I spoke to Robert at 10.00am (his time) on Day 10.
He has exactly 48 hours to get to the finish control before he is classed as DNF. His Garmin is showing that 1500kms (950 miles) stand between him and his 3-digit IBA membership number.
He tells me that my advice “DO NOT FUCK THIS UP”, is the only thing in his mind.
There will be no more bonus collecting (other than the sleep bonus this evening), there will be no more detours, there will be no more chances taken.
A nice straight forward 1500kms ride over 2 days to glory …….
He is nearly there …..
BUT – he has been on the road for 9 days and he has had constant issues. 950 miles over 48 hours is normally “a walk in the park” for IBA riders and for Robert in particular. This will be the most difficult and fraught 1500kms he has ever ridden.
In 2011, I was 600 miles from the finish. I had 30 hours to do it. I could already “see” the “ticker-tape” parade awaiting me ……
Then I ran into the worst sand storms Arizona had witnessed for 50 years and my world collapsed around me. Fortunately, I managed to get my bike going and limped over the finishing line with around 4 hours to spare ….
And that is what the IBR does to you. Like some beautiful siren, it suckers you in. It lets you believe that you have the measure of it …….
THEN IT KICKS YOU FAIRLY AND SQUARELY IN THE BALLS !!!!!!!!!
So, wish him luck and keep posting those comments (he reads them all)