So as mentioned in my previous post, I have actually reached Nice after having traversed the Alps from the very east (Vienna) to the very west (Nice). In figures: 43 mountain passes (including the highest one in Europe, ‘Col de la Bonette’), approx. 42,000m ascent, and 2,150km.
15 days are lying behind me (instead of 20 as I initially thought I’d need). 15 days of continuously sitting on my bicycle. And I have to say: it all felt a lot “bigger” before I set off in Vienna compared to now that it has been done. Of course, this ride was anything but easy.
However, as soon as I found my daily rhythm and caught up the lack of sleep from the days before the start, it all went quite well.
If someone asked me to provide a couple of “wise statements”, I’d probably go for these two things that ran through my head several times during the past days:
– Enough sleep is crucial! Whenever I managed to get more than 8.5 hours of proper sleep, my legs felt good the next day, no matter how much I cycled the day before. When it was less, it all was a lot harder.
– And one thing I told myself quite happily on a regular basis as after a few days I realised that it’s really true: you don’t have to be the strongest/fastest/best cyclist on such a trip. There’ll always be better ones. It’s a lot more important that you act tactically intelligent: don’t use all your power in the beginning, but use it when you’re feeling good; take a break when you need it, but don’t forget to keep pushing once in a while to get over the harder moments. Don’t commiserate with yourself too much, sing a nice song to get your smile back again. And enjoy the beautiful scenery (if it’s not hidden by clouds 😉). This is what I mean about good tactics. And (at least that’s true for me): eat whatever you feel like – and a lot of it… I have no clue how many calories I burned, however, I know that I took in massive amounts of food every single day. Apparently it worked!
Well, and what really helped me a lot during all these days on the bike: knowing that it’s not just for my personal pleasure, but knowing that it’s all for a good cause definitely motivated me again and yet again.
So now that my tour has come to an end (kind of… see also the next post), it’s time for me to say thank you again for this overwhelming amount of money you’ve all given for my fundraising project. And it’s not over yet: if you still want to make a donation, it’s still possible (despite having exceeded the target already [again]):
Last but not least: my bike did an amazing job again. Did not think that it would go on such amazing trips together with me when I bought it in 2007.
Looking forward to the next adventures 😊 And thanks a lot for all your support!