are sometimes smooth and silky, and other times tired and tight.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Do what I say, not what I do

After a month off from racing, I found myself in a breakaway with +/-15 riders yesterday. How I got there, I’m still not sure. I suspect that it had something to do with one particular rider, tearing it up for two laps, and in the process shedding the peloton.

Once the gap was established, our group worked well, eventually lapping the field on the 2.5km course.

I hate when that happens. There’s always some lapped joker trying to jump in, and/or the final sprint gets all screwed up when lapped riders mix in. It drives me insane.

With a lap to go for the Masters (it was a mixed race) I rode off with one of my breakaway companions. We dangled off the front for half of a lap, until we realized it was pointless to continue.

As soon as we were caught the field slowed. Everyone soft pedaled. Lapped riders, marking each other. Pointless. That's when one of the lapped riders jumped.

I watched. There was no rush. I only had to mark my fellow break companions, one of which started to reel him in. The moment that the lapped rider saw a chase, he sat up.

I rode up to him and shouted "you've got to believe in yourself", and smiled. That's when - for some reason – I looked behind, and saw a gap. Everyone was still marking each other. I thought, ever so briefly, about what I had just said. What was the worst that I could finish, 4th?

I shifted into a bigger gear. There was 900, 800, 700 meters to go? Don’t think, do. Believe in your self.

I looked over my shoulders. The gap had grown.

I hit the main obstacle of the course, a viaduct with a short, sharp hill. As I crested it, I turned to look. I thought to myself “you’ve got to believe in yourself.” The gap was still there.

As the road dipped, I shifted again. 500 meters to go. I looked briefly at my speed, not that it mattered. My legs were burning. I tried to believe in myself.

400 meters to go. Believe in yourself.

300 meters to go. Don’t look. Believe in yourself.

250 meters to go.

200 meters to go.

150 meters to go. It doesn’t matter. I look. The gap remains.

100 meters to go, and I get out of the saddle and squeeze out whatever energy I have left.

50 meters to go.

30 meters to go.


I cross the line, and look back. The gap is still there.


Dave Wyman said...

Damn - my legs and lungs were on fire reading about your race!

Gregory Garrison said...

No better advice was ever given.

ObiWan said...

The force in strong in that one.

Suitcase of Courage said...

Are you KIDDING ME?! First race back, and you WIN IT??!!

VERY very cool - congratulations!

Anonymous said...