Dirty Reiver

‘Would you do it again?’ It was one of the first questions after completing this year’s Dirty Reiver. I didn’t think I’d do it at all, but there I was pondering the answer…..

I’m not one for events & races; I’m not particularly competitive and life has itself been challenging enough without burdening myself further. I may have missed the point though.

Challenging yourself presents opportunities for growth and not just within the boundaries of the challenge itself but across all areas of life.

When opportunities do present themselves I also don’t hang around. And so on a cold, dark, December morning when an email alerted me to the entries to the Dirty Reiver being open I immediately purchased an entry to the 65km route and did all the thinking afterwards.

It would force me out of my comfort zone, a solo ride, far away from home, gravel, lumpy bumpy and all that jazz…..

It gave me a goal, I rode my bike more than ever between December and April. I went looking for the hills and mini challenges in between. As the event drew close I knew I could ride the distance, the elevation was a worry but I was still going for it.

Dan had extolled the brutal beauty of the grassroots event and I headed to Kielder excited but a little apprehensive. The Dirty Reiver Website is full of useful information and lots of pictures of tall, white men in lycra – even though the website says it isn’t a race! What wasn’t in any of that information was a friendly, slow face, encouraging and reassuring less athletic riders. So nerves were understandable. I was brave and here is the video to prove it…..

Post Reiver Thoughts

Would I do it again……..

Yes: but not on my own. I would want to be a little faster and surer in my fitness but I would also want some buddies. If there is one thing the Bicycle Adventure Club has taught me….people are everything.

I have a new appreciation for the value of an external challenge as opposed to a challenge I created. Completing challenges redefines your capabilities and shows you who your supporters are and in life and, especially as I get older, I need to know who my team is.

A huge thank you to Dan & Becky for their support and to Mary for a spectacular bag of food, and to Soph of Wheels & Sneakers for training support & guidance, memes and peanuts

Thank you for reading

Sarah

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