sábado, 1 de mayo de 2021

Do you want to do something silly?

 Show up to a Saturday Gang ride with tired legs when Dai, Denis, Ed and Richard are riding and the plan is to ride 195km 2000m.

Guaranteed fun.

Add to it that JFW showed up with the intention to ride only part of the route and you have all the ingredients to get a ride full of surges, sprints for town signs and high pace.

So much so that by km 25 I had decided I was not going to ride the whole route, I’d go for JFW’s short route.

The problem was that around km 60 we had a comfort stop. I was the fastest because I knew we were at the base of a short climb. I started the climb alone knowing the group would catch me but taking to my advantage the possibility of riding the climb at an easy pace. By the time I got to the top of the climb and the rest of the group caught me JFW wasn’t there. He had turned back.

I was tired but my brain was still able to do some maths. It got to the conclusion that being 60km from home I was better off staying with the group and committing for the whole ride than riding back on my own. That, and the not null chance of me getting lost on the way back. I was stuck with the group.

New Alresford couldn’t come soon enough.

A latte, caffeine. Powerful drug for my brain. Like that I went from feeling like hanging to the ride for my dear life to feeling like I could cope with it.

For about two hours. A shame we were about three hours from home.

When the effect of the caffeine disappeared I went from feeling like I could cope with the ride to fearing being dropped in the next bump of the road. I avoided the front of the group like the plague.

By the time we approached the Esher sprint I was telling myself “now that you are here it is ok to be dropped”. I sat at the back of the group.

Ed was leading the group and I was almost dropped on the first ramp. But I wasn’t.

Ed led the group on the second ramp too. The group passed him as we were getting to the top of the ramp. At some point I looked back and saw Ed was dropped. Surprise, surprise!!!

Denis was leading the train now. He stayed there all the way to the last ramp. That was when Dai attacked. 

No one followed. I waited for Richard to close the gap. He started to pass Denis. I waited a little bit more. 

It seemed like Dai was slowing down but Richard was not closing the gap that fast either. I waited a little bit more.

And then I jumped. Typically that would be way too late to take the sprint but we were all very tired by that point. Dai more than anyone, he had sat in the front of the group for kilometres and kilometres. 

I passed Dai about 20 metres before the line and took the sprint. 

We all know it was unfair. I sat at the back of the group for most of the ride and I was dropped in every single climb (no sprint can compensate for being dropped in a climb). Still happy to see I was able to “sprint” after a ride that was so challenging for me.

The ride in Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/5223857559

Take care
Javier Arias González

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