martes, 17 de marzo de 2020

Proper ride but flat (https://www.unbiciorejon.com/2019/02/javiers-ride-classification-criteria.html)
I can split this ride in four different parts.

In the first part I felt fear. With head wind, four strong riders aroud me and then Bidders hitting the front like a machine I thought I wasn't to be able to sustain the pace.

In the second part, after the coffee stop at Henley, I felt euphoria. That's the caffeine in action. I felt strong. Confident. Comfortable. By the time we stopped at Lasham bigmouth Javier was boasting about how well he felt and how he could sustain that pace forever.

The third part started at Lasham. Bidders set a pace that very quickly split the group in two. Bidders, Denis and I in the front group. Denis and I holding on Bidders' wheel the best we could. At the beginning I felt just fine. The first few ramps, not a problem. Denis and I yo-yo'ed a bit but Bidders would slow down every now and them to allow us to jump back on his wheel. Until in one fo the ramps I dropped. Clearly. Bidders and Denis waited for me but I knew I was done. It came as a surprise, I wasn't expecting it but I recognsed the feeling very quickly. I refused to accept it but I knew it was over. I hold with them for a few more kilometres but at the next ramp it was game over, I was definitively dropped. I still tryied to catch them in the descend, it was a desperated effort, futile. More the result of angryness than any real chance of being successful. I put myself in aero position and pedalled as hard as I could but at some point I took the wrong turn and the sound of the Garmin letting me know was like the bell waking me up.

The trio that was behind caught with me very quickly. I joined the group with a sense of joy. Good, I thought, we will work together and we will have a great ride. But it wasn't like that. Not at all. Very quickly I realised I was having problems to follow their pace. I was struggling at the back. And then started to rain. It hasn't been a dry day so far, we had plenty of light showers but this one felt heavy in my demoralised soul. And then Richard told me I had a puncture in my back wheel. I'm so glad I was riding tubeless. I'm not sure how I would have dealt with a puncture if I had to stop at that moment. Close to the Premier control I was dropped from the group. Dean was nice enough to wait for me to make sure I was fine. I wasn't totally fine. The third part was the part of the disappointment.

At the Permier I realised my back wheel was running very low in pressure. Somehow I used that as an excused for being dropped a few kilometros before the control and I felt comforted. Put more air on the wheel, visited the toilet, ate an energy bar and the six of us went back on the road.

I felt fine. Perfectly fine. Sure the pace was now much more sensible than the rest of the day. Yes, I wasn't doing any work on the front. But I was holding fine and as soon as I realised I felt peace and joy. Floating in my comfortable numb, my brain pumping endonphirnes I loved the ride, my riding mates, my bike, the fact that we didn't sprint at Hampton Court. Inebitably I finished with a great smile in my face dreaming of how fun the 300 is going to be.

The ride in Strava

Take care
Javier Arias González

sábado, 22 de febrero de 2020

Following JFW across the Surrey Hills

Dai had proposed a route. It was a great route. Short, but it headed to Tanhouse. Tanhouse is always a great stop. I like stopping at Tanhouse.

For reasons I still don't fully understand at LW we were discusing alternative routes. JFW said he wanted hills and that was it. Off we went towards the hills.

The problem, for me, was we (or at least I) had no idea what hills, in what order, how long was the ride going to be. Too much for my (slight) OCD.

Try to imagine. Me, the guy that carries two garmins, one on the handlebar a second one in his pocket. Both of them with the route of the day. Now following JFW into an uncertain number of unknown hills. Not really sure how I survived that.

Maybe it was I know very well the roads we were in. As soon as I realised we were heading to Staple Lane I knew that meant problems for me. I really don't like that climb and today it was very exposed to the wind. Last at the top at the edge of a heart attack.

Houndhouse Hill is another hill I dislike. Not sure why. Today I just took it steady. Not knowing what else to expect in the route was killing me. Being last again, by a big margin ate into my morale.
I recognised the climb out of Peaslake. I don't know where I'm going but at least knowing the climbs allowed me to regulate my efforts. This one I wasn't last.

Next one was Tanhurst Lane. You could have put a gun in my head and I'd swear I never have gone up this climb. Strava says today was the fith time though. It also says today was the slowest time. Still didn't do that bad compared to my riding colleagues. In fact I was starting to feel great on the bike.

And you know what. The moment we descended, in km 55. JFW says, we are tired, lets head home.
Wait a second. I'm starting to feel alive now!!!

In fact I knind of enjoyed climbing up Henhurst Lane. Another hill I thought I didn't know but Strava says I have climbed six times. Today not the slowest time though.

Then it was Ranmore. Another climb we don't do that often. One that I like. One that I enjoyed going up.

And that was it. At the top of Ranmore I was feeling great but I knew from there it was all downhill to home.

We still had to go through the sprint at Esher. Feeling great and looking at the sprinting pedigree of my riding companions I started to add one more win to my palmarés.

We get to Cobham and JFW decides we are not going home the usual way. We took a road that, again, I thought I didn't know but Strava disagrees with me. In any case no sprint win. I think JFW did it on purpose. I wonder why I still consider him a friend :-)


Take care 
Javier Arias González