DAY 114

DAY114:So today was quite the day. It started at 5:30 when my alarm went off, and after rushing around to eat breakfast, pump up my tires, change, and pack food for my ride, I finally scrambled out of the house and made it in time to meet everyone doing the BUPA ride at 6:30. It was a 140 km ride out to victor harbour, then we were gonna ride another 100 km back, so in total about a 200 km ride. There were probably over 8000 riders doing the BUPA ride and the energy was insane, jsut to be surrounded by so many other riders was so fucking cool. So after waiting 15 minutes for the late comers we set off. Eventually our huge group broke off, and I rode most of the ride with Biggi, Griff, and Anton. And for the first 80 kms it was just the best time of my life. Riding with three of the greatest guys I know, in such beautiful terrain, surrounded by other cyclists, and just flying across the land. I drafted behind the guys the entire ride and it just felt like we were floating across the roads. We kept catching onto trains of other massive groups of riders, and if I was in the middle it just felt like I was being pulled along. But after about 80 kms the inside of my left knee started to first feel sore, then it started aching, and then it become sharp pain. And for the first hour or so of it I didn't say anything, partly because I thought it would just go away, and partly because I knew if I did the guys would slow down or tell me to stop and I really just didn't want to. I was so addament about finishing this ride that I just gritted my teeth and tried to fight through it. But at about the 100 km mark, Griff, who was riding beside me could see me visibly grimacing and asked me what was hurting, and so I told him, and he told me to say something if it got any worse, and eventually it did get worse so we pulled over into a service station. I was still in denial and still thinking that if I jsut rested up a bit, and stretched that my knee would pull through and I could ride home. So I wasn't really too fussed about the fact that I was out in Victor Harbour 140 kms from Adelaide without a way home. But the guys had already decided for me that I was NOT gonna ride home and fuck up my knees even more, so they all whipped out their phones and started trying to find me a ride home. We had a few friends doing the ride who we thought had organized rides so they all started trying to message them up, and kept reminding me to stretch, sit down, eat, drink etc.. In essence they were just taking care of me way better than I knew how to take care of myself, and it seriously warmed my heart. I honestly just felt so terrible for derailing the ride, and causing them so much hassle. Because of me, we had slowed the pace way down and now we were stuck about 8 kms from Victor Harbour because I couldn't really peddle. We then decided that while waiting for people to reply, we would roll down to Victor Harbour and see if we could find our friends and maybe a cafe or somewhere to sit down. But I soon realized that even peddling on flats or downhills, barely pushing any power, still hurt my knee and so I started just peddling with my right leg, but just the motion of my left knee bending and straightening was causing it pain. And the guys could tell by how slow I was going and the look on my face that it was just not going well. Biggi even pulled beside me and said, "seriously Steph, if it hurts that bad, just stop right now, we'll figure something out, you don't have to keep riding." But instead, the guys just decided to all join forces and push me together. So they each had a hand on my back, and began pushing me the last stretch to Victor Harbour. I literally did nothing, all I did was steer and the guys did the rest. Those ten minutes were ten of the most helpless minutes of my life, but also the most beautiful minutes of my life. I felt helpless because I knew that without the guys I'd be utterly fucked, I wasn't even able to peddle my bike on the flats and I felt just so weak and useless, but on the other hand I felt so much love and gratitude that I couldn't help but grin.

Then just a few minutes after making it to Victor Harbour, we bumped into a big group of our friends, so we all decided to go to a cafe which served vegan food. I had eaten so much during the ride that I wasn't hungry at all but I was so keen to just sit down and rest my knee. And because the universe works in mysteriously wonderful ways, of course the guy we'd heard about who was driving back, Scott, was already at this cafe eating vegan burgers. So I asked him if I could hitch a ride with him back, and lucky for me he had one more seat available. So I spent the next few hours just chilling and trying to massage my knee and not thinking about how shitty the timing of this injury was. It's right smack in the middle of the TDU which is when the cycling in Adelaide is at its prime, but I mean everything happens for a reason. And who knows maybe after a good nights rest and icing, the pain will disappear as quickly as it appeared haha. I'm still not sure what it is, but I'm thinking the pain is tendonitis, from over training these past few weeks. I've just been doing a hectic amount of kms and hours on the bike because I've just been caught up in all the excitement here in Adelaide, and because I've felt fresh and stronger than I ever have. But I guess even if you feel as if your body can take it, sometimes the strain on your muscles or joints can be too much especially for someone who's only been cycling a few months. So I definitely have learnt my lesson concerning over training and I 100% need to start stretching and foam rolling. Anyways, after the guys got food, they met up with one of our other friends Adam, and they began the long ride back home. And I got a lift back with Scott and 3 other guys in Scotts Ute. I fell asleep on the drive home, and before I knew it, the guys were asking me what my address was so they could drop me at home so I wouldn't have to ride from the city. And after getting home, I showered, washed my sweaty gross kit, ate 3 bowls of cereal, then elevated my knee and listened to the Moulin Rouge soundtrack. I have to be honest, despite all the gratitude i was feeling, I was pretty bummed about my knee. I really wanted to be riding heaps these next two days since they were the final stages of the tour, and I was just getting a tad upset. But then Bonny and Margaux came home and brought me a choc and jam donut and it made me smile and have a sugar high.

Then Tim cooked up some delicious dinner, while the girls tried to sort out our wifi. We came home and realized that the wifi at our place wasn't working which was so NOT okay since we were planning on finishing moulin rouge tonight! And all three of us wanted to watch it so badly that we ended up buying a data package for our phones so that we could use it to create a personal hotspot to watch Moulin Rouge lol. And holy shit it was so fucking worth all the hastle. I cried at the end, and ah it was just so amazing. Seriously one of my all time fav movies now. And after it, we were all just feeling so sad, so I made myself a few heaping bowls of cereal, then we decided to watch the OC since the girls said they loved it and since I'd never seen it.

And now I'm going to bed, and going to just take it easy tomorrow and rest my knee. Gonna do zero activity and just sit on my ass and eat all day.