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1 month, 840 km, $650: MS Sydney-Gong Ride 2017


In the past month, Esteban has cycled more than 840 km as part of his training for the MS Foundation’s Sydney to Wollongong Charity Ride. This Sunday, he is hitting the beginning of the ride not long after dawn, and is off to cycle the beautiful route.

Taking his own bike with him is proving one of the challenges he needs to overcome to make the race a success.

‘I have to pull the bike apart and put it into a box for transportation, and then put it back together,’ Esteban laughed. ‘I’ve never done this before! I’m glad I’m meeting a friend at the airport who can help me.’

After such a long training period, on a bike that is just right, it’s not quite so simple as just breaking it down and remaking it. It involves cleaning it and marking it to make sure it’s just right.

‘We need to make sure that when we put it back together that everything is in the right place. That the seat is the right height, and the handlebars and everything,’ he explained. ‘So marking the bike is going to be really important. There won’t be time to get it wrong.’

Will Esteban keep riding, beyond the race?

‘Well I won’t be doing 850 km every month!’ he laughed. But, he assures us here at Optimo Home Loans, that he now finds himself in a really good place, and it’s something he doesn’t want to lose.

Thinking about the training, the early rises, the sore muscles, Esteban mentioned that those kinds of things aren’t fantastic. But all of the good things far outweigh them.

‘I’ve been eating like crazy! And I’ve really slimmed down,’ he reflected. ‘And it was so quick. In just 30 days there has been just this huge change. My fitness is it at a completely different level, and I can really see it in my body too.’

In the lead-up, concentration has been paramount

When you train for an event as hard as Esteban has been, it can get very tiring. The additional demands on your body require more rest, but sometimes it’s not possible.

‘What I don’t want at this point is to have an accident and spoil everything!’ he pointed out, when talking about the need to pay additional attention.

As a result, Esteban spends more time focusing just on one task at a time. On the bike, he’s had a heightened awareness of his own safety. Tiredness can be very damaging - even deadly! - on fast, downhill rides that require you to have good reflexes and peak reactions.

It’s also a good reason why in this final stretch ahead of the race, he has backed off from riding, and is spending more time in other conditioning.

‘I’ve had fewer rides this week. And I’ve spent time in gym doing other kinds of activity, just to refresh and wake up my body,’ Esteban explained.

What’s he looking forward to?

‘Oooh good question,’ Esteban said, thinking about what’s in front of him. ‘The beautiful ocean views from the mountains I am really looking forward to. And obviously doing the race. But also, it’s such a bitter-sweet event,’ he pointed out. ‘There will be people like me, no problems, in the race. And there will also be MS sufferers either in the race or at the event. There are two sides to every story, and this is really going to be one of them.

Follow Esteban’s posts as he goes to Sydney and rides in the race

Esteban will be posting photos and videos to the Optimo Home Loans Facebook page while he’s away. To see the live streams, make sure you follow along.

You can still donate and see if we can help Esteban hit his next target. Click here to add your donation. It might spur Esteban on to the finish line faster than he thinks.

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