Preparing for the Great Divide

I researched the Great Divide Trail in detail. It is a challenging and exciting prospect.

Jamie said we would start on a section that would take 8 to 10 days.

I will need to carry a considerable load and cover up to 50 miles a day.

One of the websites advised older riders to consult their doctors or get a medical examination. So I arranged one.

A lot of the trail will be along unpaved forest roads and some of it along forest paths. That’s why mountain bikes are advised.

The going will sometimes be very difficult.

The training schedules from the British Heart Foundation include exercises like riding up the same hill six times for 5 minutes each time to build muscular strength.

Or interval training: you ride at maximum intensity for 90 seconds, then slow down for 90 seconds, then speed up again, alternating for 20 minutes or so.

Sometimes I just had to stop, leaning over the bars, gasping for air.

I began to be more aware of my body. I said that to Maureen. I started to read about how my muscles and lungs worked. Things like that.

She’s obviously been thinking about what I said. Today over dinner she came out with:

“Other creatures, how superior they are to us in many ways. They run faster. Have better eyesight. Or a wonderful sense of smell. Life on our planet is more about bodies than minds. For most animals the brain is a guidance system to help search for food. One creature called a tunicate actually digests its brain after it has anchored itself on the sea bed to become a simple filter feeder, pumping water in and out…It just doesn’t need that brain any more.”

“Maybe our big brains are an evolutionary cul de sac. A fighting animal with a big brain is a species death sentence. We’ll destroy ourselves, become extinct. Then it will be just bodies again…”