Sunday, 3 February 2008


The plan heading into AIS camp was to prepare with a few recovery days. I’m pretty sure that didn’t mean four punctures, retrieval of a spare wheel and a taxi ride home all within an hour of riding!...None of which were me! I caught up on some sleep, 11 hours on the one night, and devoured the hedgehog that Mum had baked knowing that she wouldn’t allow me to take it on my journey. My final memories before leaving for Canberra are of my local Saturday morning bunch. Being on outback country roads we were forced to stop for cows flooding the roadside, and before packing my bike into a cardboard box once again, I was obligated to wash the cow shit off. My final café stop had me in high spirits, until I hit the deck in my own driveway while retrieving the junk mail from out letter box! I quickly jumped to my feet and skimmed the surroundings...nobody had seen and only the pride had been scarred. Finally, before saying my goodbyes, we managed to get Leila drunk on cordial...I’ll miss the little one!

The flight to Canberra is on average an hour and just as you’ve stopped climbing you begin to descend. I flew Virgin and decided to re-allocate my seat to the front of the plane, along the aisle, 12C in fact. At first I thought I was blessed, seated beside two VERY good looking young males who were returning home from the cricket. His name escapes me, and I’d prefer not to remember it, but seated in 12B was one of the most annoying people I have ever met. He talked to me while I attempted to read my book, while I was watching the TV, and even over the top of what I had to say. For such a short flight you wouldn’t expect to feel ill, but with a VB in hand, the smell of beer on his breath had me close to being sick! I was hoping my following experiences at altitude would be a lot more radiant. On arrival at the airport Laura Garvican and David Martin (AIS Sports Scientists) were there to assist us with our bags. ‘Us’ being the AIS women’s squad in Tiffany Cromwell (19), Amanda Spratt (20), Carla Ryan (22) and Josie Loane (26). Bridie O’Donnell (33) was to arrive later that afternoon. Also joining us on camp would be two professional cyclists in Nicki Egyed and Rochelle Gilmore. Wish me luck! =)