First blog!

Published on
24 April 2022

I’ve arrived in Europe, bought an ebike, had a big flight around my new neighborhood, and I’ve taken the weekend off to get some organising done. One of the things on my list was to write an update for xpyr, but when I look into it I see I am a month early. In any case, it’s always smart to be on the organisers’ good side. 

Back in 2014 the x-pyr was my first hike and fly race in Europe. It was an amazing adventure of course, but then, as now, I still fear the long road walking parts. With 18km before you even start the ascent up La Rhune, it is six times the distance of the first xalps turn point! So obviously a much harder race. But the good news is that the route zig zags through the highest part of the pyrenees, which is good motivation to push through green cloudy France. 

I am really looking forward to sharing the race with my supporters. Andrew, official supporter, was Carl’s eyes and brain when he chased me back in 2014. With some extra help on the fourth day when a hitchhiker helped him navigate – and I ended up at his intended destination! I’ve known these guys for most of the time I’ve been a pilot, discovering the “underground” Conondale club and their discrete unlikely launches on the small hills of the Sunshine Coast hinterland, flying with xalps legend of the day, Lloydy. They also both joined me for a road trip around the pyrenees a month before the 2014 event. 

A couple of rookies have contacted me asking for advice. So here it is. Take care of your legs – don’t ruin yourself on the first day. Perhaps see what they can handle now, before it’s too late. And, take care of your supporters – make sure everyone gets enough rest, and don’t stress too much. You want to manage your psyche so you’re engaged but not overwhelmed – and the excitement of a race with live tracking is likely to push you maybe a little too far. So, make your own decisions, and have fun! 

Photos and video are from my first flight this year in the southern French Alps. 

Without these guys we would not have the race.

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