By Andrew Dewhurst
The start line looms rather large…………
Three days out from the start of the BDO Wellington to Auckland Challenge and here come the nerves once again!
As mentioned in my previous blog, my build up has not been ideal. Work and life has taken over in the past few months and training has been sporadic and at times non-existent. This year on tour I hope to be the beacon for those who don’t have time to train but still wish to do these sorts of events! Either that or I will be an abject lesson in how to fail through lack of preparation!
The left quadriceps is not great, after 10 days off the bike I headed out rather nervously to the hills of the Waitakere’s for a familiar pedal over Scenic Drive. The first 45 minutes or so wasn’t too bad but then the tightness and ache returned and stayed with me for the rest of the ride home. So the Cadent has been sent off to Avantiplus for a service in preparation for Sunday and I have once again taken the option to ‘rest’ rather than further aggravate the injury ahead of the BDO itself.
I have also been very tardy in not organising my fund raising page but have done so at last. If you like the sound of contributing to a good cause and assisting Multiple Sclerosis here in New Zealand, please go to this page CLICK HERE and donate. Remember, the money is not going to me; I am simply a conduit by which you can all donate while supporting the BDO Challenge. This is truly a motivator for me so please support the MS cause if you feel so inclined.
Arrival into Wellington on Saturday will be a nervous time for many, myself included. I will disembark the plane from Auckland, carefully check the fragile cargo that is my Avanti Cadent and head to the hotel in Lower Hutt. The priority then is to reassemble the bike (that is about my limit for bike mechanics), go for a short pedal to ensure all is fine and then await our pre-tour briefing from Nathan, Stephen and the team.
It is about now that I have also started looking at the long range forecast, not that we can change it simply by knowing about it! Last year we were treated to beautiful weather the whole week, with headwinds on a couple of days but otherwise it was perfect. Yes, I will pack my wet weather riding gear, yes I will take some warm clothes and yes, I hope I don’t need any of them! But as last year’s BDO Challenge winner Gordon McCauley might say from his couch at home while he recovers from a badly broken leg – ‘harden up Dewhurst and get out there!’
I will once again have my good mate Jayson Ryan along as my ‘Manager’ on tour. Jayson donated his time to the BDO last year as driver of the lead vehicle throughout the week and will once again take on that important duty. More than that though, he provided (along with friend Kay who was there supporting her husband Rex) support to me during the week. Not everyone will have that luxury but trust me, if you are able to have someone there assisting you during the week it is gold. To know that all I have to focus on his riding, recovery and writing a few blogs and media reports along the way is massive. If you don’t have anyone to fulfil this role for you, see if you can adopt someone else’s support crew as your own – the camaraderie is such on the BDO that I’m sure someone will be willing.
So if like me you have run out of time to train – forget it. Anything you do in the final few days will count for nothing, just relax and ease into the week with that climb up the Rimutaka’s to get the juices flowing on Sunday morning.
I look forward to seeing you all on Saturday at the briefing and catching up during the week, if you are a first timer you are going to love it, those who are returning for more like me are proof of that!
Andrew Dewhurst is a freelance broadcaster and Director of Gracie Productions, a PR and Media Consultancy with clients including Triathlon NZ and the SKYCITY Breakers. Andrew is the football (Hyundai A-League and internationals) and tennis commentator (Heineken Open) for SKY Sport and was a key part of the team in London, calling amongst other things Lisa Carrington’s gold medal in the kayaking. Andrew also hosts Sport Lately on radio sport every Wednesday night from 8pm to midnight (www.radiosport.co.nz).