There’s an anticipation of the Saturday morning ride. I’ve been looking forward to it for days. I’ve had a couple of chances to ride during the week but have mostly managed to find reasons not to.
It was raining…
Kona Secrets book available
Kona Secrets: Lessons learned from over 50 Kona Qualifications.
Knowledge doesn’t produce results, action does. Just knowing how to do something doesn’t guarantee success, especially something as difficult as qualifying for Kona; you have to put in the hours. In this book I share some of the lessons I learnt between being a back-of-the-pack beginner to qualifying for the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii.
It was cold…
There was wind…
I couldn’t find shoes that matched my helmet…
I’m a soft lazy shit…
You know, just the usual stuff.
It’s become something of a regular Saturday spin lately. Up and out early-ish. Meet Cormac, pedal a bit. Usually just far enough that a cake stop seems somewhat justified. So we stop for coffee and chocolate cake. Pedal some more then I head into the shop to sell some bikes.
The first one started out with some nervousness on my part. I haven’t been training for a while and Cormac is racing so I thought I was likely to get my arse handed to me in a most embarrassing way.
But a few weeks ago I thought fuck it, I need to get out and start riding again. I also needed some accountability, someone who’d show up and make me work (or suffer) regardless of wind, or rain, or cold, or mismatched kit or even if I was feeling soft and delicate like a little petal.
So I’ve been showing up on the understanding that it was to be an easy Saturday morning coffee ride. And true to his word Cormac has been going easy on me.
Unless he’s provoked.
Which maybe he might have been last week.
And now the gloves are off. And unsurprisingly I’m the one getting my head kicked in. Mixing my metaphors here, gloves, getting kicked… but you get the idea.
I’d wanted to stay flat for the first few rides, there’s nothing like gravity to show just how lazy, fat and unfit you are. But I do love a hill so last Saturday I suggested that we climb a bit. Not anything serious you understand. Just a little one. And going easy I stressed so that Cormac didn’t get carried away.
So we started climbing and I felt pretty good (most likely because we were going easy…) and I had the urge to push on but I thought that I shouldn’t poke a sleeping dog. So I decided to stay in the saddle and ride steady.
I’d no sooner made this decision than I found myself standing and dancing off the front wondering what the fuck just happened.
“I thought we’d decided not to do this?” I said to myself.
“Fuck that shit” A voice in my head answered. And then repeated just in case I hadn’t heard the first time
“Fuck. That. Shit”
I heard Cormac shift gear and accelerate up to my wheel. Stupidly I pushed again. My breathing rose and my legs started to protest. But I ignored that because I was relearning how much I love riding because I’m stupid.
Then the sound of Cormac behind me disappeared, he was obviously disinterested in playing. I certainly hadn’t dropped him given my current level of fitness.
I stayed on the gas all the way to the top where I thought I’d back off and wait for him to catch up. As soon as I sat down he came around and past me like I’d slammed on the brakes. He’d been so quiet behind me I thought he’d been dropped but in fact he was going so easy that he just wasn’t breathing hard enough that I could hear him.
Fucker. Stupid fit fucker.
I guess my “on the gas” wasn’t so hot today… but I’d had my fun and was happy to then ride in nice and easy to the coffee stop. But of course I’d just woken Cormac up and now he was ready to kick the ever living shit out of me.
Most of the rest of the ride was spent nailed to his wheel trying not to get dropped. Or puke. Or puke while getting dropped.
Every so often he’d look back to make sure I was still there and I’d smile nonchalantly through the haze of pain trying to look like I was cruising. But I think the fact that I wasn’t riding through to take a turn maybe gave away how I actually felt.
I somehow managed to not get dropped and hoped that my relief at arriving at the coffee shop with him, instead of five minutes behind wasn’t too obvious.
Saturday morning coffee ride my arse.
Chasing Kona eBook available
From smoker to back of the pack triathlete to the Ironman World Championships.
Read about how I overcame all of the odds and discovered what it would take to get to the Ironman World Championships – my eBook is now available to buy as an eBook on Amazon UK, Amazon US, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes
It is also available as a paperback at Wheelworx.