On march 18, 2017 the inaugural Indian Pacific Wheel Race started from Fremantle, Perth leading to the west of Australia, to the Opera house of Sydney. 70 people finally signed up for that race. Jessie Carlsson had a pretty crazy idea to set up such a race. As there seem to be a bunch of brilliant endurance riders down under, it makes great sense to bring the people together from around the world, obviously it worked out pretty well.
First looking at the track -ridewithgps.com- it is an amazing distance of more than 5000kms that has to be covered, of course self supported. The route is fixed, no check points and in between you got the freedom of choice, none of that. Since I was a young boy, Australia is the country of my dreams, it still is. Initially I wanted to become a kangaroo doctor, of course this only makes sense down in Australia. Since then I have never been to Australia yet, even though this race is now in my mind for quite a long time. Things like endless dessert, Nullarbor, still owe a great respect from me, and riding on the left side is still thriving me. Not sure if you easily fall back into your habits, if your suffer mode is really high and you are only focused on not falling asleep and getting forward. A road train coming towards you won’t forgive anything. You mostly ride very close to the coast line, you gonna have winds, guaranteed. Any another hard thing is that the hills, the Australian alps, are only showing up towards the last stage of the race.
So, in this case my respect had been too big to join. In addition I still had an unfinished Transcimbrica from 2016 that needed to be finished. That one just took off seven days prior to the IndyPac.
Watching the dots now, gives me quite a hard time and I am thinking about how to modify my way of riding as these guys are all pushing so so so strong. I do not want to change into complete race mode, but a little further into that direction. So the IndyPac provides some excellent examples of guys that are just grinding. Almost every hour I do calculate the distance between Kristof and Mike, realising that there is almost no sleep among these two guys. In addition I realise that the initial gap to the other racers, the field, is getting smaller and smaller. Sarah Hammond is fighting so close to the lead line. Guys like Seb Dunne has a really strong show during yesterday. Just now, as I am watching the dots in parallel, I have to read that Juliana Buhring scratched from the race.
Apart from the arrow tip of this race, the real life a happening. Everyone is strongly fighting even if we cannot always see these fights in the riders faces. Frank Proud, I can see your dot is moving with amazing speed towards the east. I still cannot see you on any clips, picture or comment. Not correct, my wife says that your wife is posting some status on FB. I need to get to see these, as I am not member of the FB family. Curve Cycling, Cycling Maven, Glucose Network, Veggie Nofux, Durian Rider and Ride Adelaide are having their channels on youtube and give us some great impressions from the road, to get a proper feeling for what this is really about.
I am still pretty much into the dots, as this is some serious stuff! My greatest respect to all the riders out there! Ride On!