Most people are unaware of the side effects of limited sleep across a three-day period whilst simultaneously exhausting the body mentally and physically but for local cyclist Sacha Dowell, it’s all part of the fun.
Sacha is an avid cyclist who recently broke a record when she completed the Munda Biddi Riding event, where she rode 1080kms across three days, 15 hours and 43 minutes.
“I was pretty stoked, I broke the record last year but this year I got a faster time,” she said.
“I was never going to break the men’s record which is two days, 17 hours and 22 minutes but I did get a faster time than Callum Henderson and the previous record holder.”
“I think it’s still pretty exciting to be the second faster person that’s done the Munda Biddi trail, but it was a tough challenge.”
Sacha said she was lucky in preparation for the trail, because the Munda Biddi is her and her husband’s favourite trail to ride.
“Luckily for me these kinds of events aren’t so much about how fast you cycle, it’s about mental toughness and the ability to keep going despite fatigue, lack of sleep, and the ups and downs of the trail,” she said.
“Most people pulled out of this event, so to even complete it was fantastic.”
“I’m lucky because I have a natural strong sense of determination so a lot of people talk about wanting to quit, but that’s never a thing that comes to me.
“I’m very stubborn and single minded so I’ll just go for it. I try to be a positive person so even in the tough times I think of the benefits of cycling and the peaceful bush.
“I really pushed the limits a lot this year, I was experimenting with 10-minute and five-minute naps.
“That was a real challenge because you just have an overwhelming urge to sleep when you’re that tired.”
According to Sacha, she experienced a bit of hallucination on the track.
“As often happens, you start kind of hallucinating,” she said.
“Nothing freaky, I just keep thinking I’m seeing bikes or people or animals and it was just bush or logs.
“I would be like there’s a giant horse with a carriage, and it would turn out to be a log and I wouldn’t know until I got really close to it.”
Despite the hallucinations and lack of sleep, Sacha really enjoyed her time on the track and cycling.
“I actually really enjoy it and love pushing my limits to see what I’m capable of.”