Pushing forward sometimes often mean pushing upwards, like some days ago.
People often ask us how we stay motivated on a hard day, how we manage not stop pushing when reaching the point of exhaustion. That´s not the hardest we would say. What´s hard is to know when to stop pushing yourself when your body says no but your mind is set on biking. To push yourself over the next hill, reaching the nearby city, covering enough ground to arrive in a new country. Or for us, in a not that far distance, changing continent.
Since we left Barcelona I´ve (Lina) had some problem with my wrist. The pain have increased since we pedaled from Carbo the Palos forcing us to take two rest days in La Union. Eager to catch a ferry to Marocco as soon as possible we continued south. Slowly. Because biking with one hand when you are used to be able to use two is not easy, but I pushed myself harder and harder. I´m quite stubborn and sometimes that´s a good thing and sometimes not a benefit. Luckily Pelle is (if possible) even more stubborn then I am, making the decision for us to take some rest days for me to rest my hand. For sure I knew it was the best decision, even if it meant a few days without cycling. Cycling is kind of what we both really want to do.
In the evening we arrived in Aguilas and that same evening we fell in love with the city and it´s now on our citieswecanliveinwhenwegetold list. The schedule for the next few days said rest, rest and rest some more. For me that meant not using my right hand at all. Easier said than done but Per helped out with everything, including getting dressed, open my sodas (surprisingly hard with your lefthand if your right-handed), tying my shoes and everything else I needed help with.
Leaving Aguilas the plan was not to push the miles and instead just take it slow. Two days of not using my right hand was just what it needed and now I can use it again, with the exception of shifting gear.
Yesterday we was faced with two route alternatives. Pedaling along the cost, more miles, a lot of ups and downs but beautiful. Or inland, climb a plateau stay there for a few kilometers and then down again with amazing views. As I lack the ability to shift gears with my right hand any uphill would really slow me down. Usually I can´t shift fast enough at the beginning of a climb, which leaves me pushing the bike. So the option with only one big climb to reach the plateau seemed to be the best option.
That´s what we thought. We ended up on a rollercoaster ride where i had to push almost every uphill, then we climbed up on the big plateau and finally ups and downs on the way down again. Due to that the day was spent pushing the bikes up a hill, pushing the breaks down the hill, pushing bike up, pushing break down, pushing bike up a mountain, pushing break down a mountain and so on in eternity. And here we are again with the same question, how can we push ourselves when it´s that hard?
Easy, since we decided to bike around the world it´s surprisingly easy. We are doing exactly what we wanted to do. And when you push yourself mentally and the bike physically up a hill you get a very rewarding view. Then you stop and take pictures, push the camera button until you are ready to push your bike again. And sooner or later the downhill you have been pushing for the hole day will appear. Then when you feel the fresh wind in your hair as you´re flying downhill it feels like you have no worries and in that moment you really don’t. In the long run all the pushing, hard work and most importantly the rest days you had, will all be worth it. So far on this trip it´s been high inputs and much greater rewards.