Cycling Holiday - Day 5 & 6. Southern Cross Station - Fingal/ Fingal - Geelong

In late April, I advised all my coaching clients that I would be winding down my business to take time out, which would be for the indefinite future.
Decisions like this to people outside can seem sudden and rash, with little thought or perhaps even regret.

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One day around the beginning of April, I was out riding my bike by myself, enjoying the simple act of pedalling and breathing for no other reason than for my wellbeing and love of cycling.  I was doing this often and have done so for many years, meditating and finding a state of flow where my thoughts quieten down and reach a state of peace.  Every cell in my body relaxes but simultaneously is buzzing with energy and hope, and most importantly, an inner glow some may call bliss or joy or happiness.  I call it peace.

This ride, on this particular day, I had reached that point, and thoughts were no longer bothering me, just floating past the front of my forehead like particles of air. Then a thought dropped in, right into the frontal lobe of my brain like a sign placard, and it said, “You can stop coaching now.” 

At first, I ignored it, as I was in that state of flow, and then I realised what I had allowed myself to think.  Hang on a minute. What did you just say? What would that do if I stopped coaching? So I explored the possibility. Venturing into all the scenarios of what this could look like and all the variations in between. Most importantly, how was this going to serve me or not? 

After about half an hour of exploring the ideas, I agreed to stop thinking about them. I kept riding, making a deal with myself to sleep on it for a day or two and see how it started to sit in my being, to allow more concepts or solutions to appear without me forcing it.

 

What would it do for me if I stopped coaching my clients?
I had to think about what I was struggling with, and it was a simple fact that I was mentally exhausted and out of alignment with my values and goals.

It is easy to coach athletes to be their best when you invest in the scheme, but what happens when you are no longer racing and have no desire to return? 

Coaching to me was never just a job, a way to make money. It was a passion and something that aligned with my ethos.  

Maybe even more so, who am I if I don’t race and if I don’t coach?
What does this mean for my identity? That sensitive thing called me EGO?

 

It was time to open up the conversation with Norm, my best friend and sounding board for all ideas, good, bad and crazy.

As soon as I told him, Norm said, “Then it is time to stop coaching. Do it.”

I spent the following two weeks working out how and when I needed to make this happen, and it was apparent I needed to make the call before this holiday.

 

I told my clients.

I chose an end date.

I just reinvented myself like that.

And it gave me so much freedom, just like that.

Then I felt my shoulders relax.

 

It is not often in life a real opportunity comes to listen to your heart, follow a new direction, and be open to the universe.
I am so lucky to have made so many fantastic friends from coaching and so many life lessons.

What I have learned in these past few years, especially these past 12 months, is that life can change just like that.
It does not ask you for permission to make it so. 
And you must evolve or be left behind with old thoughts and actions that no longer serve you.

It takes courage to change and to invite change.

 

What is next? 
Space and time, how lucky am I to have a pause?
It’s the best time to get back into my book. With 40,000 words already written, I have a good start.

Thank you for listening. Part of healing is sharing.


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Day 5 & 6 - Southern Cross Station to Fingal/Fingal to Geelong

107 km / 50 km 

Temp: 16 degrees on both days with rain and lots of wind

70% bike paths on day five, finishing with 30% bitumen roads. On day 6, we opted for 100% road.

619 VM gain / 86 VM gain

Moving time & Speed: 5 hrs and 19 mins / 20 kmph 

Total Time: 5 hrs / 1.5 hrs

Best Part: Getting to the end knowing we had a washing machine at our accommodation and finally the next day knowing we were home.

Worst Part: The ride on bike paths was enjoyable, but around 50km in, the rain started, and it then poured down hard. The actual worst bit was not getting wet but being on the Esplanade from Mount Martha onwards with traffic and no shoulder, then the next bit was Truemans Rd onto Fingal, just so many redneck drivers giving us grief.

Most Memorable part: Finally immersing ourselves in the first hot pool at Peninsula Springs and washing away our worries...ahhhh. 

 

Day 5. My STRAVA record of ride: https://www.strava.com/activities/5287961258

Norm’s Ride With GPS link to the ride: https://ridewithgps.com/trips/67184822

 

Day 6. My STRAVA record of ride: https://www.strava.com/activities/5293368766

Norm’s Ride With GPS link to the ride: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/36027647

 

Day 5

Coffee in Albury $10

Train snacks $10

Snacks along the ride $20

Accommodation package (inc Spa time) $500

Pizza at Peninsula Springs $30

Room Service $70

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Total for Day 5 $640

 

Day 6

Coffee in Sorrento $12

Ferry snacks $10

Buffet breakfast inc in accom. $ 0

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Total for Day 6 $22



Grand Totals for the week:

Distance 605.5km

Spending $1784.00

 

This worked out to be around $1.50 per km for each of us throughout our holiday.
Next time we would never book a special package deal at a bullshit fancy place. It was not worth the extra $$ at all.

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There is no way these final two days could top what we had experienced in the High Country.  We also knew what was to come, the bike paths from Melbourne we had ridden a few times before in both directions. We had been at the Peninsula Springs before many times. Caught a ferry many more and, of course, ridden all the variations of routes to get home.

So the WOW factor had now taken a back seat, and it was all about the riding, rewards and the ride home.

Oh, that damn train trip from Albury to Melbourne. 

Four hours of sitting still in a train carriage was not a great idea upon reflection. 
Norm and I used this time instead to discuss our future trips. 

Our legs ached from sitting, and by the time we reached Southern Cross Station, I was yawning.  We got rolling out at 11:00 am and rode up Collins Street and then right at Swanston and then onto the Main Yarra Trail, onto Gardiners Creek Trail and so on.

Norm was stomping, and I was just pedalling.  It was one of those mornings where my brain was switched off, and all I could do was ride without any genuine enthusiasm.  Eventually, I recognised I should eat and needed a Redbull or something hardcore with caffeine.

It took 40 minutes to get some zing in my efforts, but I felt amazing as soon as it started to rain.

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The rain meant mud and grit as we had to ride on the Mornington Rail Trail, and there was plenty of it.  Now we were wet and dirty.  But it was plenty of fun.

As we entered onto the Esplanade at Mount Martha, the following section, until we exited the underpass of Safety Beach, was only 8 km. Still, it felt like running the gauntlet with no shoulder, wet weather, wind, and impatient drivers.

The following 14km, we were fully exposed to the wind and rain, but we had a shoulder to ride in, so Norm sat on, and I pushed as hard as I could.  

We had a 5:30 pm booking at the Peninsula Springs, washing to do, and bikes to clean, not to mention a nice long hot shower to get clean.  We were now ‘on the clock’.

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For those that have stayed at Moonah Links resort before, you will know of the short steep rolling hills of the entry road. It was the funniest way to be handed the final bit of hurt, knowing that tomorrow morning, this would be the start of our ride too—beautiful use of the landscape, not ideal for loaded cyclists.

 

The reception staff were really helpful, we were soaked and dirty, and we were assured we had a washing machine in our apartment, as well as a lift to the springs at 5:30 pm, and we could put our bikes in our room. 
More expensive accommodation often seems to allow your bike in your room.  
Our bikes we super dirty, so thankfully, we had a balcony where we offloaded the bags and emptied our gear, trying to dry everything and wash all that we needed before we left for Peninsula Springs.

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We felt a lot of pressure to get to our booking, but we both agreed it was a great way to finish our trip once we immersed ourselves in the first hot pool. 
Our final few hours spent on Spa time, then back to the accommodation, some room service and then bed before the last jaunt home tomorrow.

We awoke to rain, light, but none the less it was raining.  We made good use of the buffet breakfast and then got on our way home.  We planned to get coffee in Sorrento and then hop on the 11:00 am ferry to Queenscliff.  As we discussed our trip home, we changed our plans and went for the most direct route with the least distance.  Initially, our course was on the Bellarine Rail Trail to follow the theme of using bike infrastructure, but we were rained out, ready to be home.  

With the wind and rain hammering us, it took 1.5hrs to get home, with a distance of 33km.

These final two days were my idea, to tack on a bit of a reward at the end. But now we both agree that we would choose to either partially commute from Albury to another destination and keep riding two more days, or ride from Albury and then aim for another train trip to finish off. For example, ride to Bendigo and commute via train from there.

The Mornington Peninsula seems to be full of angry car drivers, and we have ridden it so many times that we didn’t fully appreciate the experience.

The most enjoyable part of our holiday was not about the destinations, but more about the utilitarian nature of using the bike and your own steam to get from town to town.  

Slow cooking, slow travel, same thing.  Digesting the journey slowly for optimum results.

Allowing you to remember small moments, what you were thinking, how you felt, where you were, what you saw, even what you smelt or tasted.

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I will remember this trip, and it has given us the momentum to book our next one.
July 2021.
We are flying into Sydney, riding out of the airport, and up the coast over nine days, 1000km and staying on the coast for three days and flying home from Coolangatta.

 

We hope this has inspired you to follow your dreams. xx

 

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