The Taiwan King of the Mountain Challenge is looming ahead of me like the mountain in the mist that it is.
At 105km long, with an average gradient of 7% for the first 95, then kicking you in the face by leaping to 17% for the last 8km it is, quite frankly a ridiculous thing to even contemplate. And that's before you ponder upon the 27.7% ramp....
With a little over 12 hours until the 4am wakeup call it's all starting to seem very real. Claustrophobic in its closeness, we are all very aware of what's coming up, the jokes and banter are less frequent as the time draws near.
I've spent this week riding hills, getting dropped like a stone by Tiffany Cromwell of Specialized-lululemon, and having breakfast with Nicole Cooke. Frankly: it's frickin' awesome!
Tomorrow I pay the price, with interest.
I've managed to cram in about 200km of riding in the last few days, on smooth quiet roads, with views that are breathtaking, winding around banana groves, climbing up through mist covered forests. all in an attempt to burn off the cumulative effects of the Taiwanese hospitality industry.
The experience so far has been superb, I'm looking forward to being able to say that the race is too!