Beautiful but dangerous, the Sirens of ancient myth lured sailors with their enchanting music and voices to wreck their ships and meet their doom on the rocky coast of their island.
Well, this beauty of the deep was nearly the ruin of me…and three of my bikes! Lured by the notion of doing a huge yet intricate work of Strava art, I was drawn irresistibly into a punishing 11-plus hours of riding (not including hours spent stopped at the side of the road, poring over my map). I suffered. And my bikes suffered.
Here’s a little write-up about the experience, which I penned before I downloaded my ride…
It’s 11:10 Sunday morning – some 28 hours after I rolled out of bed to start work on my Strava mermaid.
I got up just after 5 am Saturday, eager to get an early start. En route to the starting point, I got a flat – and then another – so I rolled slowly home on a flat rear tire to swap bikes and start anew. On bike #2, I got a puncture at exactly the same bend in the road, so on a flat rear tubular I rolled home again to once again swap bikes.
I was “third time lucky” with bike #3, but it was nearly 9:00 before I clicked “Start” on my Garmin and got underway.
The degree of detail called for a crazy amount of map-checking, dot-connecting and retracing routes, so it was a slow, slow go. In fact, when I called it quits well after dark on Saturday, I was only about three-quarters done.
On Sunday I was back at it by 6:30 am, and it was nearly 11 before I finally rolled up to the end point. (The freewheel bearings on bike #3 made quite a fuss for the last hour, but everything held together to the end. Phew.)
Although the road sections in my mermaid add up to 90 kilometres, she required far more biking back and forth between connecting points where the map didn’t cooperate. My total distance was actually more than 200 km, and my total moving time on the bike was 11.2 hours.
I haven’t downloaded her yet. I’m scared to. After all that time and distance (and all those mechanical issues), if she doesn’t turn out, I’ll go berserk!