“Are you doing the Transcon? Here, have a thing.”
So word has got out that I’m aiming to do the Transcontinental next year and people here and there want to help which is all very nice and lovely, and also extremely welcome because I absolutely definitely couldn’t get there on my own.
But with that help, generosity and free stuff there comes a gentle pressure. A pressure to perform, a pressure to reciprocate, a pressure to deliver, a pressure to represent, a pressure to not fuck it up, a pressure to finish. And the 2017 edition isn’t even open to hopefuls yet.
If it was just me I could easily bumble along and if it all went wrong it would be okay, well, it wouldn’t but it’s easy to let myself down, I do it a small bit every day, I have a list of excuses to rely on. But now there are people believing in me, trusting in me, I can’t let them down. It’s hard to say sorry to someone else. Best ride some miles, get uncomfortable, get a train ticket a long way outside of my comfort zone and ride back.
But more important than all of this cloying self-obsessed, self-belief pondering, the muttering whimpering self-esteem picking at the fluff in my navel is that the Transconinental is now a reality. While it has been decided for quite a while that I want to do this, and there has been much lip-service, rides done already in test and preparation and large drawers in my brain are filling themselves with thoughts about it the Transcontinental has just been a faint nebulous concept up till now, and idea floating about somewhere over there, a way away, out of focus.
All of a sudden there is something in my hands that is a solid physical palpable manifestation of what is to come.
Things just got real. Shit.
Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he's not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for road.cc and when he's not doing either of those he's pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he's agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours don't He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.