After achieving all my goals in 2008, and exceeding my own expectations, I decided that, in 2009, I was going to use my new found form and raise the bar. I set myself 3 goals:
- Complete the South Downs Double
- Give it my all in a 24hr team race, death or glory, with a carefully selected team
- Complete my first 24hr solo race
|The 24hr Race I chose to challenge myself at was SITS|
The first two goals had the help and encouragement of my friends, the third was, at the time, both something that I dreamt up myself and very, very, secret!
The South Downs Double is something that is very close to my good friend's Rory Hitchen's heart and, as soon as he saw my result at the MaXx Exposure, he was on my case to do this very special ride. I needed no encouragement, this was a no brainer. I was going to take this challenge on, no matter how daunting it seemed, the mystique of the challenge, coupled with my great one-way ride earlier in the year made it an irresistible itch that must be scratched.
The team plan came out of a beer fuelled pub conversation with Morvélo co-owner and founder Oli Pepper. We'd both had disappointing team experiences where team members had failed to finish, frustrating for both of us. We were going to race a 24hr race, going flat out from the gun, and we were going to finish. As were the entire team. We knew there was only one pair of riders that fitted the bill. Lea Dennison and Frazer Clifford. The two most ferociously competitive riders I have ever met, regularly, and unswervingly, terrorising the Hove Tuesday night rides for as long as anyone can remember. These guys give everything, all the time, brains gloriously disengaged, they just love going fast!
The final part of the plan was, at the time, something I knew I'd love to do, but not something I knew I could do. It scared me, and I revelled in the challenge. But I kept this part to myself, quietly preparing through regular, long winter rides, my friends gloriously unaware of what I had planned.
Let 2009 begin!