Saturday just gone was the one week to go mark until I line up on the (sort of) start line in Tyndrum for the Highland 550 (HT550) bikepacking race.
I’m now moving into the final stage of big ride preparation, acceptance. Prior to this was a phase I like to call- Total kit-paranoia breakdown. This is the final stage of what I believe is a five-stage process that looks like this ↓
- Race entry stage (This includes a subset of the grief process- Denial, Anger, Depression, Bargaining, Acceptance)
- Bitter/sweet melancholy stage- entry has been accepted! Oh god! Entry has been accepted!
- Survival phase– the kit review begins, what do I need?
- Total kit-paranoia breakdown stage– What am I doing!? Why have I purchased these things!?
- Acceptance stage (again)
I’m just about coming out of stage 4 and sashaying into stage 5. Don’t get me wrong, this has not been easy, as stage 4 went on for quite a while. I’ve had a list of things that I need to get running through my head, as soon as something pops in I get it down on the list. This has usually happened when I’m out riding and I’ve begun thinking how I’m going to feel when riding day after day, and I just think of something that may ease the suffering. Or I’ll think “do I really need two sets of gloves? Surely I’ll either have cold hands or I won’t so I may as well just take some big gloves which I can throw on if my hands get really cold”. And so it goes, on and on…