We're close to five days into the Indian Pacific Wheel Race and as I write this the current leader, Kristof Allegaert has knocked over a cool 2,107km... or 420km per day. The field has spread out over 1,000km and there has been some amazing stories of toughness, loads of smiles and a massive outpouring of support from the Cycling community.
As I sit in the comfort of my office, I'm watching a map of Australia with a pile of names, some that I know and others that I've never heard of tracking across the screen. You would not think at first glance that it makes for top rating viewing, but for some reason I can't stop checking back in to see how everyone is going.
I'm not exactly sure. I can't even begin to imagine entrance cycling on this scale, distances that many of us train months to complete, prepared for with solid rest and careful nutrition are covered in multiples every day. Bike weights are high and there's no support, drink stops or safety net.
There's also the solo aspect, hours, if not days with little to no communication with anyone. It's a lonely pursuit for some of the riders.
As I see a flood of amazing pictures hitting social media as the riders make their way along the road I'm finding myself flirting with the idea of having a go at this ride next year. But is it possible? I'm not sure, I can easily make plenty of the the normal excuses, 'I'm too busy, it's too dangerous, it's too long...' but I'd say it's actually because I'm scared.
This is why I think we can't take our eyes off the dots. For the most part these are people that have jobs, have families and commitments and are doing something truely extraordinary that I think most of us are just too scared to have a crack at, and for that reason we ride on their shoulders, watching the dots and rolling around social media looking at their updates and sending support.
Quick Rider Update
Of course I can't mention everyone, but wanted to give a quick shout to James Raison and Sam Jeffries that both are tracking along amazingly well and have covered almost 1,400km and are showing nice constant pace... great work guys!
Rhino is still battling after working through a 'knee blow out' and has ticked over 1,200km, I'd say 99% of people would have pulled out in his position but he's kept smiling, and has continued to upload some awesome video to Facebook. Check him out.
Also, super impressive is YouTube's very own Cycling Maven. He only decided to ride a couple of weeks ago and has just passed through 1,000km. It would be amazing to see him get to Sydney. Go Maven!
Sarah Hammond is mixing it with the best at almost 2,000km covered and fourth wheel on the road. She's a true enduro monster!
There's been some high profile retirements, I really felt Jesses Carlsson's pain after he had to pull out with a nasty injury, a huge disappointment for him personally after being the driving force and mastermind behind putting the race together as well as a genuine chance to be the first to Sydney.
There's also been some that may have underestimated just what was involved and pulled out very early with just a handful of k's on the board, like Durian Rider, hopefully we see them back to have another try next year.
Make sure you keep liking, supporting and shouting out to all the riders on the road to help keep them going!