Friday, 12 October 2007

the night before race night

that bit if the night that is only left to anticipation. there's no more training to be done, no excuses to be made that'll make the time go easier. we have the organisation down now, just a matter of packing the van and getting the back upbike to the shop for some last minute adjustments.

cycle round a forest for twenty four hours in the dark in scotland. in october? there's something wrong with you they say. but not as wrong as when i tell them this is just preparation for the race in january which'll be much, much harder. i was at that course on tuesday. i wish i could've had T with me to see the trees, an autumnal riot, the west coast is spikier, more coniferous.

my dad has this strange idea that i'll be trying to win, which cracks open old hurts from way back when i actually was winning in other sports. he has no conception that this isn't about winning, just finishing. that those night time sufferings are not about competing, but self abnegation, of revelation, in a space where out in the darkness there really is only you and you're never closer to yourself. and then that wild and crazy doing something wilfully daft just for the sake of it. there are no books here, no strategy, no philosophy. but he's from a different generation, a different mindset and can no more understand what i'm about than me him

i can't wait to hear to hear the sound (more of this on the forthcoming post about sound) of the cyclists, the noise of the chains, a hundred breaths drawn together, the sound of the trees in wind at night time, the ben looming above in the darkness.

it could be colder, i'm afraid of cooking but no moon means no frost. and mud. i'm worried about some of the technical sections, i'm worried about falling, though the fall a couple of days ago wasn't so bad (tho the bruise is worth a picture!). how many laps? who can say? so long as i'm not last!

last race of the year. can't wait!

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