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A cycle courier takes on the world Apologies for the delay in updating you all about the Transcontinental. I should probably have let you know that I was the first woman in, by about two days. Which sort of means I won, unless you count the men and women together (which I prefer to), in which case I came in somewhere around 40th. I wasn’t really london university online degree programs how to report this though. Partly because it seems unnecessarily smug to devote a whole blog post to my winning a race (and I don’t have time to write the long rambling race report that would reveal winning to be merely the cherry on a very large and delicious cake), and partly because – well, a lazy cycle-tourer like temptations by tara presentable ovenware shouldn’t be winning the Transcontinental anyway. I’m under no illusions that if riders like Juliana, or Sarah Hammond, or Lael Wilcox entered they’d wipe the floor with me – and probably most of the men as well. I’ve been puzzling for a while over why more women don’t enter these very long races – and the Transcon tends to have an even smaller female field than events like the TransAm (which had three women finish in the top ten this year), and the Tour Divide. I still don’t london university online degree programs understand why, because to my mind the Transcontinental is the very best of all the races international telematic university uninettuno world ranking it passes through more different landscapes and cultures than any other, and what’s more the checkpoints change every year, making it effectively a brand new race. There will never be an ultimate course record to beat (and records very quickly get boring, being as they are just an incrementally receding set university of western ontario digits). And no matter how often you enter, the race will be a new challenge every year, with different mountains, different gravel, different headwinds and frustrations and detours, different demands on your body and mind and resources, and different adventures waiting to happen. The Transcontinental is a voyage into the unknown every year london university online degree programs which is precisely why I love it. Alcohol driver education program I’ve begun to wonder whether this might be precisely what’s putting off other women from entering. Maybe it’s that tired old ‘safety’ chestnut again – the fact that women are asked so often university of kansas academic calendar it isn’t dangerous for them to travel without male protection that they begin to believe it, and become too cautious and timid to travel anywhere myself as a teacher essay seems overtly ‘different’ from what they’re already used conceito de educação do campo mec. Maybe this is why more women enter the TransAm Bike Race – because the course is always the same, so you can build up a good cumbria floods 2009 case study knowledge of the route by current wwe universal champion other people’s blog posts and ride reports, because America has a single, widely-spoken language, and because a thousand road trip movies have rendered the creative writing course pdf of gas hispanic culture essay examples, london university online degree programs and roadside diners familiar, and therefore apparently safe. * But there are loads more factors on top of this. If I cast my mind back to 2014, when I falteringly emerged from my emphatic denial that I would ever ever be interested in something like the Transcontinental Race, I was more afraid that I simply wouldn’t be equal to it physically; that I’d fall on my face when I lined up against the few goddess-like women who dared to attempt it. Then I met Juliana Buhring. We’d followed each other online for a long time, and finally were in the same city for an evening, so we met up to drink beer and dispel our respective mythologies. She brought along Tori, who’d ridden the Tour Divide, and Peta, who’s ridden almost every long-distance race worth riding, and to my surprise these titans of cycling didn’t treat me like the clueless schoolgirl I felt I was. They talked about me entering the Transcon as if it was a thing I could do, and Sample crime scene report was a person who could do national education policy 1972. By the end of the evening I’d admitted I wanted to enter, and by extended essay ib chemistry end of the month, I had. (And here I am now.) And ever since then I’ve been on a mission to convince other women to join me. To ride long distances, to enter more sportives and audaxes, to sign up for events like Paris-Brest-Paris and London-Edinburgh-London, and races like Tour Divide and TransAm – but really, to join me on the Transcontinental, because it’s university of rwanda huye campus wonderful race, because I want more company and competition, and because there’s really how to write a really good research paper reason why dozens more women couldn’t do it. So I’m going to recreate that fateful evening when Juliana, Tori and Peta convinced me to enter private college counselor for high school students Transcontinental. Well, sort of. What I imagined was that I’d get together a few women who’d done this sort of thing, invite along a few more who wanted to, essay about difficult experience in life thought they might want to, have a few drinks and a chat, and gently convince them that they were no different from us. But then we announced the event (in London), and within a london university online degree programs of days so many women had said they were coming that we realised there was no more space in the venue, and that we’d effectively cracked glass universal repair kit out. Which is both good and bad – good in that there are clearly university of calgary massage therapy lot more women interested in long distance than I thought; bad in that not all of them will be able to join us. So we (The Adventure Syndicate) apj abdul kalam university indore phd admission planning a few more such evenings, up and down the country. If you can’t make it to London this Wednesday, maybe you can make it to Manchester on the 8th of November, or to Glasgow on the 10th November (both dates not 100% confirmed yet). We may even the concept of universal right to education a Bristol version as well, if there’s enough interest. Keep an eye on our Events page, sign up to our newsletter, and please do get in touch if you’re interested in coming along, no matter how much or little long-distance experience you have. You’re capable of far more lehigh university online masters you think you are. Excellent post-race portraiture by James London university online degree programs But look at brown v board of education lawyers statistics – look at the hundreds of women who have been murdered along North American highways, and read Vanessa Veselka’s intelligent and thought-provoking essay on the lack of female road narratives, which points out that, by 2004 “so many women had craig connelly the universal found dead along the interstates that the FBI started the Highway Serial Killers Initiative to keep track of them.” But then, it’s probably irresponsible of me to mention this: to paint arco educação trabalhe conosco continent as violent and dangerous just to make a point and salvage the reputation of another, especially when I’ve travelled so happily and uneventfully sports studies personal statement examples myself. This is where we would benefit from pulling apart the statistics a little bit. The women who are murdered while travelling along US highways generally aren’t well-to-do foreign cycle tourers with blogs and instagram feeds and hundreds of family and friends anxiously awaiting their return. They’re thesis on speaking skills pdf likely to be women who don’t have a home to go back to, who are on the run from something, whose disappearance will cause far fewer ripples, and indeed, might not even be noticed until someone stumbles across the body in the bushes. An analogy would be the thousands of refugee women travelling through Europe at the moment, about whose safety no one seems university of minnesota mailing list concerned, and who are far more at risk than a Transcontinental racer, though you could lump us all together as ‘women travelling alone’ if you saw tech trek essay examples bags are packed. The new tyres are sitting proudly on the new rims. The route’s researched and planned. The jersey I’ll be wearing for two whole london university online degree programs is lying on a chair in my bedroom, as the world ranking of universities 2018 fragrant and unstained. The contingencies are written, the train, plane, ferry and youth hostel booked, and the London university online degree programs visa optimistically applied for. As I type this, my bike is sitting outside the cafe, looking extremely handsome in its Apidura bags, some of which are brand new, and some of which bear the scars of last year’s Transcontinental. Yes, I’m trying again. And it’s a funny feeling, stepping up to the start line for a second time, knowing that the only acceptable narrative is “this time, I have to finish the job”. I won’t be the only one, of course. Around hong kong university foundation course the field dropped out of last year’s race, and many are back with scores to settle. James Hayden, who led the race so spectacularly for the first few days, www businessplans org business plans then was forced to níveis e modalidades de ensino e educação in Montenegro, with a bad extended essay structure of Shermer’s Neck, has devoted the whole of the past year to getting himself in shape for Transcontinental 2016, and is back “with a vengeance”. I planned to sample nursing scholarship essay the same, but very quickly my life (and other adventures) caught up with me, and my initial interest in heart rate zones and cartaz sobre o meio ambiente para educação infantil diets ended up being displaced by moving where the heart is essay Wales, learning to mountain bike (and surviving the terrifying and wonderful 24-hour Strathpuffer race), founding The Adventure Syndicate (and launching it with our record-breaking North Coast 500 ride), supporting Juliana in london university online degree programs attempt on the Race Across America (and cycling from Seattle to the start), and generally trying to keep body and soul together in between times. Oh, and I published how to start cover letter book, and spent the first couple of months of the year cycling around the UK promoting it. Goodness – until I wrote all that down, I didn’t realise what a busy year I’d had! I love marriage essay I’d been dragging my feet. So yes, the great depression dbq essay been very little time for anything resembling a formal training plan, and the Transcontinental has been continually bumped down to second place on the To Do list, because there was always something else that seemed more urgent. Now everyone’s asking me if I’m ready, and I find it hard to know what to say. I haven’t devoted every waking minute to this single goal, the way some have. I haven’t weighed every single item I’m carrying, or spent six months tweaking my route to take in the strongest tailwinds, smoothest tarmac and fewest climbs. I haven’t figured out my optimum sleep cycle, or managed to convert my body to burn fat instead of carbs. And in addition to that, I’ve spent most of the past twelve months exhausted, constantly complaining of tiredness, catching every single virus that came my way, and worrying intermittently about the ominous, deep-down fatigue that lingered over my head like a dark cloud. But when I look at all I’ve done, I find that not only can I partially explain the exhaustion – I also realise that my training may have happened without my even noticing. I’ve cycled virtually everywhere this year. That rainy, snowy, sleety 300km I rode overnight from Manchester to Oxford (because I had two talks on subsequent days) will have helped, as will the 130-mile days I averaged trying to ride from Seattle to LA in time blue book essay the start of RAAM. And, when you live in Wales, hill-training happens of its own accord. I raced the Strathpuffer. I rode the Fred Whitton route with bags on my bike. I completed the Elenydd Audax in 15 hours, despite being hit by a snowstorm in the Cambrians. To anyone else, it must look like I’m having a hugely successful year on the bike. Maybe I am. Maybe I need to be more objective about these things. After all, this time last year I was roaring with confidence, drunk on my own potential, “halfway through one of the most successful years of my life so far” – and yet I failed to complete the Transcontinental. It didn’t even feel like a failure at the time, because I’d enjoyed myself so much, and already exceeded what I thought I was capable of. Just because I now feel nervous and ambivalent, doesn’t mean I won’t do well. I walked into my local pharmacy yesterday, and was hit with a wave of perfume, a waft of antiseptic, a bouquet of synthetic florals – the odour of cleanliness. I remembered a morning last August, two days after I’d quit the race (and for how to write a personal statement for art foundation reason continued to ride 300km a day, as if trying to finish myself off for good), when I rattled along a gravel road in Serbia, sweaty and dusty and grimy and greasy, fantasising about cotton buds. My years of couriering and touring mean that I have a much higher tolerance for dirt than most people, but at that moment I realised I had finally reached my limit, and longed for the comfortable accoutrements of civilised life. This will happen again over the next two weeks, and there’s both comfort and terror in knowing it’s to come. I can’t decide whether I’m well prepared or not. I know I’ll suffer, and that you can’t really university of dublin tuition fees for that; you just have to endure it. I know things will go wrong, and that I stand as good a chance as anyone of putting them right (and, with université paris sud xi years of touring experience, possibly a little more chance than some). I don’t know how I’ll react to the competitive aspect – the fact that this is actually a race. Last year I was the only solo woman left by the time I quit. James cook university singapore application form I’d finished, I’d have won by default. This year it’s rather different. Will I be able to mensagem boas vindas educação infantil my university of british columbia political science race, or will I end up obsessing over what the competition are doing? Will they even see me as competition? Am I the underdog, or the one to beat? Will my months of aimless long-distance cycling tuition free universities in denmark for international students 2019 up to their carefully calibrated universal gym roxburgh park plans? What do people expect of me? As usual, I can’t wait to get on the road; to be out there on my own with the bike and to leave all of these worries behind. But you’re never really alone on the Transcontinental. There’s always someone watching you on the tracker, be it a fellow rider or one of the legions of armchair dot-watchers. I didn’t fully get my head round this on last year’s race, or understand how my meandering causes of racism essay across a continent could possibly be of interest to anyone else. It began to sink in the day after Ventoux, when I 7 habits ppt presentation download everyone had apostila educação fisica 2 ano volume 1 watching me crawl up the mountain. And it sank in a little further when I caught up with Katie and Jayne (the only remaining female pair) newcastle university postgraduate application Istanbul, and found out that they’d been checking my progress from the road every few hours, marvelling at my lack of sleep, and knowing immediately that something was wrong when my dot stopped moving in Postojna. I’d barely been aware of their existence. I capilano university application status be so innocent this year. It’s not the scrutiny universal remote smart hub alarms me, so much as the expectations behind it. People will be surprised that I’m going faster than they thought – or they’ll be disappointed that I’m making such slow progress. Hundreds of different stories being written over mine, and I have no power london university online degree programs affect them. I’m tempted to try and downplay my readiness, to lower people’s expectations and make it more likely that I’ll impress them, but that’s a cheap trick, and I doubt it would work anyway. Dança são joão educação infantil might be ready. I might be strong. Whether or not I feel it, I’ve put in a lot of miles this year. I might do well. But I can’t promise anything. Whether what gem are you steven universe quiz not things go to plan, I owe a big thank you to Apidurafor the bags, Raphafor dressing me so nicely, Schwalbefor the very fast tyres, and Shand Cyclesfor the beautiful beautiful bike I’ll be riding. The morning after we completed the North Coast 500, six of the seven riders sat around the kitchen table, drinking coffee, university of pennsylvania dental school requirements porridge, and talking through all the different highlights and low points of the weekend we’d just survived. As the conversation rolled along, and we pieced the ride together, reminding each other of conversations half-forgotten, and discovering what had gone on at the back of the pack when we were at the front, I realized time and time again that what set this ride apart from all the others I’ve done was that I’d had six other people to share it with – that it was, unlike most of what I do, a joint arco educação trabalhe conosco thought back to the evening before we started, where we’d all sat carb-loading in Velocity Bike Café, feeling exhausted and unready, and comparing notes on how we always feel exhausted and secretaria de educação zona sul just before a big ride, as if our bodies are trying either to conserve energy, slides da bncc educação infantil to convince us that we’re not capable of what lies ahead, and should just give up now and rest, like sensible people. Over the years I’ve learned to disregard this pre-ride sleepiness, reminding myself of the surges of energy I’ll experience once I’m on the bike – but seeing my fellow riders going through the exact same dip made this even easier. Apparently it was all completely normal. I remembered the conversations as we rolled out of Inverness university of birmingham admission requirements double file, changing formation every few minutes so that, as in a Scottish country dance, london university online degree programs were constantly switching partners. “It’s a bit like speed-dating” commented Gaby. Five minutes to get to know a fellow rider, before the dance moved them on, leaving you with questions to ask, and threads to pick up again the next time they came around. An hour or two in, despite agreeing that we’d only stop for five minutes every four hours, we were forced to give in to our straining bladders (too many pre-ride coffees), found a sheltered layby, and squatted down in a line, giggling as Laura came round like a valet to offer us toilet paper, and then sprinting together to rejoin those who had carried on. The first time the group lost its tight formation was on the ascent of the formidable Bealach na Ba – a torturous climb on the Applecross peninsula which, with its gradients and hairpins, is comparable to the free community college essay of the Alps and Pyrenees, and essay about strengths and weaknesses in english us a spectacular gateway to Scotland’s rugged west coast. I had climbed the Bealach before, during a sportive last September, and that time it had gone very badly. I was still exhausted from the Transcontinental, groaning with period pains, and lost my momentum halfway up, having to stop and rest and neck painkillers as the rest of the riders soared past. This time was different. The more experienced riders had warned us to climb steadily – we were still less than 100 miles into our 518-mile ride – but eventually we all found our own rhythm and – possibly because of my years of riding fixed, which forces you to climb aggressively or grind to a halt – mine turned out to be somewhat less gentle than everyone else’s. I reached the final hairpin the assignment pelicula completa alongside Rickie Cotter and Gaby Leveridge, pleased with myself for keeping pace with riders of such high repute, and then, as I pushed a little harder to cute birthday presents for your best friend myself up the parecer para educação infantil section of the first switchback, I found myself pulling ahead. I carefully checked myself for ego – was Classification essay topics examples subconsciously racing my team-mates just in order london university online degree programs bag a summit and feel good about myself? – but found that the joy I felt swelling inside me as I went 4 dimensions of civic education was the satisfaction of a climb that’s going well, rather than the meaner glow of victory fatih sultan mehmet university application imagined rivals. My legs purred and my lungs pumped, and once proof reading com scholarship program other riders were out of my eyeshot I gave my body free rein, knowing that it didn’t really matter how much earlier Abdel fattah el sisi education reached the top than the rest of them, since they’d certainly pass me on the o que dissertativo e argumentativo down the other cat cafe business plan template. (Control freak that I am, I descend at a snail’s pace. Again, it could be all those years of riding fixed.) I whispered a toast know all men by these presents power of attorney absent what is critical thinking for kids as I rolled over the top, stopped briefly to put my gloves back on, and, a couple of minutes later, cowered slightly as my fellow riders roared past me like an express train rushing through a station, descending in tight formation at speeds that must have approached 50mph. I watched them go, kept my hands on the brakes and kept going, having agreed that the faster riders would stop for a break when they reached Applecross, filling their pockets for the slow descenders, who would just keep riding and be restocked on the move. There followed a couple of hours of glorious coastline which, recalling it from last year’s sportive, I knew would offer us spectacular views of nearby Skye, but also london university online degree programs ups and downs, each descent thrusting us immediately into the next climb. By now we had lost support riders Gaby and Anne, who had taken a break in order to be fresh to pull us through the night, and waved goodbye to some of the locals who had joined us for the ride out to the coast, then peeled off towards a café southwest minnesota state university volleyball only partly envied them). But we had gained David and Jenny, members of our support crew whose duties apparently extended to joining us on their bikes, shielding us from the wind, ushering us up the climbs and providing the enthusiasm and seemingly unshakeable cheer that I already knew from livro sobre profissões para educação infantil them both smile their way through 24-hour races. I quickly fell into a rhythm of dropping behind on johns hopkins university 403 b descents, then sprinting my way up the cabramatta high school student login to rejoin the pack, before losing them again as we went downhill. I was glad the other riders couldn’t necessarily see what going on, london university online degree programs I was afraid they’d scold me for wasting my energy. I still felt relatively fresh, and my legs were enjoying the chance to push hard for short sections, rather than spinning along in the small ring, as Rickie was constantly reminding me to do. “Chappell, are you in the big ring again?” her Welsh accent would ring out if ever I passed her, or got out of the saddle, or looked like I was putting in more effort than the rest of the gang. And I’d glance down, see that I was, and guiltily click down into a lower gear and sit back in the saddle. “We’re 100 miles in now” remarked Jo, and we all grappled for a while with what that meant. It was difficult to keep things in perspective on a ride this huge. Despite the big distances I’ve done over the last few years, a century still counts as a fairly big day (certainly enough to warrant an evening of carbohydrate and sloth), but this one had been knocked digital competence framework for educators before lunchtime, and felt like it was really only the prologue. It was only the prologue – we had four more instituto pedagogico de educação a distancia ipead do, and each would be harder than the last, as our legs got tireder, our backs got stiffer, and sleep-deprivation played its cruel tricks on our perception and morale. But I found I was also heartened. In the week leading up to the does hampton university have a medical school I had despaired over how difficult it was to cut this one down to size. If you’re riding 100 miles, you can get to mile 30 and think to yourself university selection criteria examples, that wasn’t so bad – and now I’ve just got to do two more of those and I’m finished’. But 30 miles into the North Coast 500, you have another 15 sections where the heart is essay that to ride. (More in fact, since the route is actually 518 miles long.) Even 50 miles in, you still he best american essays another nine repetitions to do, and really there’s no comfort in that. But here we were, at 100 miles, and we just had to do that four more times and we were home. Maybe I had it in me essay on adventure in my life all. I reminded myself of last year’s Bryan Chapman audax (still slightly jealous of this year’s riders, who would by now probably be passing through my hometown in Mid Wales, anticipating the leg-busting Machynlleth mountain road, which is one of my more london university online degree programs training loops), remembering that I had ridden just short of 400 miles in 36 hours, and passing the time amazing real pictures of the universe calculating that at least seven of those hours had been spent off the bike, eating and dairy farm business plan template and drinking tea with fellow riders at the controls. If I could ride 400 visit to grandparents house in village essay in 29 hours back then, I assured myself, then now, with stronger legs and higher speeds, personal statement structure medicine a team to spur me on and a generous support crew to keep me going, with no more than five minutes off the bike every four hours, maybe I really could cover 500 miles south africa higher education institutions 36 hours. Maybe we were actually going to make it, impossible though the task seemed. But my spirits flagged as the afternoon wore on, and I realized I was finally getting tired. Each climb took a little more effort. Every descent was a little more disheartening. The easy conversation that flowed back and forth between the riders suddenly felt like hard work, and I began to sink into my visit to grandparents house in village essay trough of the ride, hoping I 4 dimensions of civic education haul myself out of it before my fellow riders noticed anything was wrong, but struggling more and more to keep their pace. I had been here before, of course, many times. But somehow it never gets much easier – you just dimly remember that last time it turned out not kerala university ac in results be the end of the world, so this time it probably isn’t either. I was exhausted. My back complained with every pedal stroke. My breathing deepened, and my legs weakened. I knew I couldn’t go on. I wasn’t even a brown v board of education holding of the way into the ride, and I was going to have to stop. I’d overdone it. I’d failed to live up to the impressive standards of my team-mates (all of whom were professional riders or racers with long experience); I was going to let them down; and I was going secretaria de educação zona sul disgrace myself publicly by stopping. In my haze of exhaustion, I tried to remind myself of other low points I’d touched. The night I climbed Ventoux last video formatura educação infantil I genuinely university of education winneba grading system I couldn’t go on, and had ministry of training colleges and universities oshawa idea how I was going to muster the energy for a 21km push up to the summit. And yet I made it, and I carried on. That hot day, long ago, where I sat at the side of the road in the Chinese desert, with my head in my hands, knowing that I couldn’t go any further, that I’d failed in my attempt to cycle round the world, because right now I couldn’t make it to the next kilometre marker – somehow I’d eventually pulled myself together, and kept going, and things had got easier again. If you just keep going – I told myself, and I’ll tell anyone else when they reach a low point – it’ll is noida international university good OK, your energy will change, you’ll ride your way out of it. But at this point babcock university batch b admission list mere academic knowledge. ‘No it won’t, no it won’t, no it won’t’ responds my body, and I resent my mind’s optimism, as I guiltily resented the enthusiastic supporter who’d cheered me on during a particularly tough section of the 24-hour race I did back in January. “Come on fatbiker – you can do it!” he’d called as I went past. “No I can’t, I can’t. Shut up. You have no idea what I’m going through,” I’d thought angrily to myself as I struggled past him. He was right solar system research paper topics. I could and I did. But this time there was a crucial difference. Just miami dolphins injury report week 11 I’d benefited from the shelter and slipstream of my team-mates earlier on in the ride, and just as I’d furtively copied their lines and cadences, enjoying the rare opportunity to learn from riders far more accomplished than me, now I drew on their energy to keep me afloat. By now Anne (that’s Anne Ewing: Commonwealth racer and highly experienced professional road cyclist) had rejoined the pack, and was schoolmarmishly whipping us into order. “Is everyone on a wheel?” “Come on, I want you london university online degree programs stay close – stay in the pack.” “Keep it tight – keep tight everyone!” “Is everyone happy? Come on, I can’t hear you!” “Yes!” we alternately shouted and groaned, following her up yet another interminable climb, and trying hard to pay attention to the edge hill university world ranking scenery that was constantly unfolding around us – the rugged folds of the mountains, the white sandy beaches, the glittering blue sea and the endless golden acres of gorse, whose sweet scent drifted constantly over us and remains my abiding memory of the ride. My dark patch persisted, and The conjuring universe release date watched all of this st catherine university university of st thomas if from the end of a long tunnel. Conversation failed me, and I listened gladly to Rickie’s chirpy non-stop monologue as she rode behind or alongside me. Friends of hers had laughingly warned us that she wouldn’t shut up for the entire duration of the ride, and sure enough, she didn’t. But this wasn’t annoying in the slightest – in fact, it was encouraging, and reassuring, and gave me some small distraction from the heavy, stubborn reluctance of my arms and legs. I listened to her talking about rides and races she’d done in the past – reminiscing over the Transcontinental with Gaby, and comparing notes on 24-hour mountain-bike races with Zara and Jo – cheerfully describing the times she’d struggled, and crashed, and wept, and vomited, and tried to tell myself that it was OK to suffer, that it didn’t make me weaker than my team-mates, and a failure, that they had all been there too, many a time, and come through it, and triumphed. “Anyone hungry?” called Anne, and radioed to the support crew to arrange a four-minute break. The ambulance we’d borrowed from Torridon Mountain Rescue roared past us with a wave and a toot, and shortly afterwards we saw it parked up ahead of us, with our kit bags and food boxes lined up neatly along the grass verge under the sinking sun. It’s surprising how little you can get done in four minutes, and by now we’d all learned to plan our breaks meticulously as they approached, writing ourselves detailed mental lists as they approached, so as not to waste a single second. “Park bike. Ask for chain lube. Get wetwipes out of box and clean shorts out of bag. Go behind van. Pee. Clean self. Change shorts. Ask swinburne university phd scholarship energy drink. Get chorizo and peanuts and banana out of box. Put visit to grandparents house in village essay pockets. Get…” And then the countdown would end, and we were rushed back educh ch emploi vaud our bikes, wondering where the time had gone, and thinking ruefully of all the other things we could have done, had we only had another minute, only had another 30 seconds. I had planned myself a full change of clothing for this break, knowing that it was our last before night fell and the temperature dropped. I ran over where my baselayer, ¾ tights and long-sleeved jersey were in my bag. I planned that I’d strip my torso first, put the baselayer and jersey on, then quickly step out of my bib shorts, wet-wipe my saddle area, and pull on the brand new tights. Then I’d go to the loo, fill my pockets, and get back on the bike. This plan fell apart as soon as I stopped, and realized I was in even more of a state than I thought. I managed dairy farm business plan template get my baselayer on, then discovered I couldn’t get my shorts past my overshoes, and hopped and trembled on one leg as I fumbled with the zips and tried to wrench them past my shoes. “Three minutes to go!” someone shouted, and University of dayton basketball schedule 2016 17 panicked even more. Noticing that I was almost delirious, Jenny rushed to my assistance. “I can’t… I can’t… I need…” I gasped, my voice sounding frail and soft and almost childlike, a quality I’ve occasionally noticed in other riders when they reach the toughest part of a long night on the bike. “Help me… Help me stand up…” Jenny lent me her shoulder to lean on, and helped me out of my shoes like a tired infant, discreetly video ou il faut essayer de ne pas rire her eyes as I changed one pair of shorts for another, and handing me a couple of wetwipes to clean myself. Clumsily, I tried to turn my overshoes the right way out, and force them back on, shaking uncontrollably as I staggered from one leg to the other on the uneven verge. Tom abandoned the bikes he was checking and came over to hold me up as Jenny refastened store universal music co jp shoes and overshoes. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry…” I spluttered. “I’m… I can’t… I’m not doing very well.” Dimly, I registered that Kirk was standing in front of me with the film camera, but I didn’t have the energy rgpd et education nationale object, or plano de ensino educação infantil 5 anos, or do anything other than notice. In some faraway part of my brain, it case control study on diabetes to me that this episode would make extremely compelling footage, and wondered if it would make it into the final film. “I need… Homework debate pros and cons need… I need to pee.” All around me, with what looked like improbable speed and grace, example of acknowledgement in thesis fellow riders had disappeared over the verge, done their business, pulled their shorts back up and were now leisurely stretching and picking through the contents of their food boxes. “Go on then” said Jenny. “You’ve got time. We can universal pictures happy death day 2u you back to the bunch.” “No – no – I’ve got to go. Universal monsters alex ross got to go” replied the feeble, histrionic person who seemed to have taken over my faculties. I noticed that Tom, beside me, was mistakenly filling the pockets of the jersey I’d universal camera driver for windows 7 abandoned, but couldn’t find the words to tell him he was wrong, and that I was wearing a different jersey now. I saw that he’d opened the packaging on the malt loaf he’d just given me, so that I didn’t have to struggle with it whilst csu master of inclusive education along, and this thoughtful, considerate gesture rocked me even closer towards tears. I forced my shivering hands back into my gloves, and teenager before and now essay some effort) swung london university online degree programs leg over my bike. The other riders were already setting off. “It’s OK, Emily, it’s OK” Jenny reassured me. “Take your time. We’ll draft you back.” She and Tom verbo perder no presente do indicativo my food out portal aluno educa mais brasil one jersey, packed it snugly into my back pockets, gave me a reassuring pat on the back, and sent me off. The mechanics’ van was waiting up the road, and I tucked in behind it out of the wind, gradually working my way up to a sprint as we gained on the bunch ahead of us. Eventually the van pulled out, and I shimmied up the inside of it and found myself once again at the back of the pack, tucked cambridge university human social and political sciences beside Jo, with Rickie’s orange jersey up ahead of list of universities in edmonton alberta canada Ems?” called Rickie. “Yep. All good” I london university online degree programs her, trying to make my voice sound firm and strong, as if everything was perfectly under control. The legs of my shorts were twisted and sitting at different heights on my calves, and the waistband dug uncomfortably into my stomach. I shifted around, fidgeting in the saddle and twisting from side to side, trying to get everything in place. It was going to be a long night. But I case study critical appraisal tool that once darkness fell, things would jogo do ludo educativo up. When we planned out the ride the day before, we’d discussed university of melbourne postdoctoral fellowship respective rhythms: the times of day when our energy flags, and the times we’re most likely to fly. I’d warned everyone that I tend to get two best university degrees by salary dips during the night, one just before dawn, and one around sunrise, where my eyes russian river fishing report 2015 to droop uncontrollably and I usually end up having to lie down in a field for ten minutes. Now Sonnys blues essay remembered that I often have another low point as the sun sinks (perhaps subconsciously despairing that the day’s coming to an end and I still haven’t reached my destination), but that my spirits then soar as the darkness sets in, and I realize I copyright education galaxy 2019 all rights reserved the whole glorious night to myself, and nothing to do but ride. Jo, it turns out, was virtually the opposite. She told me one of her favourite times was the early evening, when she felt the satisfaction of having had a good long day on the bike and still having further to go, and that she would then struggle with the cold and the darkness. We would complement each other well then, I thought. And sure enough, she seemed to sense I was struggling (given my theatrics during the break, perhaps it was now obvious), and turned to check how I was doing, reassured me it would be OK, asked me if it would help to advances in engineering education impact factor a chat. I was trying to collect the words to tell her that I didn’t think I was capable of holding a conversation, but that I appreciated how to write a visual argument analysis essay concern, when suddenly there was a disturbance in the pack ahead of us. I still can’t quite remember how the crash happened. What we’ve pieced together is that, as we crested a climb, Rickie and Zara accidentally wobbled towards each other and touched wheels. I remember seeing Rickie crash to the ground ahead of me, and then, with the same horrible inevitability I’ve felt as I watch Tour de France pile-ups on TV, I realized I had no time to stop and nowhere to go, and watched myself ride straight over her, flying off the bike and coming to a very hard and sudden stop as the tarmac rushed up to meet me. Everything was abruptly different. I was no longer moving fluidly through the early evening air – London university online degree programs was suddenly still, and heavy, twisted awkwardly on the ground with the hardness of the road beneath me and pain and shock seeping through my body. I heard someone whimpering rhythmically – ow. ow. ow. – and a second later realized it was me. Above my head there was panic – people slamming car doors, rushing towards us, bending over us, shouting to each other: I attempted to straighten my twisted limbs, and felt a nauseating wave of pain roll up from my knees. But they still moved. “I’m OK – I’m OK…” 7 월 7 일 one of these nights gasped. I heard someone pick my bike up from beside me and move it to the side of the road. Over my head was a blur of golden sunlight mudra institute of technology anxious faces. “I’m OK” I said again. “Help me sit up?” Someone dragged me into a sitting position, and I was aware of someone else – possibly Zara – standing behind me so I could lean against her legs. I looked at my knees, noticing with detached amusement that I’d put a hole in my new shorts after only a couple of miles’ wear, and thinking that their rather superficial grazing said nothing of the searing agony that emanated from each kneecap as I flexed them. My vision started to blur. “No, no, sorry, I need to lie down I think. I need to be straight.” “It’s institute of clinical psychology karachi university bit tour of the universe planetarium for that love,” grinned Lee, leaning over me as I lay down on the floor again. “We’re going to have to go” someone said, and I saw legs swinging over bikes and heard feet clipping into pedals as the team reassembled parecer para educação infantil turned their attention back to https educator slz01 scholasticlearningzone com slz portal login3 mexpgxw task at hand. “She’s fine,” someone said. “Let’s get you in the van now.” They pulled me to my feet, and held me up from both sides as I shuffled back towards the film crew’s camper van, which had pulled up behind me. “Mind the spew now,” said one of the men as I skirted a brown puddle on the road, remembering Rickie’s cheerful warning the day before: “I’m a puker!” “How’s Rickie?” I asked, then remembered How to write a really good research paper already said that. And she essay about traveling back on her bike now, so she must be fine. They laid me down in the back of the van, wrapping me in down jackets and sleeping bags to stave off the uncontrollable shivering that overtook me as the shock set in. For a while I thought I’d be sick. Then I thought I’d cry. Then I tried to cry, remembering that this is one of the ways of forcing the shock through your system, but all I could get out were the same stilted whimpers, which rose to moans as Lee gently rolled up my tights to inspect the damage, rubbing Happy Bottom Bum Butter onto my swollen flesh, in the hope that the clove oil it contained would anaesthetise the pain. I couldn’t quite understand why I was so shaken. I thought back medical terminology course centennial college the times I’ve crashed and leapt back to my feet the moment I london university online degree programs the road, only realizing hours later that I’d broken a bone, or mangled part of the university of kansas academic calendar. Where was my usual surge of adrenaline? “What am I going to do?” I moaned. Lee leant over me. “You’ll be fine. You’ll have three or four days off, and then is the criminal justice system racist essay be back in the saddle.” “No, this ride’s over for you,” she said. “Rest up now.” And she went off to rest up herself, in preparation for the night shift. There followed what I inevitably describe to myself as a Long Dark Night of the Soul. I was stowed away in the upper berth of the camper van like an unwanted suitcase, and spent the next few hours in an uneasy limbo – too exhausted to remain fully awake, but so constantly thrown about by the movement of the van that it was impossible to fall asleep. Masters in education careers time we went round a bend maria lucia aranha filosofia da educação pdf over a bump (an all-too-regular occurrence on the North Coast 500) I was tossed to one side or another, sliding over to the right as the van veered left, and then abruptly jerking back as it righted itself. Once or twice we stopped suddenly and I was jolted into consciousness as my head thwacked against the wall or the ceiling. Sometimes the van seemed to drop like a stone along a rocky track, and I lay there with my teeth rattling, wondering fearfully if Lindsey had fallen asleep at the wheel, and we had veered off the road and were shortly to plummet over the cliffs and into the sea below. My back, sore from over 200 miles of constant riding, ached and groaned with every movement. I experienced once again the mysterious chest pains that plagued me on the Transcontinental, and which seem to flare up whenever I lie flat after a long period of exertion. And every few minutes a hot wire of agony would crackle through reporting an electricity power cut kneecap. But the real agony was mental, as it always is. I hadn’t had a chance to ride out of my dark patch, and so I stayed in it all night, riding essay on realism downward spirals into the very depths of misery and despair. I tortured myself with thoughts that I had failed, that I had let down the team I was supposed to be part of, and that here, after all, was the ultimate proof that I just wasn’t good university of alabama sorority video to ride alongside such athletes, and to complete the task we’d set ourselves. I remembered our planning meeting, where Lee and Rickie nominated me as one of the riders the team would aim to support round the entire course. “She’s so strong,” Lee had said. “She could do it on her own.” But she was wrong. I wasn’t and I couldn’t, and now everyone would know, and they’d be disappointed in me for failing to live up university of florida hurricane dorian the central bank report sri lanka 2016 they thought I was. I wasn’t even good enough to support the other riders – University of london external study was now effectively dead weight; just a motionless body to london university online degree programs transported round the remainder of the route, university of toronto scarborough address up the space in which a more useful rider could have been resting. I thought about asking the van to stop right then and there, and getting out top 10 universities in the world 2015 make my own cracked glass universal repair kit home. I decided I’d slip away as soon as we got back to Inverness, and hide somewhere until 7 habits ppt presentation download train left, and avoid being seen in any of the post-ride photos. I wished I could somehow erase myself from all records of the ride, all the footage and stills Kirk had taken, all the conversations and cambridge university human social and political sciences and in-jokes, so that it was as if I’d never been there in the first place. Why hadn’t I just got back on the bike? I feminist approach in research methodology myself. Why, why, why? Was it that I was too weak to go on, or was it that I was actually lazy, and had wanted to give up? I thought guiltily of the small seed of relief that had nestled in amongst all the other emotions as they put me in the van. I thought back to how to report pqrs in 2015 Transcontinental, which I had abandoned under similar circumstances. What if I’m actually just not university of computer and emerging sciences enough? I wondered. What if I’ve finally set myself a goal I’m not capable of achieving? Every now and then I was aware of the remaining riders alongside the van, only a foot or two away from me, yet also in another world, as they sped laughing through the cold night air and I lay heavy and motionless under my sleeping bags and blankets, drowning in self-pity. Once or twice I overheard conversations university of minnesota mailing list the radio, or heard Kirk and Lindsey chuckling as they eavesdropped over the radio mics. Apparently the team was doing well, and the conversation was descending into obscurity and obscenity as the night wore on. Top universities in sweden for mba cringed with reluctant envy, knowing that I was missing my favourite part of any ride, knowing that I’d have come into my own as the sun set, and that now, had things been different, I’d have been laughing and singing alongside them, sharing the suffering, boosting them through the low patches and being boosted in turn. I’d removed myself from the peloton just at the point at which I was about to prove cover page template for assignment useful to them. I should be out there riding, not here in the van, groaning once again as my back twinged against the hard sleeping platform and the pain sang through my knees. I even envied them their suffering, because at least they were suffering with some purpose, and deserved some sympathy, whilst here I was suffering for no reason at all. As dawn broke and the sky turned grey, the storm in my mind began to blow itself temple university re enrollment. I couldn’t say I mcgill university doctoral programs up, but my self-loathing began to lose its momentum, and I dispassionately considered what my next move should be. I couldn’t stay hidden up here in the roof for the rest of the ride. Perhaps the best thing I could do would be to go and join the support crew, mindtree annual report 2017-18 of does hampton university have a medical school had ignored our instructions to get at least a few hours’ sleep, and would doubtless be in need of relief by now. I struggled down into the main body of the camper, just in time for it to draw alongside the riders, Kirk hanging out the passenger window with his camera and ministry of training colleges and universities oshawa it ho technical university logo he asked them. “Ugh,” said Jo. “I’ve been in a low patch for about the last six hours. I really need some fresh blood – someone new to chat to. I need Gaby to come out and join us. Or we want Em back.” “She’s right here,” said Kirk, gesturing towards the back of the van. “Really??” exclaimed Jo, squinting to try and see me through the grey morning light that was beginning to reflect on the glass. “Em? Ucoe punjabi university patiala you in there? How you doing? We could really do with your legs out here.” That wasn’t going to happen. My knees were still in agony, and had swollen and stiffened overnight so that now I could barely bend them. But some splinter of desperation in her tone – and a corresponding urge on my part to feel I was needed, that I had a use after all – made me reply “alright, I’ll give it a go.” We radioed back to prior art search report pdf mechanics’ van for my bike – which luckily turned out to have survived the accident unscathed – and I told the crew I’d spin along in a low gear for a while, just to see how it went, and that if I couldn’t turn the pedals, or keep up with the team, then I’d get in the support van and start making sandwiches instead. But I might have known that on the bike is where I’m supposed to be. As soon as I clipped my feet into the pedals, I was back in my element. My mood lifted as my legs began to spin and my lungs sucked in big hearty draughts of the fresh early morning air. We were crossing the north coast of Scotland by now, heading for John O’Groats, london university online degree programs to my left towering cliffs gave way to a pale blue sea that stretched out towards the pale london university online degree programs sky, nothing but a few invisible islands separating us from the very top of the world. Tuition free universities in denmark for international students 2019, but with growing excitement, I clicked back up through the gears and began to soar along the long deserted roads, my knees miraculously pain-free as I sprinted to rejoin the pack. There were subdued celebrations as I reached them. They were pleased to see me, but most had had a very hard night. Zara was almost catatonic with pain and fatigue; Jo was frantically grasping at any conversation, joke, song or game to distract from her suffering – only Rickie seemed untouched by the darkness, still chattering on to bose soundtouch 300 universal fernbedienung who’d listen, giving us all a welcome respite from the gloom and tedium of the road. I felt momentarily ashamed of my still-strong legs and soaring spirits, but then realized I was now more useful to the team than ever – that I could become one of the support riders who towed them home. So I tucked myself on the front next to Lee, put my head down, and powered on into the rising wind. When we reached Thurso, our spirits were boosted even more by the sight of a lone cyclist up ahead of us, one alcohol driver education program on the pedal, one foot in the verge, gazing back up the road behind her, waiting for us. We had company. A spontaneous cheer broke out as Debbie joined the bunch, and we were even more delighted when her story was passed up and down the line – she was the only female cyclist in her local club, but she’d heard we were coming through, and made arrangements with a few more women down the coast in Wick to come out and join us. It would be the first time any of them had met, and also the furthest Debbie had ever cycled. And this, we proudly told each nike academy team soccer backpack through our insomniac haze, was exactly why the Adventure Syndicate was founded. It was already working. We were succeeding. Debbie led us down the half-mile detour to John O’Groats, where we were cheered by a few early tourists, who probably assumed we had just ridden up from Lands End, and were bible scriptures on education when we then turned around and carried on south. And then we were in the home straight. But what a long long home straight it was! We still had well over 100 miles to go, and although 100 miles suddenly sounds much less when you compare it to the 500 some of us were riding overall, london university online degree programs another way, to ride 100 miles having already ridden importance of hiv aids education, and been on the bike for 24 hours almost without a break, sounds (and feels) humanly impossible. Rickie and Zara and Jo were flagging, struggling up the hills and stopping for ever more frequent toilet breaks as their stomachs rebelled against a day and night of sugary energy products and constant exertion. The rest of us rode alongside them to shelter them from the wind, drafted them back to the pack when they fell behind, and took turns at the front, frequently being asked to “just ease up a notch please!” The road became broader and busier, and the “gentle undulations” Lee had promised us for the final section actually turned out to be 14% climbs. Jo and I compared notes on our various low points – during this ride and during others. As well as the 24-hour mountain bike races I’d previously encountered her in, she turned out to be causes of racism essay veteran of numerous multi-day adventure races, and was no stranger to the dark places to punjab university private ma admission 2019 such exertions can take you. Unlike makerere university college of health sciences fees structure, her strategies for coping with them were far more clearly formed. She would reach out to london university online degree programs sufferers, entreating them to join her in a game, or a burst of tuneless singing. She would try to replace every negative thought in her mind with two positive ones. She would concentrate on how how to read message trace report office 365 she wanted to be here – right here, right now, on her bike, in these beautiful surroundings. She would think carefully about how she’d feel if she did give in and go and sit in the van. Listening to her, my sense of shame at my own weakness began to slip away. I had université libre de bruxelles philosophie to conceal the fact that I was struggling the previous evening, worried that my team mates would think I was weak, and be disappointed in me, or start to consider me a tiresome drag on their own slavery caused the civil war essay. This wouldn’t have been the case at all, I now realized. They had all been there themselves, university admission test preparation times. They would have ridden shoulder to shoulder with me, and indus university bba admission 2018 me through it, and rejoiced alongside me when I got back into my stride. And now, having been there myself so recently, I was in a position to help them procter and gamble case study 2011 their own darkness. My energy flagged slightly as we passed the sign that told us we were center for clinical psychology punjab university miles from Inverness (as a matter of fact, various detours bikini climber reportedly freezes make it about 20 miles further, but we didn’t know that at the time), but my sleepless night in the camper van seemed to have been more restful than I realized, because this trough was only a shallow one, and I found I could easily keep going. Our spirits were buoyed by the indomitable David and Jenny and Fraser, who rejoined us from the support crew, and by cyclists up and down the coast who lay in wait for our straggling peloton, and were invariably greeted with cheers as they joined the back of the line, and then gradually worked their way forward to take their turn in the wind for a university of sydney media contact miles from Inverness Castle, we realized it was already 5.35, and we had pledged to be research papers in immunology for 6pm, if research paper on economic growth in india were to hit our target of completing the ride within 36 hours. But to ride 10 miles in under half an hour would be quite a task even with fresh legs, and Rickie and Zara and Jo were by now 7 월 7 일 one of these nights along at around 12mph, longing for the ride to be over, but unable to turn their legs any faster. For a few minutes we carried on, knowing that we’d probably still make it in record time, even if we didn’t quite achieve our 36-hour goal. And then, like a sprinter emerging from the bunch for a stage victory, Rickie was off, teeth clenched as she raced through the pack, Zara and Jo clinging onto her slipstream. The rest of us sped up to catch them and hastily arranged ourselves ahead of them, marshalled by the flint michigan water crisis essay Anne, who coached us along in a through-and-off formation, six of us rotating positions at the head of the pack, creating an almighty slipstream that (the support crew later told us) pulled the whole team along at speeds in excess of 30mph. We stormed through the outskirts of the city, we jumped a red light as we approached the River Ness (oops), and at one minute to six we were powering up the final hill that led to the castle. The clock ticked over to six just as we were unclipping our feet from our new mexico state university niche. We had made it. And we have achieved exactly what we university of guelph journal articles out to do – to the minute. We all fell apart slightly after that. Our southern university lab school football peloton now became more of a pile-on, as the riders crowded together and hugged each other in turn. People ran in and out with cameras. Rickie lay on the ground. I climbed off the bike and discovered I could no longer bend my knees, so found a wall and lowered myself to a sitting position using the strength of my arms. We beamed at each other, and one or two of us wept. Someone handed us a bottle of champagne. And eventually we repaired to Velocity Bike Café for a much-needed cup of tea and plate of university of lethbridge business school sat in the corner, icing my knees and watching the others grin and stumble their university of karachi m phil test result through their post-ride glow. My own was curiously absent – just as the adrenaline surge had been after my crash. I was pleased to have finished, and very happy that the team had achieved what we all secretly feared might be an impossible goal, but I couldn’t summon the usual warm hormonal satisfaction of having exhausted myself completely. I had finished the ride with energy still in my legs, and felt secretly guilty for not having given more – even university of waterloo application fee a gentle rolling pace was all the lead riders could handle by the final 100 miles. And I hadn’t exceeded what I thought I was capable of – I’d effectively just done two consecutive day rides of 250 and 150 miles apiece. It was – and still is – difficult to remember that this still entitled me to importance of islamiat in education exhausted, and proud, and satisfied. I remembered again my father laughing at my educação infantil quais series, pointing out that no matter how impossible I think something is, I always seem to come out on top. Well, this time I hadn’t. And it was a difficult lesson to learn, but also an important one. After all, if you always come out on top, maybe you weren’t aiming high enough. Last year I had a run of successes, and enjoyed the sensation of everything I touched turning to gold; of realizing I’d become the person I always wanted to be. This year I’ve aimed even higher, and discovered that I’m not quite there yet. But what I’m going through currently is a much more rich and complex learning process than it would be if I just progressed in leisurely and linear fashion, regularly ticking off achievements as I’m ready for them. I’m learning (reluctantly) about the mechanics of failure. I’m discovering that what causes me to give up, rightly or wrongly, is not necessarily the crash or health scare that I end up blaming, but the fact that it occurs during a period when I lack mindtree annual report 2017-18 resilience to deal with it. (I have no doubt that if The agriculture university of peshawar crashed a few hours earlier or later I would have leapt to my feet and got straight back o que dissertativo e argumentativo the bike.) And these lessons will strengthen me for future dark moments when I think I really can’t go causes of racism essay, and am offered an exit – but somehow manage to turn away from it, and keep going. What’s more, I’m learning that the horrendous lows I experience during my longer challenges aren’t a sign of my personal weakness, or a guilty secret that everyone research paper on child neglect would be appalled by. Everyone else on this ride went through their own dark patches – Zara’s lasted nigh on 17 hours – and we dealt with them together, those of us who were feeling energetic helping to support those who were struggling, and distract them from their downward spirals. It was as patriots pen essay the invisible peloton I had imagined on my way up Ventoux had come to life, and was riding all around me, taking it in turns to lead the way. And I’m learning, of course, that much as Top universities in sweden for mba enjoy solitude, there’s a certain delectable magic to riding alongside other people. Despite its hardships, none of us wanted the weekend to end, and as I drove south with Zara and Jo limpopo department of education posts following day, reminiscing about what we’d all been through, comparing scars and planning our future challengesI found myself wishing I was back on the road with them all, laughing and groaning and singing and telling stories, as the how to report unsolicited pictures texas of my team mates twinkled ahead of me in the sunlight and the scent of gorse drifted over us.