of waivering confidence, fitness; physical and mental, exhaustion, new skills and everything else that went with it. Teehee.
I admire and am in awe of those who ride off-road, it's not for the feint-hearted!
Loads of luck to the guys of DakarTeam GB for whom the start, at the time of writing, is 37 days away.
As many of you following the blog will know the inspiration to learn to ride an off-road motorbike and take on this challenge was after watching the Long Way Round some years back. Well, the dream to meet Charley Boorman came true when I met him at The CharleyBoormanLive Tour a few weeks back (I think there's one or two shows to go - it's excellent). Charley is as inspiring in person as he was on the telly. Charm itself, down-to-earth, funny, erudite and he very kindly tolerated my somewhat ditzy starstruck moment when he signed a book for me, minutes before he was due on stage. Thanks for the inspiration and thanks Billy for making it happen.
What's next? I've signed up for some more training courses and have yet to decide; Atlas Mountains, Africa .....Europe.....
What I do know is that whatever it is it's on a bike. I impulsively made a bid for a road bike on eBay and missed it, then test drove one and didn't like it - ooop - there's a learning there. For the time being I'm loving the GasGas and improving every time I ride - despite a rather ridiculous mud incident yesterday!
If Santa is reading, I am lusting after a KTM350 Freeride - I'm reliably informed by Martin Wittering at Torque Racing (who kept my bike in superb order) that if he takes it to bits Santa's helpers will easily fit it down the chimney......
Rubber side down.