• Joanna Sharpe

If it was easy everyone would do it, I guess...

Covid 19 eh....what about all that! Unexpected as it may have been, a wise mentor of mine told me at the outset of this Long White Ride adventure..... a number of things can and will go wrong, that you can be sure of.

So we decided that this was just one of the many things that would and did go wrong, there will be more, deal with it.

I would be lying if I said we weren't disappointed to have to press pause, just 2 weeks before our start date, but it didn't dim our flame of passion or our determination to continue with our journey. Not one little bit.

For the crew a new start date of February 2021 meant sitting on their hands LWR wise for another 10 months.

For me however it meant taking on board the idea of another 10 months of huge hours on the bike to remain fit enough to do my part, peddle. Ill admit to a large intake of breath at the thought but to be honest that was all. Within moments I was on the phone to my coach Dylan at Training Wheels Coaching saying, so coach.... how do we keep me motivated to get out of bed in the middle of the night to train before work, spend another 10 months riding endless hours and thus manage another 10 months of a grocery bills that'll make your eyes water!

I've already shared with you all that my "why" has to be greater than a win, a moment of glory for taking the line. Its the ability to use a platform to make a difference that gets me out of bed at 3.30am no medal can keep you doing that day after day so we found different ways to make an impact instead.

In April I was as proud as punch to be part of a team who circumnavigated with world, by bike, in a day. Mark Beaumont (you know, the guy with the Guinness world record for circumnavigating the world in the fastest time by bike 79 days if you were wondering!!) decided to get some people together to replicate his world record, as a team. 79 of us rode 387km each in one day to replicate his world record ride. Once a week for 4 weeks a team did this using an online virtual platform and we raised between us over $500,000 for NHS Charities in the UK the country I was born in and a place hard hit by Covid 19 health wise.

17hrs is the longest I have ever spent on an indoor trainer and the first time id used a virtual cycling platform (this was how we achieved this feat during lock down) and to be honest it was harder in some ways and easier in others to riding on the road. Ill do a whole separate blog on this at some stage but suffice to say I actually enjoyed it in a strange way and was over the moon with the impact we were able to make to those in need.

In May a new idea was born and having had this recent experience I fell in love instantly. In June each year the toughest cycle event in the world takes place. It is called Race Across America (RAAM). The event starts on Americas west coast and competitors cycle, pretty much non stop, over 5000km to the east coast. If you've never heard of it, check out the link on my home page, its incredible. Craig Harper and Ron Skeleton from NZ are among the elite few who have finished this in a staggering 9 and 12 days respectively! Its what all ultra cyclists dream of and a race for which I qualified in November 2019 when I placed 1st woman at the Taupo Maxi Enduro 640km race. Now due to Covid 19 it had to be cancelled, disappointing for all those who were ready to take the start line, so an incredible collaboration was born. virtual cycling platform, Race Across America (RAAM) and event organizers decided to replicate the race using a virtual platform, smart indoor trainers and some epic new technology. Commencing 16 June 2020 Race Across America (RAAM) and Race Across the West (RAW), a shorter 1600km race across the west of the country will be taking place using a virtual capacity and I tell you what, there was no way I wasn't going to be part of this. A world first, a chance to race with the best Ultra cyclists in the world, a chance to learn something new and all taking place in the middle of BOWEL CANCER AWARENESS MONTH.

I have decided to take part in the RAW race as the distance is similar to The Long White Ride, although with a lot more climbing. All up there is 27,600m of it or more than 3 x up Everest to put it into some context. My plan is to ride it in the same fashion as I will LWR being almost non stop but with the difference being I'll be inside in my #gaincave as opposed to out on the road with my crew. Ill do a blog about how its all going to work soon. How do I eat, what do I eat, what about sleep, all those things that make the plan come together.

Needless to say Crew Chief Jude will be on hand all the way to make sure I keep peddling, until she says I can stop that is!

Its going to be one hell of a journey. I hope you'll all join me, follow me live and see how I get on. Most importantly to me however I hope it inspires you to learn a bit about the signs and symptoms of Bowel Cancer and spread the message of awareness during the month of June, after all that's the best reward I could hope for.

Please take a moment to find out a little about Bowel Cancer and Bowel Cancer NZ using the link from my home page or via

#moveyourbuttnz #bowelcancerawareness #bowelcancer

#livforward #livwomen #teamevo #letsrideevo #howihammer #poweredbyperpetuim #vraam #vraw #raceacrossamerica #ultracycling #fulgaz #dotwatch #dotwatching #greatjounreysofnz

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