Things I think are impossible actually often aren’t (even if they currently are)
What is it like to race your bike from one side of Europe to the other and, in the process, win one of the most iconic ultra-endurance cycling races in the world?
I have no idea — but this week’s guest on Sparta Chicks Radio certainly does!
Emily Chappell is an ultra-endurance cyclist, author and the winner of the 2016 Transcontinental (TransCon).
The TransCon is a self-supported, single-stage bike race across Europe.
The clock starts and doesn’t stop until you arrive at the finish - on the other side of the continent!
And aside from a few checkpoints, there’s no set route. Participants map and plan their way across Europe and decide where and when to ride, eat and sleep along the way.
In 2016, the race started in Belgium.
And 3,800km and 13 days, 10 hours later, Emily arrived in Istanbul, winning the women’s category in the process!
While we discuss some of the events and adventures she’s had over the years, there are 2 key themes throughout this conversation.
Firstly, why it's important not to let what you've done (or haven't done) in the past define or limit what you think you’re capable of in the future.
And secondly, being open to the idea that things which currently seem impossible actually aren’t.
Emily also shares:
* how she got into cycling when she moved to London following University, working as a bike courier and why Julian Assange (who at the time he was holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy) owes her a tenner,
* riding from Anchorage to Seattle - in winter! - and the logistics of riding in temperatures of -20 to -30
* why the decision to enter the Transcontinental was made in a pub and how she reached that decision despite the fact it far exceeded anything she had attempted beforehand,
* why she’s sick of being asked if she’s scared of riding by herself,
* chafing, how her ‘lady bits’ cope with so much time on a saddle, and what you can do to minimise any discomfort you have,
* post-ride depression and how she navigates it,
* her relationship with fear, self-doubt and the Imposter Complex, and
* why you should think about your capacity, not your limits.
Emily has written an amazing book called ‘Where There’s a Will” which I highly recommended. It’s so beautifully written, you’ll feel like you’re riding your way across Europe with her.
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