Day 2 of the Maserati Challenge - Back in the Saddle

October 14, 2015

Day 2 of the Maserati Challenge began earlier than yesterday and the weather had dropped a few degrees, the sun decided it didn’t want to make an appearance yet. Yelling school kids were cheering us on as we whisked through towns with a pace faster than yesterday. We pedaled fast with the group digging in deep for the climbs and feeling more comfortable on our bikes; we are able to take the downhill turns with increased speed and finesse.

Although only about an hour and a half outside of London, it seems like we are almost in a different time. The narrow roads were originally built for catering the horse and buggy, with no change outside of mostly rough pavement.  The roads provide a scenic and challenging route that brings us somewhere we haven’t been before. With plenty of crops, changing leaves and farm animals, there are plenty of reasons why you would want to take your eyes off the road, but this might not be the best idea given our tight knit group.

We make it to the race track for our team time trials, the location being the track where Top Gear is filmed. Not only are there Maseratis in attendance, but a few McLarens are whipping around the track. We battle some headwinds across the broad and empty plains to our four lap finish, leaving everything we could on the track. There is a few minutes to break and eat some snacks before we have a shorter ride ahead to our lunch destination.

Muscles were burning and having used many calories the last two days, we get into our lunch sport as soon as possible to refuel. While there, we are able to stretch our legs, talk with fellow cyclists and see the physical therapist on site to work out any sore muscles. We had all done some stretching and after having some trouble from my IT band and meniscus, I was urged to stop, but tried to carry forward after our lunch. The teams support was tremendous and we have developed a special bond over the enjoyable times and painful times during our course!

After lunch we begin our final part of the day, filled with climbs that are longer and steeper than many other parts of the course. After a while of pedaling up the climbs, the pain became too much and my leg had locked. Unfortunately, causing me to see the support team and vehicle, and cheer on the rest of my team as they continued. Having trained hard for this, an injury was disappointing and I felt quiet upset with this, but my team was there for support. A little while after on one of the steeper climbs of the day, Raquel had faced some extreme muscle exhaustion and had joined me as we were trying to recuperate.

Raquel has an outstanding outlook on how today went and her overwhelming positivity was welcomed and truly admirable. Trying my best to remember what she said and believe it went something like, “ It is really great that these support vehicles are here to give us some help when we needed it and least expected it. They are like OS and how we treat our clients. At times things go wrong, and having the help of someone else is relieving and can help you with which might otherwise be too much to handle.”

There was so much truth in this and it further proves the kind of people at OS. Internally, we provide support and help with issues, whether it be some motivation, in our case an injury and course challenges, trouble working through some requirements or someone to just pat you join the back and let you know you have done well. From an external perspective, we are that vital service van, that maybe our clients don’t intend to use, but something unforeseeable comes up and that is when we can help them work through their many challenges.

The day progressed with some truly grueling climbs. Raquel and I cheered on Jake and Barnaby; they were inspiring and truly put a fantastic effort into the ride. They triumphed the climbs that are as hard as you can come across cycling and pushed forward to the finish. At the end of the race Jake had said “When I saw the sign for our hotel, I started laughing and smiling, after what we just went through!” It was a day of physical test, mental test and teamwork in all ways possible. At the end of the night, we enjoyed a pint together and prepare for our last, but most difficult day yet.

 

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