#Project 544″ represents the fact that it will be 544 days between destroying my left knee in a skiing accident, requiring ACL reconstruction surgery and a long period of physical rehabilitation and conditioning, and starting Day One of the 2016 Mavic Trans-Provence.
I quickly decided, as soon as I knew the extent of the injury, the projected long rehabilitation time and that I was not going to be allowed to ski during the 2015-16 ski season, that I needed a goal to focus on to motivate me during my rehabilitation (other than being able to walk properly again and do all the outdoor things than essentially represent normal life to me).
My first thought was to attend the Second Edition of the Trans NZ Enduro in February 2016, however due to the fracture and the extent of the bone bruising and the consequent delay in having my ACL surgery, this quickly became an unrealistic and possibly dangerous goal. So a change was required.
And a positive reply from the organisers of the Trans-Provence provided a heaven sent opportunity and new (realistic) goal for 2016.
So it is simple, my left knee was destroyed on Whistler on 22 December 2014 and I left Camp Zero (near Embrun) for the first stage of the 2016 Trans-Provence on 19 June 2016.
The 2016 Mavic Trans-Provence lasted six days, 24 special stages, 9117 metres of climbing and 18003 metres of descent over 281 kilometres of mainly off road tracks and trails. It was physically tough (not as tough as I thought it was going to be and I was impressed at how my knee and my training stood me on good stead during each day) but mentally is was much tougher than I expected it to be with massive exposure in many sections several times each day. The riding was seriously tough. Overall it was the adventure that I expected it to be and truly amazing experience shared with some wonderful people. I can see why people keep going back (if they can get a place).
#Project 544 was a complete success.