Suddenly realised that I’m still at a fifth of my target cycling capability. Not feeling so smug anymore. His a fifth? Well, current capacity is about 5 days consecutive riding for 60 something kms each. Target is 10 consecutive days – that doubles it – and about 130kms a day – another double, so quadruple of current. Add another portion of current capacity for all the climbing that I’ll need to do some of those 10 days and we have the quintuple.

Not feeling good at all :(

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I posted the above paragraph yesterday while on tube heading to Bond Street for dinner. I had been thinking about the RAB for quite some time but had been scared of sharing the thought with anyone lest I jinx it. That’s exactly what I did.

I  mentioned the plan to a few people from twitter I met yesterday for the first time. Sometime during the meeting, the above thoughts struck me about how much more I needed to prepare before I was ready for the RAB. I was scared shit-less (thus the title).

Later, over dinner at the fabulous Le Renais D Venise, I shared my thoughts with Rags – in detail, including my broad training plan and how the realisation for earlier in the evening.

That should’ve been the end of it. But today morning I wake up to a (seemingly welcome) mail from an organiser at the RAB with whom I’d registered interest a couple of months back. The mail informed me of the opening of registration for the 2011 RAB and so off I went to the website. I learnt my folly – I was preparing for 130kms/day though the real distance was 50kms more at 110miles/day. This was bad news. But then came the real heartbreak.

The cheaper ‘Solo Rider – Bronze’ entry was already sold out. The ‘Solo Rider – Silver’ entry costs a whopping £1,795 per head. Add the £36-64 for British Cycling membership, ~£200 for train tickets, another £200 for misc expenses and I’m already touching £2300. I won’t even add the new road bike I was planning to buy for the ride. An unemployed guy with savings in INR to spend GBP 2,300 on a sportive is just insane. I had no option but to do the rational thing – I gave up.

It isn’t easy. I’d been preparing privately for this ride ever since I learnt about it in late August and it’s heartbreaking to learn I won’t be able to attempt it. Specially, now that I was really starting to get going – having gone from 70-80kms to 250-320kms a week in 2 months and feeling the energy in my legs to go much more.

Of course the initial thought was to give up on cycling all together, go find a regular job (most probably management consulting) and the old life. No, I’m not going down that road. Not yet, anyway. An easy 52km ride wiped all those negative thoughts from my mind.

I do intend to continue cycling, though it won’t anymore be ‘come rain, hail or snow’. That will also save me money I’d have spent on gear for the winter. Also, I shall now again be spending more time looking for jobs than cycling though I do plan to keep looking for those strat & marketing jobs, instead of the consulting calls that keep coming.