Jo Burt's Pre TAW Thoughts - Kinesis Bikes
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Jo Burt's Pre TAW Thoughts

Pre-TransAtlanticWay Thoughts by Jo Burt


I have an incredible sense of calm about me. Not feeling like I’m just about to throw up any more is helping. It is the day before the TransAtlanticWay, a 2500 kilometre self supported endurance bike ride in Ireland that starts in Dublin, heads north to Derry and then follows the entire crinkled wrinkly hilly western coastline of the island to finish in Kinsale just south of Cork.



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I am calm because there is nothing more that can be done. All of the planning and training and getting bits and setbacks and more training and the event constantly gently ticking away occupying a part my head for the last couple of years, and all the general low level stress (with spikes that increased with frequency as the event approached) is over. All there is to do now is simply get on a bike tomorrow and pedal it for a bit. Riding a bike is easy. What unravels in the days which follow might not be so simple but we’ll deal with that as and if it occurs.

I have been feeling a little bit sick in thick waves because I am scared. This is the first time I have ever done anything like this on my own. I attempted the TransContinental race a couple of years ago with my friend Gavin and for reasons we had to give up about halfway. It was hard, there were times that I still find tricky to talk about but in the end it was wonderful and it convinced me that this was the sort of thing I wanted to do more of. So here I am. On my tod this time. Eeep.



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I have no plan as such, this is a very large step into the unknown for me so I don’t know how my body and head are going to react and I’m happy to ride the rollercoaster of effort, tiredness and emotions that this sort of thing clatters along on.

I have made notes of the route but I have no schedule or detailed spreadsheet, I prefer to ride by the seat of my padded pants anyway. The weather that this event and part of the world is famous for is going to play a large part and the forecast says rain from the off. Hooray. What I have learnt over the years though is that if you can keep moving forward and don’t fanny about too much then you’re probably going to do okay. Ride when you can, eat where possible, sleep when you have to...



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The TransAtlanticWay has an unique rule that aside from two days of their choosing riders have to take a mandatory rest stop of 3 hours in every 24. This changes things a lot in regards to this kind of ride and I plan to use this rule as smartly and tactically as possible. There are plenty of hotels and B&Bs along the way which might come in useful to get warm, dry and grab some quality rest and food Or I can just spend that downtime asleep in a ditch with a petrol station sandwich for breakfast.



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But I do intend to make progress at all times, the TransAtlanticWay is technically just a ride but people will be wanting to arrive at the finish first and I intend to make significant progress whenever possible. I don’t want to just get round, I want to do the best I can and I am ready to accept that finding the best of me might be unpleasant at times.



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There is another essay to be writ on why I need to do this. There is not finishing the TransContinental and a certain unfinished business, there is seeing how I cope with this on my own, there is having to back down last year, there are a thousand other reasons that might require a long spin on the psychiatrists couch which could be a bit much for now but buy me two beers and let’s chat... I will not be alone in this as every rider will have their reasons and their stories.



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I have complete faith in my bike and everything on it, I have ridden it so much it is like home and everything packed in it is tried and trusted, there is comfort in this familiarity, although I do have a brand new waterproof. I have never been to Ireland before so this is a good excuse to see a lot of it in one go, I hear it’s quite pretty, I’m looking forward to that. And realising why it’s so green.



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Jo Burt's Kinesis GTD - Fully Loaded.



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Jo relaxed and ready.



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The TransAtlanticWay is a self-supported 2500km race, from Dublin to Derry, then down the West Coast of Ireland.

For those dot watchers out there, track Jo Burt's TransAtlanticWay progress here: Follow Me



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