Himalaya blog: Part one

Being hit by a car a week out from one of the biggest adventures of my life wasn’t quite how I had planned it.

I am the queen of organisation yet no matter how many lists I wrote I couldn’t account for such random events. While I was lying in A&E waiting to be taken through to the X-Ray machine it became clear to me just how much this trip meant to me.

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In a split second the opportunity to ride the Friendship Highway from Lasha, Tibet to Kathmandu, Nepal was put in jeopardy by a woman on a mission to get to the bank before it shut on Wednesday night. Luckily the agonising wait for the prognosis revealed no breaks in my lower leg. Just deep bruising and rest required, thus bringing my last minute training to an abrupt holt.

The focus turned to walking without a limp and getting a bike sorted. Then came the worry of could I ride it, let alone the 1,200 kilometres over five 5,000 metre passes in the Himalayas.

I sit in my hotel room in Tibet feeling like I am in the hem of the Technicolor dream coat listening to Kings of Leon. I have made it this far. The bright colours of Tibetan architecture is playing with my slight altitude sickness, testing my eye to stomach relationship. It is snowing outside, the wind is ripping through the prayer flags and I have seen my first yak. I am in the capital of the Tibetan Plateau – Lasha.

For the next three days our group of 15 riders on this Red Spokes tour will spend time breathing. Sounds easy but stairs are a challenge at present. We need to get our bodies used to the altitude before we ride up in to the mountains. I have spent three weeks sleeping in an altitude tent in preparation for this moment.

Rachel Turner from the Altitude Centre, based in Putney London said it will take up to three days for new red blood cells to mature. I am ready for the breathlessness and nausea as I felt like this from sleeping in the tent at home. Before leaving the UK I managed to sleep soundly at 3,000 metres for eight hours. Time will tell if I have produced enough cells to be able to preform out on the bike.

Kiwis travel the world and out of our tiny group four are from New Zealand, 26 per cent, and one Aussie. You can spot the kiwis a mile off, we are all clad in Icebreaker merino wool and wearing the same thing for the whole 25 days as it is smell-proof clothing. I’m heading for dinner in my stylish pink number and plan to do a speed walk in it in the morning. I hope to be able to run soon, Ironman Texas is only 39 days away.

Thanks to;