I have always had an interest in the Indian Pacific Wheel Race. I was also lucky that my family supported the crazy idea, and allowed me to take part in it. The journey wasn’t easy nor did I expect it would be, but spending so much time solo, gives plenty of time for reflection. These are some things I’ve learnt along the way that pretty much apply in any walk of life, adventure or journey.
And yes, while I have a captured audience – I’ll stand on my soapbox!
I’m not sure I can add patience to the list, that was always going to be a big ask, but I can say I was pretty good at not sweating the small stuff. I quickly learnt what was going to help me reach my goal and get to the end and what wouldn’t.
BE PREPARED – FOR ANYTHING!
Prepare for rain even when it’s sunny. Prepare mentally to be challenged and bloody hell, I was challenged!
Planning ahead and making sure you’ve got it covered is exhausting, but essential and can determine success or failure at every turn of Indipac. I thought I’d prepared my bike, but even the best prep can sometimes be not near enough. Although, I’m pretty sure I’ve killed a chinaman somewhere that I was unaware of.
GOOD THINGS DON’T COME EASY
Nothing about IPWR is easy – the length, the conditions, the solitude, the mishaps, nor the journey. But, it’s how well you deal with the unexpected that shows your integrity and resilience. Luck can only take you so far, the rest is entirely up to you and the amount of effort you’re willing to put in.
SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO WALK YOUR OWN PATH
I learnt this lesson on the Nullarbor – twice! When life throws you a curveball, accept it and change course.
My health was essential in reaching my goal of finishing and whether I liked it or not, riding solo became my new normal. It had always been what I’d set out to do, and I was comfortable
NEVER FAIL TO TRY MORE
There was more than one occasion I did think “what am I doing?”
My patience and mental strength were running thin, but my fear of failure was not. If nothing, I am determined.
BE FLEXIBLE WITH YOUR GOALS
When things don’t go to plan, make a new plan. Don’t lose sight of your goal, just re-think how you get there. If you can’t do it alone, get someone else to steer the ship until you can take control again.
EXPERIENCE THE JOURNEY
A wise lady told me to not focus so much on what’s behind me, it’s what is in front of me that counts, and she was right. It took me until the Alps to realise this.
To stop, look around, and notice I was in an amazing place and could hear nothing but my own thoughts. This would normally drive me bonkers, but not that day. That day, I learnt I was ok with nothing but me, and the world around me, and the thought that I can actually do this.
VALUE FAMILY AND FRIENDS
Make time for both and be available – of all the lessons I’ve learnt, this is the most important. This lesson cannot be overstated.
Twenty-six days of almost solitude gives you plenty of time to think and be grateful. Having a strong network of support behind me got me to the finish and I am not delusional about that fact at all. Everyone from my family to the dot watchers played a role in my success, and I thank you all.
That my friends is Indipac 2019.