The Bucket List Part 3 – No More Excuses

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Words by Mike Kennedy | Images by Mike Kennedy

An Ordinary Guy’s Journey Towards The 2013 BC Bike Race.

Mike Kennedy has been regularly documenting his journey towards the 2013 BC Bike Race in Canada (part 1 & part 2). Here, in the 3rd instalment, Mike struggles with motivation and getting over the easy excuses.

We bet some of this sounds very familiar to many of us.


Christmas is well over and I have run out of excuses.

Ok, so it has been raining pretty consistently for 24 hours and right now it’s horizontal, which is not really helping with my motivational crisis. Yet, in the back of my mind is an alarm going off, “18 weeks till BC Bike Race…Warning Warning!”

Training took a back seat over the Christmas break, although I did make sure I was well hydrated. I also convinced myself that a few extra km’s in the new year would more than make up for consuming my own body weight in pork.

Welcome to my Delusion.

And then came the heat. The energy sapping turn-on-the-airconditioner-and-pass-me-another-cold-beer type of heat.

A cunning plan hatched over Christmas to have a weekend of riding some of Canberra’s finest was quickly modified when I looked at the forecast for 40+ degree days.  That plan quickly changed and I ended up in Thredbo having a blast on the brand new Kosciusko Flow Trail.

A few days of awesome gravity fed fun was hard to resist but those alarm bells weren’t going away and ripping turns downhill is not the same as riding up up huge hills.

Time to earn my turns!

Thankfully my new ride turned up to snap me back to my non chairlift assisted reality. A brand spanking new 2013 Stumpjumper Evo…Oh Yeah! Lovingly assembled by the crew at Manly Cycles, you could say I was pumped to get out there, put the new beast through its paces, and get some much needed mileage into my post Christmas jelly legs.

Coming off my trusty old Enduro, I was a little tentative at first. It normally takes time to get used to the feel of a new bike but the new one was different. I was instantly aware of how far suspension and frame design have come in a few short years. It’s light and agile and makes me want to pop off every little thing.

Time to ride.

My master training plan for the BC Bike Race consisted of building a base of about 100km per week, which sounds brilliant if I stuck to that plan. Combine work and family commitments, add a liberal dose of my own lame-arse excuses and here I am 18 weeks out and I’m only averaging 30-50km a week!

I think in hindsight a more realistic goal would be to try to get out for a ride 3 times per week. Even if it’s just a lap of Manly Dam, that would add up to 60km. Tack onto that a couple of double laps and a few extended rides on the weekend and I’ll get to my 100km goal in no time. The key to the whole thing is consistency. Consistently getting up for that early ride as there will be plenty of time for sleep after the race.

Today I kicked off my training again in earnest with a big ride.  50km’s – rain, hail and sunshine – I had it all. Add to that mud, lots and lots of mud. It was brilliant and there’s a high chance of some rain and mud at the BC Bike Race so it was good training too. After getting hosed in the first 20km I stopped caring, so I just hammered out the next 30km and in the end I was completely smashed and feeling pretty happy about not using another lame excuse.

The countdown to the BC Bike Race may be ticking away but in my mind I’m already there!

It was fun and riding in the hectic mud was good training for the big race ahead.  I just have to stay in track now.

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