After 20 years of riding and racing, I am still learning. Almost every time I hop on one of my bikes, I learn something about my preparation, gear, bike, clothing, food choices and strategy. It is definitely one of the reasons I continue to ride and it keeps me looking forward to the next adventure. I know that when I follow my instincts, listen to my body and let my mind relax, I perform better.
The MOST influential thing I have learned this year is this: I can enjoy riding alone for a really long time!
Previously, for most all of my multi-day rides and races I have ridden with JayP, either as a team or on the tandem. This year I completed the Stagecoach 400 (400 miles), the Tour Divide (2745 miles) and the Fitz-Barn (350 miles), all pretty much riding alone. Going into these races I wasn't sure I would like it. I thought I might get scared, lonely or have a mechanical I didn't know how to fix, but I was fine.
I enjoyed the freedom of just being responsible for me. It was so liberating to be able to throw down my bag, sleep, eat or take a break wherever, whenever I needed or wanted to. I know that this past year I have gained confidence and know that I can do it! I can ride alone, and I love it!
I have also discovered how strong my mind and body REALLY are. When I need strength, I know it will be there. As long as I keep my head together and push through hard times, I will make it through, because tough times don't last, tough people do!
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Endurance cyclist Tracey Petervary is a New Jersey native residing in Victor, Idaho. She started adventure racing 18 years ago, enjoying multi-day, multi-sport team events traveling to places such as Fiji, New Zealand and across the United States. Her stable includes several bikes (MTB, road, cyclocross, commuter, fat, tandem), which allow her to ride every day of the year in any condition.