Feature: The Bucket List Part 4 – Final Preparations

Words by Mike Kennedy | Images by MIke Kennedy

Mike Kennedy is an ordinary guy doing something extraordinary – he is going to race the BC Bike Race in Canada in just a few short weeks. Mike has been documenting his adventures for Flow and you can catch up with the first 3 parts of his journey here: 1, 2, 3.

Now, with only weeks left until the big day, Mike contemplates what is ahead and if he has done enough to prepare.


Where am I at now?

Over the weekend I was doing what has become my regular training ride. A mashup of a few local trails connected by short sections on the road which, all combined, add up to about 55 km and 1100 metres of climbing. I felt great. It’s not a very technical loop but after the last couple of months where I have gone from one gumby stack to the next. The one thing I’m happy to do is sit back, pedal and keep the rubber side down.

Anyway 55 kms and feeling good. I even felt I could do more, which I guess is handy because this will be my average day during the BC Bike Race. Repeated 7 times…Yikes! To get a feeling for what’s ahead of me here’s a video from the 2012 race and some stats about the 2013 journey.

Day 1- Cumberland
Distance 53.4km
Elev Gain 1200m

Day 2 – Campbell River
Distance 50.7km
Elev Gain 1005m

Day 3- Powell River
Distance 48km
Elev Gain 1070m

Day 4- Earls Cove to Sechelt
Distance 65km
Elev Gain 2110m…This one’s gonna leave a mark!

Day 5 – Sechelt to Langdale
Distance 40km
Elev Gain 1420m

Day 6 – Squamish
Distance 48km
Elev Gain 1660m

Day 7 – Whistler
Distance 26km
Elev Gain 860m

The weekend also marked 4 weeks to go till the start of the race and my riding has become more fitness training than just out and out razzing around with the boys. I still do that too, but I would definitely say that I’m way more conservative as I get closer to the big day.

Time on the bike is all it’s about now. Sometimes fun, sometimes lonely, and sometimes boring.

Avoiding injuries is one thing, but managing them is another thing altogether! Lets just say I have kept my physio gainfully employed. A few silly crashes and the niggly little injuries quickly stack up. We’ve all done it. You are just riding along, somewhere you’ve ridden a million times and splat, ”what the hell just happened?” This has been a recurring theme for me lately. Weekly physio, stretching, and a good supply of anti-inflammatory drugs has helped. I think I’m pretty much back on track.

At the moment I average 5 rides and 150 km per week but still feel I need to do more. Now I know I said I wanted to do all of my training “off road”, which in hindsight was a very idealistic concept. I have mostly stuck to the plan, but with a few injuries, some crappy weather and less and less time, I have come to the realization that time spinning the cranks is better than not training at all.

Enter the stationary trainer. An evil invention clearly designed during the dark ages to dole out punishment and boredom in equal quantities. Sadly we are set to become very well acquainted over the final few weeks. The only upside is that there is zero chance of injuring yourself, unless you count the strange desire to self harm induced by sessions on trainers.

And it’s not only me who needs to get that final bit of preparation done, so too does my bike. Today I took my bike down to my local bike store, Manly Cycles, who along with Specialized Australia have really stepped up to support me and my team mate Mark Wrightson. They’ve all be super in helping me thorough out my race prep & service on the trusty Stumpjumper before I leave for Canada late next week.

With only a few weeks to go you guys know where I’ll be in the meantime. I may be punching out endless kilometres on the evil trainer but my mind will be elsewhere – deep in the lush forests of BC.

There’s still time to have fun with the camera though.

 

 

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