It’s the middle of the night and I’m lying in bed, kept awake from a cough that’s persisted since coming down from Everest base camp a few days ago. To make matters worse, I think I’m starting to feel the onset of dysentery that’s had Romney bedridden for the last 24 hours. We ate the same thing, after all, so why wouldn’t I be? Good timing for her, since she’s accomplished her objectives and will be heading home in the morning. For me, however, I’m a little over a day from beginning one of the harder bike races on the planet. Hopefully, all of my discomfort can be chalked up to nerves.
pre-race interview by nepalsutra
I published the above paragraph in a post on the first day in the race. Linking to it again in case you missed it, so you can see exactly how I was feeling at the time and some of my history with the Himalaya. Seems a long time ago, reading it now between projects during a hectic work week. Oh, to be back to nothing but racing and surviving, which sounds a lot easier without dysentery gnawing at my gut and smog at my lungs.
It also has a great—albeit long—video from a guy who did the race a few years back showing all of the stages. It’s highlighted by super funny commentary when things got rough, like “This has cured me. I never want to see another mountain bike race again.”
And, since we’re still in Kathmandu, above’s an awesome vid showing both the city and the local riding. You’ll see a lot of what I was talking about in yesterday’s post. Finally, below are my final thoughts leading to stage 1, followed by the video of last year’s race that got me stoked on this beast I’m about to tackle.
The field is loaded, with 11 countries (at least) represented, that includes a professional adventurer followed by a film crew as he tries to tick off all the hardest challenges in the world, a stack of professional riders, a slew of eccentric, adventurous types, the crème de la crème of Nepalese cycling, and another bloke named Steve Edwards.
My only objective at the moment is to survive day one. I’m not feeling very good and I don’t think I’m the only one. Once the race settles into a rhythm it should be easier. We all suffer well or we wouldn’t be here. I think it’s the waiting around that’s making everyone crazy.