This is happening. In less than nine hours.
‘Whether you have aspirations to race the Transcontinental or The Tour Divide, want to learn to ride back to back days by bike or already know how to bike pack and just want to meet and travel with like minded people, come to Spain with us. You won’t regret it. ‘
– The Adventure Syndicate
I’ve waited a year for this to come round, after first noticing The Adventure Syndicate’s camps in early 2018.
‘We encourage participants to learn from each other but also present in Spain and offering their brains for picking will be Lee Craigie, Jenny Graham and Rickie Cotter.’
On one level, I have no idea what I have signed up for. It feels an intangible thing. There is no specific itinerary. No formal GPX files. No specific target mileage, elevation or location. No journey to complete – or at least not an external one.
During our recent ski trip I sent my partner, Dave, a link to the gathering, smoothing the path for a potential solo holiday and in the hope he could support me in what I was signing up for.
‘I don’t really know what you’re signing up for,’ he said between slurps of over-priced alpine lager.
‘Oh. I see. Sure, I don’t know exactly what is going to happen or WHAT we will be riding. But I have to go, I think it’s the thing I’ve been looking for.’
Because, perhaps there’s something more important than numbers of miles or feet (although they will most certainly happen and be counted). There will mainly be pedalling and suffering. But I’m hoping for a chance to learn on a deeper level than what my average mph on STRAVA can teach me. Not just how many miles I can pedal but how I look after myself while I do it. How I can mine deeper inside myself and find different types of strength. And how I might find my tribe.
There’s less than six hours before I have to get up. The bike that I have been determined to take (the heavy one that is all business when it comes to technical terrain over the light one that would stand me the best chance of keeping up) is hunkered down in a kindly leant bike bag. I am on the limit for all my luggage, weighing each bag three times, terrified of running the gauntlet of Ryan Air’s luggage policy. In a way, I guess I am ready.