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Our Road to Cape Epic has now reached its end and we’ve safely arrived back home in Australia with our families. What had been a year of anticipation and excitement now feels like a surreal memory. Sixty hours of travel time, 72 hours on the ground in South Africa, and now back home like it never even happened.
It’s hard to feel too sorry for ourselves in the broader context of what’s happening in the world, but we’ve been reminded that there’s no shame for us — or anyone else in similar situations — in feeling disappointed.
Disappointment was a fleeting emotion that stuck around for only a few moments. I’m thankful that I was given this incredible opportunity to have a reason to wake up at 5am to ride Zwift in the shed, even though I often didn’t want to. I dropped from an XL to a L jersey, which once seemed an impossibility. I rediscovered mountain biking. I made dozens of new friends. I got to see places in the world I never would have, through travelling to events leading up to Cape Epic. And my friendship with Alby has grown through this journey to us being lifelong mates. What do I have to be disappointed about?
In fact, my biggest looming fear was that once the Cape Epic is finished, what would come next? Will Alby and I ever get an opportunity like this again?
Cape Epic’s cancellation allowed me to reflect on this and highlighted that there is meaning in the pursuit. The end goal was only there to provide a focus. Otherwise all the preparation, sacrifice, good times and bad, would have been for nothing.
Finding enjoyment in the process is ultimately what it’s all about. If you don’t, then what’s the point? I suppose more generally it’s a metaphor for life.
I have to give my gratitude to all of those who enabled this journey. Through our Road to Cape Epic I saw how supportive Zwift was in wanting to see us succeed in our goal, and got to know the wonderful people who work there. Shimano stepped up and not only gave us the components, shoes and helmets we needed when we asked, but also did so unprompted. Giant bent over backwards to make sure we had the best bikes for the job, even though the bikes far outweighed our abilities. Rapha made sure that we never went cold, that we had the best kit available, and that we never once got a saddle sore.
A global emergency like the one we face gives us a glimpse into how fragile the world can be, and how quickly catastrophe can occur. I saw something on social media to the effect of “your grandparents were being sent off to war, and now you’re being asked to sit on your couch. You can do this”. Let’s all do our part of what’s asked of us and see a speedy end to this. Take care.