A 100-kilometre bike ride is just a warm-up for long-distance cyclist Dr Warren Foreman of Adelaide Vet in SA.
“I rode bikes everywhere from the time I was a school kid until I finished university. I stopped cycling when I started working as a vet and became a real running addict. I was training for a marathon when I sustained major knee damage and that was the end of that. Then I turned 40 and decided I needed to get fit again so I started swimming and undertook a scuba course.
“It was one of my daughters who got me back into cycling. We bought her a mountain bike and she requested that I fix up an old bike from my uni days so I could accompany her. We started cycling the local bike paths and I joined some school parents who had a cycling group. When I purchased a new road bike, I felt like I was turbocharged. I joined another cycling group who were a bit more serious.
“This was when I really discovered the joys of cycling. It keeps you fit and there’s a real camaraderie among cyclists. Wearing lycra is a great leveller when you’re meeting different people from all walks of life.
“Eventually I started entering long-distance cycling events of at least 200 kilometres. In 2015 I entered the Paris-Brest-Paris race which is a distance of 1200 kilometres. We completed the event in 88 hours and that included sleeping, eating and any breaks. Some people finish in under 50 hours as they choose not to sleep.
“For three years in a row I’ve entered the Transalp with a mate. That’s a seven-day race from Germany to North Italy across the Alps.
“For me, long-distance cycling is a form of mindfulness. It’s almost like a meditation when you get in a rhythm and focus on your breathing. By the end of the first day, your brain will clear and you can solve all those problems that have been bugging you. As a veterinarian, cycling is great stress relief and helps me deal with the hurly-burly of day-to-day practice.
“My cycling adventures have now taken me all over the world—including Khardung La, the highest road in the world at 5800 metres! A while ago, I was discussing an upcoming cycling event with a friend and I said, ‘Is it really worth entering? It’s only 100kms’. That was when I realised I’ve got this disease pretty bad!”