Now that we have made the decision to participate in this incredible 7 day MTB stage race (www.thepioneer.co.nz), now its time to set some goals. While this is called a race, I am obviously not going to be fighting for a podium spot. So, I thought it would be wise to set some reasonable goals for this event. Here goes:
- Finish the race with a smile! I know that doesn't sound very lofty. But, I am in it for completion vs. competition. I want to get enough mileage under my belt so that I can handle the climbs and ride long distances all day, every day for 7 days. I want to experience the beautiful terrain of New Zealand without too much pain. I want to tough it out, but still have a smile on my face at the end of each day and at the end of the race. So...that means putting in some serious miles here in Santa Cruz in preparation for this event.
- Get self sufficient with repair and maintenance. I will be disassembling my bike to fly it to the other side of the world and re-assembling it. That in itself is obstacle number 1. I just traveled to Germany with my road bike where I had to do the same thing. My bike is now making all sorts of crazy noises and shifting like crap. I can't ride a 7 day stage race like that, so I will have to master this. And, if we have any sort of mechanical during the ride, we will have to handle it on our own. So, it is a must that I master assembling the bike and basic field repair for this race.
- Get over my fear of clipless pedals on the mountain bike. I have been riding clipless on my road bike for nearly 15 years, so I am not entirely new to the concept. However, I was converted to flat pedals on the mountain bike as I was tackling more technical terrain. After a few dirt spills clipped in, I stayed on flats and haven't been able to get back. This particular race looks as if it may have less technical terrain, so it would really benefit me to be clipped in. I'd like to conquer this fear before the event.
- Recruit more women to ride with us. Trynt and I are excited to race together, but we would LOVE to have some other familiar faces tackling the terrain with us. Mountain biking is a team effort as far as I am concerned. While I will go for the occasional solo ride, I find the most joy out of sharing the ride with others. We'd love to get a few more 2 person teams to join us! Does anyone want to set a big, hairy goal and join Trynt and I as we train for this fantastic event? We have 5 months to prepare!
- Have fun! This should probably be #1. I want to enjoy the journey and enjoy the training. I want to enjoy the event - see a country I have not been to yet, meet new people and ride some of the most spectacular trails in the world. This will be the toughest athletic event I have ever signed up for, but I also want to make it a fun, memorable experience!
If you can't join us, join us in our training efforts as we put in some miles and hopefully some smiles over the next few months!