Well, I am one week and 1112km into the Giro. I am also exhausted.
I did expect to have ridden further by now, but it hasn’t happened. Mainly it hasn’t happened because I have skipped some of the longest transitions, either by taking the train or getting a lift. So it isn’t the distance that is hurting me.
The last day and a half I have also been lucky enough to get my gear carried by the magnificent crew of grandtoursproject.com. Besides producing some stunning images and video for a good cause they have also been great to me, helping me out a huge amount with lots of things, so a huge thanks to all of them. That also tells me that it isn’t the weight making me exhausted.
Spending long hours riding on your own can also be exhausting, but I have spent the last couple of days riding with Keith (from grandtoursproject.com) and met dozens of people along the way. These guys, for example, gave waved down Keith, Francesco (who we had met on the road) and I to give us barbequed lamb and wine. So it certainly isn’t isolation that is exhausting me.
Could it be boredom? The course today went along a beautiful coast before heading inland for a series of short, sharp climbs to scenic villages set in gorgeous country. And then, after arriving at the finish, I was able to watch Adam Hansen riding through that same country leading up to a magnificent solo breakaway win. Adam is a guy I have always had huge respect for as one of the hardest men in the peleton, and I have followed his career for years. He is also a nice guy and occasional reader of this blog, so I was very excited to see him win on a tough stage in pouring rain. So it certainly isn’t boredom that is exhausting me.
No, what is exhausting me is simple lack of sleep. And the lack of sleep is just down to lack of time. Everything takes longer than it should, from the pizza that took 45 minutes to cook on Thursday to the check-in process that took an hour last night.
Each day there is something new, and there is usually a very good reason for it, but the end result is still that I am getting by on much less sleep than I think I need. And of course that slows down everything that I do, in a vicious cycle.
The good news though is that the country is still beautiful, the people fantastically friendly, the food delicious and the race exciting. So although I am exhausted, I’m having a great time!
Today is an individual time trial. The delays this morning were almost entirely mine, but the result is the same, I am late. I am hoping to be able to ride most of the course, but will soon see! You can follow my progress here.
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