sábado, 26 de septiembre de 2020


That's what I fealt this morning. I had a fairly heavy week in terms of riding and my legs didn't lose any time to remind it to me. As soon as I walked down the stairs to get my breakfast my legs screamed "Why are you doing this to us?". I could have tried a Jens Voigt's "Shut up legs" but my legs are not that well disciplined and they wouldn't shut up. That made me fear today's ride.

I knew is was pan flat and not particularly long, only 138km. I shouldn't have any problem to stay on the wheel of the group. But my worry was not being able to stay with the group, my fear was how hard that was going to be. I pictured myself strugling by the time we got to Hampton Court (km 7) and I didn't like the image. I turned on the coffee machine.

I'm so lucky caffeine is not a banned substance! I had my breakfast, and a coffee. By the time I jumped on my bike I wasn't afraid anymore. I was actually cold. Autum is definitively here.

In the "first half" of the ride I was feeling well. I knew it was the effect of the caffeine so I was prudent with all my efforts but didn't shy from working in the front (there you have a new Javier in the making). 

I say "first half" even if we stopped before we got to half of the ride. I did a great demonstration of my computer skills being able to order using Fergo's website and, obviously, I order a coffee for me.

We had a small climb straight after the stop. Not my favourite way to warm up after sitting ouside in the chilling wind. I took it easy, letting the climb to warm me up. As soon as I got to the top I tried to load the big chainring.

It didn't work. I immediately realised my di2 had run out of battery. I'll blame the battery itself. Otherwise I'd have to admit I had failed to charge it properly and I read enough about nowadays politics to know taking responsability for your acts is not in fashion these days. The battery is to blame! I should start a career in politics.

I told my ride companions. With 80 flat kms to go I resigned myself to ride the rest of the route alone riding all the way home in the small chainring. 

Now, what happened is between a few small bumps in the road, crossing a few villages, a few bits with lot of traffic, some constructions with traffic lights and a few times they waited for me I managed to stay at the back of the group for most of the time.

Another side effect was that as soon as a bump in the road came I just went for it thinking "Doesn't matter if you burn yourself and get dropped, you can just easy pedal all your way home". I did that one, I did it twice, and thrice. It was obvious I was still under the effect of the caffeine but it came to a point that I thought. "Wait a second. If you were able to use all your gears there is no way you'd be riding that way. You are way too conservative to ride like that. Always trying to make sure you don't empty yourself too early. Always thinking about the whole ride. Never not caring about emptying your legs before you finish the ride.". 

It turns out I surprised myself. I foud I had more energy I thought I had (oh caffeine, oh caffeine). I ended up enjoying the second "half" of the ride. Spinning my legs like crazy, riding not caring about blowing up, sprinting at 148rpm to get to 300w, not feeling any fear. 

I am now considering the following changes in my cycling live. Trying to figure out the maximal dosis of caffeine I can get. Riding aggresively from the start of the ride, ala JFW, even contesting town signs sprints. Removing the big chainring, it would have the additional benefit of saving some weight on the bike. Suing Shimano. Maybe I should buy a new bike.

Hopefully sense will come back to me at some point. 

The ride in Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/4114550502

Take care

Javier Arias González

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