Why not? On the hottest day of the year we want to attend an amateurs cycling event on the Swabian Alps in Germany. For sure, we go for the longest possible distance. More than 300 km and more than 6000 m of elevation gain. It's three of us and we talked pretty big. Why not?
We arrive the evening before, eat at the catering tent and sleep under the stars. For sure, we only brought the light sleeping bags, it's summer. At night we freeze. Nights on the Swabian Alps get quite cold and especially moisty, what a surprise. Even on the hottest day of the year. But we will experience the complete opposite on the next day. At 4:15 am the alarm rings.
323 km and 6117 m ascent
We cheerfully pedal up a hill. We even joke around. 30 minutes later our mood has completely changed. We took a wrong turn. We have a vague premonition that this small detour of only 15 km will cost us very dear.
Just never stop pedaling
Meanwhile temperatures are increasing quickly, most climbs are fully exposed to the sun. The bike computer shows 47 degrees. Supplying energy to our exhausted bodies becomes our main priority. We drink one bottle per hour, always enriched with energy powder. Pure water would not do the job to resupply our lost minerals. But our bodies strike to take anything in, our stomachs churn. One of us calls it quits. The heat is just too much. A wise decision.
It is only 70 kilometers until the finish line when we lose it. We stop believing that we can actually reach the finish. We decide to ride at least to the next refreshment station, only 18km away. Arriving there, giving up is suddenly not an option anymore, isn't it? 50 kilometers is not a lot, but with four to five hills in the way the task seems unconquerable. Anyways, we continue our ride. We relapse into stoic stuper. We are no heroes, we are just stubborn. Too stubborn to give up. After crossing the finish line we fall to the ground and are not able to move our bodies for the next 30 minutes. But we stand up proudly. Our spirits are waking up and we slowely start walking again. We will never ever do it again! Do we?