Months have passed already since I made it to the finish in Sidi Rabat after cycling 1145 kilometres (711 miles) through the enchanted desert landscape of Morocco, part of the inaugural Atlas Mountain Race. There, I did it; my first ultra race with endless curves through the remarkable dusty terrain of the Moroccan mountains.
In preparation for the Atlas Mountain Race I was pretty sure that I had no idea what I’d be throwing myself into. I often found myself dreaming through all possible scenarios; preparing for the worst and thinking the days would be so long, yet in reality learnt the contrary, days felt short, the nights long and overall it was over in a fart! While thinking back to the memories I feel like I never find enough words to describe the experiences.
As the days to the start of the race came more close I found myself becoming hesitant. Did I come prepared enough, had I spent enough hours on the bike and would my skills get me through the rough terrain? Meeting other racers got me all wobbly thinking everyone seemed so cool, well prepared, yet so kind and apparently with similar concerns, how odd! It was easy to make new friends and felt quickly at home in this new community of strangers, that all have one thing in common; riding bikes.
To use Carrie’s phrase from ‘Sex and the City’; “I couldn’t help but wonder… could I have done better?” What if I didn’t have my period? What if I allowed myself to rest longer? What would the race look like if... But then again, isn’t that silly?
In all honesty I prefer to look back and feel nothing but grateful. It’s important to be content with any achievement, to be proud of this accomplishment and finishing within the time. Riding among so many strong other riders, encountering beautiful souls and being surrounded by such magnificent scenery is a treat in itself. Having the chance to do this in the first place is something to feel grateful about.
Now, if this Collection gets you so stoked to ride this route, but perhaps at a different pace and enjoy the riding to the fullest, then I do have some additional suggestions to get you the right set-up. For example as we discussed among us riders, would you take a mountain bike next time? Although I might have been stubborn to answer that with a no, because I am so in love with my bike and don’t want to regret that choice, if someone asked me again I’d say, you will be much more comfortable and enjoying the descents even better with a mountain bike! The timing was great as the winter had just passed, sleeping under the stars was great, and had my best night’s rest in the middle of nowhere on the soft sandy ground surrounded by thousands of stars. I’m also really glad I took my down pants. That way when I got so tired and very cold on long descents I could just ride in my sleep system.
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Last updated: December 8, 2021
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Mountain Biking Collection by carbonbreaker
Mountain Biking Collection by Katherine Moore
Road Cycling Collection by Katherine Moore
Hiking Collection by FrankenTourismus