Round island#10, 1.75x, 222 km. I start out reaching over 51 km/h, trailing a transporter after dropping out of the ANZA peloton that takes the lead in Singapore's first 24 hour charity ride. By nightfall, I'm crawling along at 15 km/h; my iliotibial band (ITB) and calf act up with every pedal stroke. While I'm on my second round, two guys overlap me as they go on their third. At each pit stop, I stretch and rest. A volunteer asks me if I have ITB; she can tell from my stretching (she says it took her two months to get better. I say I have a full marathon in one month). I struggle not just with the cycling but about whether to quit. When is being steadfast, stupid? Near midnight, I call it a day and drop out. I'm so tired ... of bananas and isotonic drinks. I can't even cycle home and radio for help on my sponsored walkie-talkie cum GPS that tracks my mileage.
3 R's of a charity ride: Raise money. Ride. And Regret? Not really. Sure, I ask myself "why am I doing this", when there's pain. But then, I meet interesting people. Like T, whom I met while cycling to the start line. I ask him if he's joining the ride and he decides to on the spot. That means forking out a 3-figure "entrance fee" / donation. And the volunteer who'd signed up herself and a vehicle after hearing about the ride on radio; she didn't have to volunteer but she chose to. And with each ride, I learn something. This ride, I chose to drop out. Children with Down Syndrome, can't drop out; they're born with it. Their mothers don't drop out from caring. Others have stopped caring for a lot less. Those who care for a lifetime, are the real champions.